Romans 2:12–29; Romans 3:9–20; Romans 5:20; Romans 7; Romans 9:30–10:8

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 regarded1 as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically2 uncircumcised but keeps the law qwill condemn you who have rthe written code3 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.

No One Is Righteous

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:

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 being3 will be justified in his sight, since zthrough the law comes knowledge of sin.

20 Now ithe law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, jgrace abounded all the more,

Released from the Law

Or do you not know, brothers1for 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.2 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.3

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.

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What shall we say, then? sThat Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, ta righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel uwho pursued a law that would lead to righteousness1 vdid not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the wstumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

xBehold, I am laying in Zion ya stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;

zand whoever believes in him will not be aput to shame.

10 Brothers,2 my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that bthey have a zeal for God, cbut not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of dthe righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For eChrist is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.3

The Message of Salvation to All

For fMoses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that gthe person who does the commandments shall live by them. But hthe righteousness based on faith says, iDo not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down) or Who will descend into the jabyss? (that is, kto bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? lThe word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);