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1So, do Jews have anything that other people do not have? Is there anything special about being circumcised? 2Yes, of course, there is in every way. The most important thing is this: God trusted the Jews with his teachings. 3If some Jews were not faithful to him, will that stop God from doing what he promised? 4No! God will continue to be true even when every person is false. As the Scriptures say:
“So you will be shown to be right when you speak,
and you will win your case.”#Psalm 51:4
5When we do wrong, that shows more clearly that God is right. So can we say that God is wrong to punish us? (I am talking as people might talk.) 6No! If God could not punish us, he could not judge the world.
7A person might say, “When I lie, it really gives him glory, because my lie shows God’s truth. So why am I judged a sinner?” 8It would be the same to say, “We should do evil so that good will come.” Some people find fault with us and say we teach this, but they are wrong and deserve the punishment they will receive.
All People Are Guilty
9So are we Jews better than others? No! We have already said that Jews and those who are not Jews are all guilty of sin. 10As the Scriptures say:
“There is no one who always does what is right,
not even one.
11There is no one who understands.
There is no one who looks to God for help.
12All have turned away.
Together, everyone has become useless.
There is no one who does anything good;
there is not even one.”#Psalm 14:1–3
13“Their throats are like open graves;
they use their tongues for telling lies.”#Psalm 5:9
“Their words are like snake poison.”#Psalm 140:3
14“Their mouths are full of cursing and hate.” #Psalm 10:7
15“They are always ready to kill people.
16Everywhere they go they cause ruin and misery.
17They don’t know how to live in peace.”#Isaiah 59:7–8
18“They have no fear of God.”#Psalm 36:1
19We know that the law’s commands are for those who have the law. This stops all excuses and brings the whole world under God’s judgment, 20because no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.
How God Makes People Right
21But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. 22God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: 23Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, 24and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death. This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. 26And God gave Jesus to show today that he does what is right. God did this so he could judge rightly and so he could make right any person who has faith in Jesus.
27So do we have a reason to brag about ourselves? No! And why not? It is the way of faith that stops all bragging, not the way of trying to obey the law. 28A person is made right with God through faith, not through obeying the law. 29Is God only the God of the Jews? Is he not also the God of those who are not Jews? 30Of course he is, because there is only one God. He will make Jews right with him by their faith, and he will also make those who are not Jews right with him through their faith. 31So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? No! Faith causes us to be what the law truly wants.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.