God’s faithfulness and justice
1So what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Or what’s the benefit of circumcision? 2Plenty in every way. First of all, the Jews were trusted with God’s revelations. 3What does it matter, then, if some weren’t faithful? Their lack of faith won’t cancel God’s faithfulness, will it? 4Absolutely not! God must be true, even if every human being is a liar, as it is written:
So that it can show that you are right in your words;
and you will triumph when you are judged.#Ps 51:4
5But if our lack of righteousness confirms God’s justice, what will we say? That God, who brings wrath upon us, isn’t just (I’m speaking rhetorically)? 6Absolutely not! If God weren’t just, how could he judge the world? 7But if God’s truth is demonstrated by my lie and it increases his glory, why am I still judged as a sinner? 8Why not say, "Let’s do evil things so that good things will come out of it"? (Some people who slander us accuse us of saying that, but these people deserve criticism.)
All are under the power of sin
9So what are we saying? Are we better off? Not at all. We have already stated the charge: both Jews and Greeks are all under the power of sin. 10As it is written,
There is no righteous person, not even one.
11There is no one who understands.
There is no one who looks for God.
12They all turned away.
They have become worthless together.
There is no one who shows kindness.
There is not even one.#Ps 14:1-3
13Their throat is a grave that has been opened.
They are deceitful with their tongues,
and the poison of vipers is under their lips.#Ps 5:9
14Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.#Ps 10:7
15Their feet are quick to shed blood;
16destruction and misery are in their ways;
17and they don’t know the way of peace.#Isa 59:7-8
18There is no fear of God in their view of the world.#Ps 36:1
19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, in order to shut every mouth and make it so the whole world has to answer to God. 20It follows that no human being will be treated as righteous in his presence by doing what the Law says, because the knowledge of sin comes through the Law.
God’s righteousness through faithfulness of Christ
21But now God’s righteousness has been revealed apart from the Law, which is confirmed by the Law and the Prophets. 22God’s righteousness comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith in him. There’s no distinction. 23All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, 24but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus. 25Through his faithfulness, God displayed Jesus as the place of sacrifice where mercy is found by means of his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness in passing over sins that happened before, 26during the time of God’s patient tolerance. He also did this to demonstrate that he is righteous in the present time, and to treat the one who has faith in Jesus as righteous.
27What happens to our bragging? It’s thrown out. With which law? With what we have accomplished under the Law? 28No, not at all, but through the law of faith. We consider that a person is treated as righteous by faith, apart from what is accomplished under the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Isn’t God the God of Gentiles also? Yes, God is also the God of Gentiles. 30Since God is one, then the one who makes the circumcised righteous by faith will also make the one who isn’t circumcised righteous through faith. 31Do we then cancel the Law through this faith? Absolutely not! Instead, we confirm the Law.