1What good is it to be a Jew? What good is it to be circumcised? 2It is good in a lot of ways! First of all, God's messages were spoken to the Jews. 3It is true that some of them did not believe the message. But does this mean that God cannot be trusted, just because they did not have faith? 4#Psa 51.4 (LXX)No, indeed! God tells the truth, even if everyone else is a liar. The Scriptures say about God,
“Your words
will be proved true,
and in court
you will win your case.”
5If our evil deeds show how right God is, then what can we say? Is it wrong for God to become angry and punish us? What a foolish thing to ask. 6But the answer is, “No.” Otherwise, how could God judge the world? 7Since your lies bring great honour to God by showing how truthful he is, you may ask why God still says you are a sinner. 8You might as well say, “Let's do something evil, so that something good will come of it!” Some people even claim that we are saying this. But God is fair and will judge them as well.
No one is good
9What does all this mean? Does it mean that we Jews are better off#3.9 better off: Or “worse off”. than the Gentiles? No, it doesn't! Jews, as well as Gentiles, are ruled by sin, just as I have said. 10#Psa 14.1–3 (LXX)Psa 53.1–3 (LXX)The Scriptures tell us,
“No one is acceptable to God!
11Not one of them understands
or even searches for God.
12They have all turned away
and are worthless.
There isn't one person
who does right.
13 # Psa 5.9 (LXX) Psa 140.3 Their words are like
an open pit,
and their tongues are good
only for telling lies.
Each word is as deadly
as the fangs of a snake,
14 # Psa 10.7 (LXX) and they say nothing
but bitter curses.
15 # Isa 59.78 These people quickly
become violent.
16Wherever they go,
they leave ruin
and destruction.
17They don't know how
to live in peace.
18 # Psa 36.1 They don't even fear God.”
19We know that everything in the Law was written for those who are under its power. The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty. 20#Psa 143.2Gal 2.16God doesn't accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is to point out our sin.
God's way of accepting people
21Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets#3.21 The Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament. tell how we become acceptable, and it isn't by obeying the Law of Moses. 22#Gal 2.16God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. 23All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. 24But God treats us much better than we deserve,#3.24 treats us much better than we deserve: The Greek word charis, traditionally rendered “grace”, is translated here and in other places in the CEV to express the overwhelming kindness of God. and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. 25-26God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.
27What is left for us to boast about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. 28We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. 29Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! 30#Deut 6.4Gal 3.20There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. 31Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful.
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