Romans 3

Romans Illustration

Romans

Greeting

Paul, aa servant1 of Christ Jesus, bcalled to be an apostle, cset apart for the gospel of God, which dhe promised beforehand ethrough his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, fwho was descended from David2 gaccording to the flesh and hwas declared to be the Son of God iin power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom jwe have received grace and kapostleship lto bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name mamong all the nations, including you who are ncalled to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

oGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Longing to Go to Rome

First, pI thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, qbecause your faith is proclaimed in all the world. rFor God is my witness, swhom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, tthat without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow uby God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For vI long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged wby each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,3 that xI have often intended to come to you (but ythus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some zharvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 aI am under obligation both to Greeks and to bbarbarians,4 both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 For dI am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is ethe power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew ffirst and also to gthe Greek. 17 For in it hthe righteousness of God is revealed ifrom faith for faith,5 jas it is written, The righteous shall live by faith.6

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,7 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-seeking1 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 regarded2 as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically3 uncircumcised but keeps the law qwill condemn you who have rthe written code4 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 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.

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 onewho 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

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, tour forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but unot before God. For what does the Scripture say? vAbraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Now wto the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but xbelieves in1 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

yBlessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,

and whose sins are covered;

blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not zcount his sin.

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 offspringnot 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, nI have made you the father of many nationsin 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, qSo 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

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.