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English Standard Version

Romans 3:1–4:25

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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,

d“That 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:

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

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? v“Abraham 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 in2 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:

y“Blessed 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 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 barrenness3 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.

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