Psalm 51; Psalm 52; Psalm 53; Romans 2

1 Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! 2 Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin! 3 I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins. 4 I have sinned against you - only against you - and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me; you are justified in condemning me. 5 I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful. 6 Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom. 7 Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; and though you have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again. 9 Close your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil. 10 Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence; do not take your holy spirit away from me. 12 Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you. 14 Spare my life, O God, and save me, and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness. 15 Help me to speak, Lord, and I will praise you. 16 You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. 18 O God, be kind to Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices and with our burnt offerings; and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
1 Why do you boast, great one, of your evil? God's faithfulness is eternal. 2 You make plans to ruin others; your tongue is like a sharp razor. You are always inventing lies. 3 You love evil more than good and falsehood more than truth. 4 You love to hurt people with your words, you liar! 5 So God will ruin you forever; he will take hold of you and snatch you from your home; he will remove you from the world of the living. 6 Righteous people will see this and be afraid; then they will laugh at you and say, 7 "Look, here is someone who did not depend on God for safety, but trusted instead in great wealth and looked for security in being wicked." 8 But I am like an olive tree growing in the house of God; I trust in his constant love forever and ever. 9 I will always thank you, God, for what you have done; in the presence of your people I will proclaim that you are good.
1 Fools say to themselves, "There is no God." They are all corrupt, and they have done terrible things; there is no one who does what is right. 2 God looks down from heaven at people to see if there are any who are wise, any who worship him. 3 But they have all turned away; they are all equally bad. Not one of them does what is right, not a single one. 4 "Don't they know?" God asks. "Are these evildoers ignorant? They live by robbing my people, and they never pray to me." 5 But then they will become terrified, as they have never been before, for God will scatter the bones of the enemies of his people. God has rejected them, and so Israel will totally defeat them. 6 How I pray that victory will come to Israel from Zion. How happy the people of Israel will be when God makes them prosperous again!
1 Do you, my friend, pass judgment on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are. For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself. 2 We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these. 3 But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgment on others! Do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4 Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent. 5 But you have a hard and stubborn heart, and so you are making your own punishment even greater on the Day when God's anger and righteous judgments will be revealed. 6 For God will reward each of us according to what we have done. 7 Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honor, and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life. 8 Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour out his anger and fury. 9 There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles. 10 But God will give glory, honor, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. 11 For God judges everyone by the same standard. 12 The Gentiles do not have the Law of Moses; they sin and are lost apart from the Law. The Jews have the Law; they sin and are judged by the Law. 13 For it is not by hearing the Law that people are put right with God, but by doing what the Law commands. 14 The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law. 15 Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them. 16 And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all. 17 What about you? You call yourself a Jew; you depend on the Law and boast about God; 18 you know what God wants you to do, and you have learned from the Law to choose what is right; 19 you are sure that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor for the foolish, and a teacher for the ignorant. You are certain that in the Law you have the full content of knowledge and of truth. 21 You teach others - why don't you teach yourself? You preach, "Do not steal" - but do you yourself steal? 22 You say, "Do not commit adultery" - but do you commit adultery? You detest idols - but do you rob temples? 23 You boast about having God's law - but do you bring shame on God by breaking his law? 24 The scripture says, "Because of you Jews, the Gentiles speak evil of God." 25 If you obey the Law, your circumcision is of value; but if you disobey the Law, you might as well never have been circumcised. 26 If the Gentile, who is not circumcised, obeys the commands of the Law, will not God regard him as though he were circumcised? 27 And so you Jews will be condemned by the Gentiles because you break the Law, even though you have it written down and are circumcised; but they obey the Law, even though they are not physically circumcised. 28 After all, who is a real Jew, truly circumcised? It is not the man who is a Jew on the outside, whose circumcision is a physical thing. 29 Rather, the real Jew is the person who is a Jew on the inside, that is, whose heart has been circumcised, and this is the work of God's Spirit, not of the written Law. Such a person receives praise from God, not from human beings.
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