1What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?2Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.3What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?4Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”5But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)6Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?7Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?”8Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
No One Is Righteous
9What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.10As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;11there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.12All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”13“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”14“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;16ruin and misery mark their ways,17and the way of peace they do not know.”18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Righteousness Through Faith
21But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.25God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—26he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.28For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,30since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.31Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold 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.