Romans 3 (New International Reader's Version)

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God Is Faithful

1 Is there any advantage in being a Jew? Is there any value in being circumcised? 2 There is great value in every way! First of all, the Jews have been given the very words of God. 3 What if some Jews did not believe? Will the fact that they don't have faith keep God from being faithful? 4 Not at all! God is true, even though every human being is a liar. It is written, "You are right when you sentence me. You are fair when you judge me." #1(Psalm 51:4)#2 5 Doesn't the fact that we are wrong prove more clearly that God is right? Then what can we say? Can we say that God is not fair when he brings his anger down on us? As you can tell, I am just using human ways of thinking. 6 God is certainly fair! If he weren't, how could he judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, "When I lie, it becomes clearer that God is truthful. It makes his glory shine more brightly. Why then does he find me guilty of sin?" 8 Why not say, "Let's do evil things so that good things will happen"? Some people actually lie by reporting that this is what we say. They are the ones who should be found guilty.

No One Is Right With God

9 What should we say then? Are we Jews any better? Not at all! We have already claimed that Jews are sinners. The same is true of those who aren't Jews. 10 It is written, "No one is right with God, no one at all. 11 No one understands. No one trusts in God. 12 All of them have turned away. They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all." #1(Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20)#2 13 "Their throats are like open graves. With their tongues they tell lies." #1(Psalm 5:9)#2 "The words from their lips are like the poison of a snake." #1(Psalm 140:3)#2 14 "Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness." #1(Psalm 10:7)#2 15 "They run quickly to commit murder. 16 They leave a trail of failure and pain. 17 They do not know the way of peace." #1(Isaiah 59:7,8)#2 18 "They don't have any respect for God." #1(Psalm 36:1)#2 19 What the law says, it says to those who are ruled by the law. Its purpose is to shut every mouth and make the whole world accountable to God. 20 So it can't be said that anyone will be made right with God by obeying the law. Not at all! The law makes us more aware of our sin.

Becoming Right With God

21 But now God has shown us how to become right with him. The Law and the Prophets give witness to this. It has nothing to do with obeying the law. 22 We are made right with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That happens to all who believe. It is no different for the Jews than for anyone else. 23 Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory. 24 The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free. 25 God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood. God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them. 26 God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus. 27 So who can brag? No one! Are people saved by obeying the law? Not at all! They are saved because of their faith. 28 We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith. They are not saved by obeying the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Isn't he also the God of those who aren't Jews? Yes, he is their God too. 30 There is only one God. When those who are circumcised believe in him, he makes them right with himself. When those who are not circumcised believe in him, he also makes them right with himself. 31 Does faith make the law useless? Not at all! We agree with the law.
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