1 THEN WHAT advantage remains to the Jew? [How is he favored?] Or what is the value or benefit of circumcision?
2 Much in every way. To begin with, to the Jews were entrusted the oracles (the brief communications, the intentions, the utterances) of God. [Ps. 147:19.]
3 What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]?
4 By no means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men]. [Ps. 51:4.]
5 But if our unrighteousness thus establishes and exhibits the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust and wrong to inflict His wrath upon us [Jews]? I speak in a [purely] human way.
6 By no means! Otherwise, how could God judge the world?
7 But [you say] if through my falsehood God's integrity is magnified and advertised and abounds to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?
8 And why should we not do evil that good may come?–as some slanderously charge us with teaching. Such [false teaching] is justly condemned by them.
9 Well then, are we [Jews] superior and better off than they? No, not at all. We have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), are under sin [held down by and subject to its power and control].
10 As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. [Ps. 14:3.]
11 No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God. [Ps. 14:2.]
12 All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one!
13 Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously). The venom of asps is beneath their lips. [Ps. 5:9; 140:3.]
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. [Ps. 10:7.]
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood.
16 Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways.
17 And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize]. [Isa. 59:7, 8.]
18 There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes. [Ps. 36:1.]
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God.
20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].
21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,
22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,
23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.
24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
25 Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.
26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of [our] pride and [our] boasting? It is excluded (banished, ruled out entirely). On what principle? [On the principle] of doing good deeds? No, but on the principle of faith.
28 For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.]
29 Or is God merely [the God] of Jews? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30 Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ].
31 Do we then by [this] faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.