God’s Righteousness Upheld
3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, xthe Jews were entrusted with ythe oracles of God. 3 zWhat if some were unfaithful? aDoes their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! bLet God be true though cevery one were a liar, as it is written,
d“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you eare judged.”
5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict fwrath on us? (gI speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could hGod judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, iwhy am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not jdo evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
No One Is Righteous
9 What then? Are we Jews1 any better off?2 No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both kJews and lGreeks, are munder sin, 10 as it is written:
n“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 o“Their throat is pan open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
q“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 r“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 s“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and tthe way of peace they have not known.”
18 u“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever vthe law says it speaks to those who are under the law, wso that every mouth may be stopped, and xthe whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For yby works of the law no human being3 will be justified in his sight, since zthrough the law comes knowledge of sin.
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
21 But now athe righteousness of God bhas been manifested apart from the law, although cthe Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God dthrough faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. eFor there is no distinction: 23 for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 gand are justified hby his grace as a gift, ithrough the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God jput forward as ka propitiation lby his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in mhis divine forbearance he had passed over nformer sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 oThen what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith papart from works of the law. 29 Or qis God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since rGod is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and sthe uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Abraham Justified by Faith
4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, tour forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but unot before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? v“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now wto the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but xbelieves in1 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 y“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not zcount his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for athe circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? bFor we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 cHe received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was dto make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
The Promise Realized Through Faith
13 For ethe promise to Abraham and his offspring fthat he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 gFor if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For hthe law brings wrath, but iwhere there is no law jthere is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, kin order that the promise may rest on grace and lbe guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, mwho is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, n“I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, owho gives life to the dead and calls into existence pthe things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, q“So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was ras good as dead (ssince he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered tthe barrenness2 of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that uGod was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But vthe words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us wwho believe in xhim who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 ywho was delivered up for our trespasses and raised zfor our justification.
Peace with God Through Faith
5 aTherefore, since we have been justified by faith, bwe1 have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also cobtained access by faith2 into this grace din which we stand, and ewe3 rejoice4 in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we frejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering gproduces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hhope does not put us to shame, because God’s love ihas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For jwhile we were still weak, at the right time kChrist died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but lGod shows his love for us in that mwhile we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, nwe have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from othe wrath of God. 10 For if pwhile we were enemies qwe were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by rhis life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received sreconciliation.
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
12 Therefore, just as tsin came into the world through one man, and udeath through sin, and vso death spread to all men5 because wall sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but xsin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not ylike the transgression of Adam, zwho was a type of athe one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for bmany. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For cthe judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought djustification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness ereign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass6 led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness7 leads to justification and life for fall men. 19 For as by the one man’s gdisobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s hobedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now ithe law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, jgrace abounded all the more, 21 so that, kas sin reigned in death, lgrace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? mAre we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can nwe who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us owho have been baptized pinto Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were qburied therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as rChrist was raised from the dead by sthe glory of the Father, we too might walk in tnewness of life.
5 For uif we have been united with him in va death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that wour old self1 xwas crucified with him in order that ythe body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For zone who has died ahas been set free2 from sin. 8 Now bif we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that cChrist, being raised from the dead, will never die again; ddeath no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, eonce for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves fdead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not gsin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 hDo not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but ipresent yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For jsin kwill have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? lAre we to sin mbecause we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves nto anyone as obedient slaves,3 you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But othanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the pstandard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, qhaving been set free from sin, rhave become slaves of righteousness. 19 sI am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For tjust as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members uas slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 vFor when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 wBut what fruit were you getting at that time from the things xof which you are now ashamed? yFor the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you zhave been set free from sin and ahave become slaves of God, bthe fruit you get leads to sanctification and cits end, eternal life. 23 dFor the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Released from the Law
7 Or do you not know, brothers1—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For ea married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.2 3 Accordingly, fshe will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, gyou also have died hto the law ithrough the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, jin order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work kin our members lto bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the mnew way of nthe Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.3
The Law and Sin
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, oI would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if pthe law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, qseizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. rFor apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment sthat promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, tseizing an opportunity through the commandment, udeceived me and through it killed me. 12 So vthe law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, wsold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For xI do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with ythe law, that it is good. 17 So now zit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells ain me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 bFor I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, cit is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For dI delight in the law of God, ein my inner being, 23 but I see in my members fanother law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from gthis body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.