Romans 3:5-15 (The Message)

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5 But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God's rightdoing, shouldn't we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don't even make a dent in his good words, isn't it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. 6 The answer to such questions is no, a most emphatic No! How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn't do the straightening? 7 It's simply perverse to say, "If my lies serve to show off God's truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I'm doing God a favor." 8 Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, "The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let's just do it!" That's pure slander, as I'm sure you'll agree. We're All in the Same Sinking Boat 9 So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it: 10 There's nobody living right, not even one, 11 nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. 12 They've all taken the wrong turn; they've all wandered down blind alleys. No one's living right; I can't find a single one. 13 Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mud slides. Every word they speak is tinged with poison. 14 They open their mouths and pollute the air. 15 They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
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