Romans 1:18–3:20; Romans 5–7

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For kthe wrath of God lis revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be mknown about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, nhave been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,1 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they obecame futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 pClaiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and qexchanged the glory of rthe immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore sGod gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to tthe dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for ua lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, vwho is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason wGod gave them up to xdishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, ymen committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, zGod gave them up to aa debased mind to do bwhat ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know cGod’s righteous decree that those who practice such things ddeserve to die, they not only do them but egive approval to those who practice them.

God’s Righteous Judgment

Therefore you have fno excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For gin passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O manyou who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourselfthat you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on hthe riches of his kindness and iforbearance and jpatience, knot knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are lstoring up mwrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

nHe will render to each one according to his works: to those who oby patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking2 and pdo not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress qfor every human being who does evil, the Jew rfirst and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and speace for everyone who does good, tthe Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For uGod shows no partiality.

God’s Judgment and the Law

12 For all who have sinned vwithout the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For wit is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, xby nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is ywritten on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 zon that day when, aaccording to my gospel, God judges bthe secrets of men cby Christ Jesus.

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and drely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are ea guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law fthe embodiment of gknowledge and truth 21 hyou then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you irob temples? 23 You who jboast in the law kdishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, las it is written, The name of God is blasphemed mamong the Gentiles because of you.

25 For circumcision indeed is of value nif you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if oa man who is uncircumcised keeps pthe precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded3 as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically4 uncircumcised but keeps the law qwill condemn you who have rthe written code5 and circumcision but break the law. 28 For sno one is a Jew twho is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one uinwardly, and vcircumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. wHis praise is not from man but from God.

God’s Righteousness Upheld

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, xthe Jews were entrusted with ythe oracles of God. zWhat if some were unfaithful? aDoes their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! bLet God be true though cevery one were a liar, as it is written,

dThat you may be justified in your words,

and prevail when you eare judged.

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.) By no means! For then how could hGod judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, iwhy am I still being condemned as a sinner? 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

What then? Are we Jews6 any better off?7 No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both kJews and lGreeks, are munder sin, 10 as it is written:

nNone 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  oTheir throat is pan open grave;

they use their tongues to deceive.

qThe venom of asps is under their lips.

14  rTheir mouth is full of curses and bitterness.

15  sTheir 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  uThere 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 being8 will be justified in his sight, since zthrough the law comes knowledge of sin.


Peace with God Through Faith

aTherefore, since we have been justified by faith, bwe1 have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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. Not only that, but we frejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering gproduces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 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.

For jwhile we were still weak, at the right time kChrist died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous personthough perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die but lGod shows his love for us in that mwhile we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 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

What shall we say then? mAre we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can nwe who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us owho have been baptized pinto Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.

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. We know that wour old self8 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. For zone who has died ahas been set free9 from sin. Now bif we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 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,10 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

Or do you not know, brothers11for I am speaking to those who know the lawthat the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 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.12 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.

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. 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. 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.13

The Law and Sin

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. But sin, qseizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. rFor apart from the law, sin lies dead. 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.