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Romans 2 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. 1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
2 But God isn't so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you've done. 2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
3 You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? 3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
4 Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change. 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
5 You're not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it's going to blaze hot and high, God's fiery and righteous judgment. 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 Make no mistake: In the end you get what's coming to you - 6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
7 Real Life for those who work on God's side, 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
8 but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire! 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
9 If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you're from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
10 But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
11 Being a Jew won't give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 If you sin without knowing what you're doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you're doing, that's a different story entirely. 12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
13 Merely hearing God's law is a waste of your time if you don't do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
14 When outsiders who have never heard of God's law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,
15 They show that God's law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God's yes and no, right and wrong. 15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
16 Their response to God's yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences. 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
17 If you're brought up Jewish, don't assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you're an insider to God's revelation, 17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God;
18 a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines! 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law;
19 I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know God's revealed Word inside and out, 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,
20 feel qualified to guide others through their blind alleys and dark nights and confused emotions to God. 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--
21 While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you? I'm quite serious. While preaching "Don't steal!" are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you? 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself ? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?
22 The same with adultery. The same with idolatry. 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
23 You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law. 23 You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?
24 The line from Scripture, "It's because of you Jews that the outsiders are down on God," shows it's an old problem that isn't going to go away. 24 As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
25 Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God's law. But if you don't, it's worse than not being circumcised. 25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.
26 The reverse is also true: The uncircumcised who keep God's ways are as good as the circumcised - 26 If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?
27 in fact, better. Better to keep God's law uncircumcised than break it circumcised. 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
28 Don't you see: It's not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew. 28 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.
29 You become a Jew by who you are. It's the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin, that makes a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics. 29 No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.