Romans 4; Romans 5; Romans 6; Romans 7

1 So what can we say that Abraham, the father of our people, learned about faith? 2 If Abraham was made right by the things he did, he had a reason to brag. But this is not God's view, 3 because the Scripture says, "Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham's faith, and that faith made him right with God." 4 When people work, their pay is not given as a gift, but as something earned. 5 But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him. 6 David said the same thing. He said that people are truly blessed when God, without paying attention to good deeds, makes people right with himself. 7 "Happy are they whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. 8 Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty." 9 Is this blessing only for those who are circumcised or also for those who are not circumcised? We have already said that God accepted Abraham's faith and that faith made him right with God. 10 So how did this happen? Did God accept Abraham before or after he was circumcised? It was before his circumcision. 11 Abraham was circumcised to show that he was right with God through faith before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all those who believe but are not circumcised; he is the father of all believers who are accepted as being right with God. 12 And Abraham is also the father of those who have been circumcised and who live following the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 Abrahamn and his descendants received the promise that they would get the whole world. He did not receive that promise through the law, but through being right with God by his faith. 14 If people could receive what God promised by following the law, then faith is worthless. And God's promise to Abraham is worthless, 15 because the law can only bring God's anger. But if there is no law, there is nothing to disobey. 16 So people receive God's promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be a free gift. Then all of Abraham's children can have that promise. It is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 17 As it is written in the Scriptures: "I am making you a father of many nations." This is true before God, the God Abraham believed, the God who gives life to the dead and who creates something out of nothing. 18 There was no hope that Abraham would have children. But Abraham believed God and continued hoping, and so he became the father of many nations. As God told him, "Your descendants also will be too many to count." 19 Abraham was almost a hundred years old, much past the age for having children, and Sarah could not have children. Abraham thought about all this, but his faith in God did not become weak. 20 He never doubted that God would keep his promise, and he never stopped believing. He grew stronger in his faith and gave praise to God. 21 Abraham felt sure that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 So, "God accepted Abraham's faith, and that faith made him right with God." 23 Those words ("God accepted Abraham's faith") were written not only for Abraham 24 but also for us. God will accept us also because we believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 Jesus was given to die for our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.
1 Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 who has brought us into that blessing of God's grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God's glory. 3 We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. 4 And patience produces character, and character produces hope. 5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. 6 When we were unable to help ourselves, at the moment of our need, Christ died for us, although we were living against God. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. 8 But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. 9 So through Christ we will surely be saved from God's anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ's death. 10 While we were God's enemies, he made friends with us through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son's life. 11 And not only that, but now we are also very happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we are now God's friends again. 12 Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die -- because everyone sinned. 13 Sin was in the world before the law of Moses, but sin is not counted against us as breaking a command when there is no law. 14 But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, everyone had to die, even those who had not sinned by breaking a command, as Adam had. Adam was like the One who was coming in the future. 15 But God's free gift is not like Adam's sin. Many people died because of the sin of that one man. But the grace from God was much greater; many people received God's gift of life by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16 After Adam sinned once, he was judged guilty. But the gift of God is different. God's free gift came after many sins, and it makes people right with God. 17 One man sinned, and so death ruled all people because of that one man. But now those people who accept God's full grace and the great gift of being made right with him will surely have true life and rule through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 So as one sin of Adam brought the punishment of death to all people, one good act that Christ did makes all people right with God. And that brings true life for all. 19 One man disobeyed God, and many became sinners. In the same way, one man obeyed God, and many will be made right. 20 The law came to make sin worse. But when sin grew worse, God's grace increased. 21 Sin once used death to rule us, but God gave people more of his grace so that grace could rule by making people right with him. And this brings life forever through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? 2 No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin? 3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. 4 When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life. 5 Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did. 6 We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin. 7 Anyone who has died is made free from sin's control. 8 If we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 Christ was raised from the dead, and we know that he cannot die again. Death has no power over him now. 10 Yes, when Christ died, he died to defeat the power of sin one time -- enough for all time. He now has a new life, and his new life is with God. 11 In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus. 12 So, do not let sin control your life here on earth so that you do what your sinful self wants to do. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to serve sin, as things to be used in doing evil. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have died and now live. Offer the parts of your body to God to be used in doing good. 14 Sin will not be your master, because you are not under law but under God's grace. 15 So what should we do? Should we sin because we are under grace and not under law? No! 16 Surely you know that when you give yourselves like slaves to obey someone, then you are really slaves of that person. The person you obey is your master. You can follow sin, which brings spiritual death, or you can obey God, which makes you right with him. 17 In the past you were slaves to sin -- sin controlled you. But thank God, you fully obeyed the things that you were taught. 18 You were made free from sin, and now you are slaves to goodness. 19 I use this example because this is hard for you to understand. In the past you offered the parts of your body to be slaves to sin and evil; you lived only for evil. In the same way now you must give yourselves to be slaves of goodness. Then you will live only for God. 20 In the past you were slaves to sin, and goodness did not control you. 21 You did evil things, and now you are ashamed of them. Those things only bring death. 22 But now you are free from sin and have become slaves of God. This brings you a life that is only for God, and this gives you life forever. 23 When people sin, they earn what sin pays -- death. But God gives us a free gift -- life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Brothers and sisters, all of you understand the law of Moses. So surely you know that the law rules over people only while they are alive. 2 For example, a woman must stay married to her husband as long as he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law of marriage. 3 But if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, the law says she is guilty of adultery. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law of marriage. Then if she marries another man, she is not guilty of adultery. 4 In the same way, my brothers and sisters, your old selves died, and you became free from the law through the body of Christ. This happened so that you might belong to someone else -- the One who was raised from the dead -- and so that we might be used in service to God. 5 In the past, we were ruled by our sinful selves. The law made us want to do sinful things that controlled our bodies, so the things we did were bringing us death. 6 In the past, the law held us like prisoners, but our old selves died, and we were made free from the law. So now we serve God in a new way with the Spirit, and not in the old way with written rules. 7 You might think I am saying that sin and the law are the same thing. That is not true. But the law was the only way I could learn what sin meant. I would never have known what it means to want to take something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, "You must not want to take your neighbor's things." 8 And sin found a way to use that command and cause me to want all kinds of things I should not want. But without the law, sin has no power. 9 I was alive before I knew the law. But when the law's command came to me, then sin began to live, 10 and I died. The command was meant to bring life, but for me it brought death. 11 Sin found a way to fool me by using the command to make me die. 12 So the law is holy, and the command is holy and right and good. 13 Does this mean that something that is good brought death to me? No! Sin used something that is good to bring death to me. This happened so that I could see what sin is really like; the command was used to show that sin is very evil. 14 We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not spiritual since sin rules me as if I were its slave. 15 I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. 16 And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law is good. 17 But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. 18 Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me -- I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them. 19 I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. 20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things. 21 So I have learned this rule: When I want to do good, evil is there with me. 22 In my mind, I am happy with God's law. 23 But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts. That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. 24 What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? 25 I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So in my mind I am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.