Psalm 54; Psalm 55; Psalm 56; Romans 3

1 Save me by your power, O God; set me free by your might! 2 Hear my prayer, O God; listen to my words! 3 Proud people are coming to attack me; cruel people are trying to kill me - those who do not care about God. 4 But God is my helper. The Lord is my defender. 5 May God use their own evil to punish my enemies. He will destroy them because he is faithful. 6 I will gladly offer you a sacrifice, O Lord; I will give you thanks because you are good. 7 You have rescued me from all my troubles, and I have seen my enemies defeated.
1 Hear my prayer, O God; don't turn away from my plea! 2 Listen to me and answer me; I am worn out by my worries. 3 I am terrified by the threats of my enemies, crushed by the oppression of the wicked. They bring trouble on me; they are angry with me and hate me. 4 I am terrified, and the terrors of death crush me. 5 I am gripped by fear and trembling; I am overcome with horror. 6 I wish I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and find rest. 7 I would fly far away and make my home in the desert. 8 I would hurry and find myself a shelter from the raging wind and the storm. 9 Confuse the speech of my enemies, O Lord! I see violence and riots in the city, 10 surrounding it day and night, filling it with crime and trouble. 11 There is destruction everywhere; the streets are full of oppression and fraud. 12 If it were an enemy making fun of me, I could endure it; if it were an opponent boasting over me, I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, my companion, my colleague and close friend. 14 We had intimate talks with each other and worshiped together in the Temple. 15 May my enemies die before their time; may they go down alive into the world of the dead! Evil is in their homes and in their hearts. 16 But I call to the Lord God for help, and he will save me. 17 Morning, noon, and night my complaints and groans go up to him, and he will hear my voice. 18 He will bring me safely back from the battles that I fight against so many enemies. 19 God, who has ruled from eternity, will hear me and defeat them; for they refuse to change, and they do not fear him. 20 My former companion attacked his friends; he broke his promises. 21 His words were smoother than cream, but there was hatred in his heart; his words were as soothing as oil, but they cut like sharp swords. 22 Leave your troubles with the Lord, and he will defend you; he never lets honest people be defeated. 23 But you, O God, will bring those murderers and liars to their graves before half their life is over. As for me, I will trust in you.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, because I am under attack; my enemies persecute me all the time. 2 All day long my opponents attack me. There are so many who fight against me. 3 When I am afraid, O Lord Almighty, I put my trust in you. 4 I trust in God and am not afraid; I praise him for what he has promised. What can a mere human being do to me? 5 My enemies make trouble for me all day long; they are always thinking up some way to hurt me! 6 They gather in hiding places and watch everything I do, hoping to kill me. 7 Punish them, O God, for their evil; defeat those people in your anger! 8 You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears. Aren't they listed in your book? 9 The day I call to you, my enemies will be turned back. I know this: God is on my side - 10 the Lord, whose promises I praise. 11 In him I trust, and I will not be afraid. What can a mere human being do to me? 12 O God, I will offer you what I have promised; I will give you my offering of thanksgiving, 13 because you have rescued me from death and kept me from defeat. And so I walk in the presence of God, in the light that shines on the living.
1 Do the Jews then have any advantage over the Gentiles? Or is there any value in being circumcised? 2 Much, indeed, in every way! In the first place, God trusted his message to the Jews. 3 But what if some of them were not faithful? Does this mean that God will not be faithful? 4 Certainly not! God must be true, even though all human beings are liars. As the scripture says, "You must be shown to be right when you speak; you must win your case when you are being tried." 5 But what if our doing wrong serves to show up more clearly God's doing right? Can we say that God does wrong when he punishes us? (This would be the natural question to ask.) 6 By no means! If God is not just, how can he judge the world? 7 But what if my untruth serves God's glory by making his truth stand out more clearly? Why should I still be condemned as a sinner? 8 Why not say, then, "Let us do evil so that good may come"? Some people, indeed, have insulted me by accusing me of saying this very thing! They will be condemned, as they should be. 9 Well then, are we Jews in any better condition than the Gentiles? Not at all! I have already shown that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say: "There is no one who is righteous, 11 no one who is wise or who worships God. 12 All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong; no one does what is right, not even one. 13 Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake's poison, from their lips; 14 their speech is filled with bitter curses. 15 They are quick to hurt and kill; 16 they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. 17 They have not known the path of peace, 18 nor have they learned reverence for God." 19 Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God's judgment. 20 For no one is put right in God's sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make us know that we have sinned. 21 But now God's way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23 everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. 24 But by the free gift of God's grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. 25 God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people's sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people's sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus. 27 What, then, can we boast about? Nothing! And what is the reason for this? Is it that we obey the Law? No, but that we believe. 28 For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands. 29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Of course he is. 30 God is one, and he will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their faith, and will put the Gentiles right through their faith. 31 Does this mean that by this faith we do away with the Law? No, not at all; instead, we uphold the Law.
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