So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Considerable in every way. First, they were entrusted with the very words of God. What then? If some were unfaithful, will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Absolutely not! Let God be true, even though everyone is a liar, as it is written:
That you may be justified in your words
and triumph when you judge.
But if our unrighteousness highlights God’s righteousness, what are we to say? I am using a human argument: Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world? But if by my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!
What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one.
There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away;
all alike have become worthless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.
Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
and the path of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment. For no one will be justified in his sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets. The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented him as an atoning sacrifice in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.