1Is there any advantage in being a Jew? Is there any value in being circumcised?2There is great value in every way! First of all, the Jews have been given the very words of God.3What if some Jews did not believe? Will the fact that they don't have faith keep God from being faithful?4Not at all! God is true, even though every human being is a liar. It is written, “You are right when you sentence me. You are fair when you judge me.” (Ps 51:4)5Doesn't the fact that we are wrong prove more clearly that God is right? Then what can we say? Can we say that God is not fair when he brings his anger down on us? As you can tell, I am just using human ways of thinking.6God is certainly fair! If he weren't, how could he judge the world?7Someone might argue, “When I lie, it becomes clearer that God is truthful. It makes his glory shine more brightly. Why then does he find me guilty of sin?”8Why not say, “Let's do evil things so that good things will happen”? Some people actually lie by reporting that this is what we say. They are the ones who should be found guilty.
No One Is Right With God
9What should we say then? Are we Jews any better? Not at all! We have already claimed that Jews are sinners. The same is true of those who aren't Jews.10It is written, “No one is right with God, no one at all.11No one understands. No one trusts in God.12All of them have turned away. They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all.” (Ps 14:1; Ps 53:1; Ec 7:20)13“Their throats are like open graves. With their tongues they tell lies.” “The words from their lips are like the poison of a snake.” (Ps 5:9; Ps 140:3)14“Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness.” (Ps 10:7)15“They run quickly to commit murder.16They leave a trail of failure and pain.17They do not know the way of peace.” (Isa 59:7)18“They don't have any respect for God.” (Ps 36:1)19What the law says, it says to those who are ruled by the law. Its purpose is to shut every mouth and make the whole world accountable to God.20So it can't be said that anyone will be made right with God by obeying the law. Not at all! The law makes us more aware of our sin.
Becoming Right With God
21But now God has shown us how to become right with him. The Law and the Prophets give witness to this. It has nothing to do with obeying the law.22We are made right with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That happens to all who believe. It is no different for the Jews than for anyone else.23Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory.24The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free.25God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood. God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them.26God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus.27So who can brag? No one! Are people saved by obeying the law? Not at all! They are saved because of their faith.28We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith. They are not saved by obeying the law.29Is God the God of Jews only? Isn't he also the God of those who aren't Jews? Yes, he is their God too.30There is only one God. When those who are circumcised believe in him, he makes them right with himself. When those who are not circumcised believe in him, he also makes them right with himself.31Does faith make the law useless? Not at all! We agree with the law.
English Standard Version
God’s Righteousness Upheld
1Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?2Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. (De 4:8; Ps 147:19; Joh 4:22; Ac 7:38)3What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? (Ro 9:6; Ro 10:16; 2Ti 2:13; Heb 4:2)4By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” (Job 9:32; Ps 51:4; Ps 62:9; Ps 116:11; Joh 8:26; Ro 3:7)5But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) (Ro 2:5; Ro 6:19; 1Co 9:8; 1Co 15:32; Ga 3:15)6By no means! For then how could God judge the world? (Ge 18:25; Job 8:3; Ro 2:16)7But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? (Ro 9:19)8And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. (Ro 6:1; Ro 6:15)
No One Is Righteous
9What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, (Pr 20:9; Ro 1:18; Ro 2:1; Ro 3:19; Ro 3:23; Ro 11:32; Ga 3:22)10as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; (Ps 14:1; Ps 53:1)11no one understands; no one seeks for God.12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”13“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” (Ps 5:9; Ps 140:3; Jer 5:16)14“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” (Ps 10:7)15“Their feet are swift to shed blood; (Pr 1:16; Isa 59:7)16in their paths are ruin and misery,17and the way of peace they have not known.” (Lu 1:79)18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Ps 36:1)19Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. (Job 5:16; Ps 63:11; Ps 107:42; Eze 16:63; Joh 10:34; Joh 15:25; Ro 1:20; Ro 2:1; Ro 3:9)20For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Ps 143:2; Ac 13:39; Ro 4:15; Ro 5:13; Ro 5:20; Ro 7:7; Ga 2:16)
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— (Joh 5:46; Ac 10:43; Ro 1:2; Ro 1:17; Ro 16:26; 2Ti 1:10)22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: (Ro 4:5; Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28; Col 3:11; 2Ti 3:15)23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Ro 3:9)24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Ac 15:11; Ro 4:4; Ro 4:16; 1Co 1:30; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Tit 3:7; Heb 9:15)25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Ac 17:30; Ro 2:4; Ro 5:9; Eph 1:9; Eph 2:13; 1Jo 2:2)26It 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.27Then 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. (Ac 13:39; Ro 2:17; Ro 2:23; Ro 4:2; 1Co 1:29; Eph 2:9; 2Ti 1:9)28For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Jas 2:18)29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, (Ro 9:24; Ro 10:12; Ro 15:9)30since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. (Ro 2:26; Ro 4:9; Ro 10:12; Ga 3:8; Ga 3:20)31Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.