1What should we say about those things? What did our father Abraham discover about being right with God?2Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could brag about it. But he couldn't brag to God.3What do we find in Scripture? It says, "Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham's faith, and so his faith made him right with God."(Genesis 15:6)4When a man works, his pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to him.5But things are different with God. He makes evil people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God.6King David says the same thing. He tells us how blessed some people are. God makes those people right with himself. But they don't have to do anything in return. David says,7"Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven. Blessed are those whose sins are taken away.8Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord never counts against him." (Psalm 32:1,2)9Is that blessing only for those who are circumcised? Or is it also for those who are not circumcised? We have been saying that God accepted Abraham's faith, and so his faith made him right with God.10When did it happen? Was it after Abraham was circumcised, or before? It was before he was circumcised, not after!11He was circumcised as a sign of the covenant God had made with him. It showed that his faith had made him right with God before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all believers who have not been circumcised. God accepts their faith. So their faith makes them right with him.12Abraham is also the father of the circumcised who believe. So just being circumcised is not enough. Those who are circumcised must also follow the steps of our father Abraham. He had faith before he was circumcised.13Abraham and his family received a promise. God promised that Abraham would receive the world. It would not come to him because he obeyed the law. It would come because of his faith, which made him right with God.14Do those who obey the law receive the promise? If they do, faith would have no value. God's promise would be worthless.15The law brings God's anger. Where there is no law, the law can't be broken.16The promise is based on God's grace. The promise comes by faith. All of Abraham's children will certainly receive the promise. And it is not only for those who are ruled by the law. Those who have the same faith that Abraham had are also included. He is the father of us all.17It is written, "I have made you a father of many nations."(Genesis 17:5) God considers Abraham to be our father. The God that Abraham believed in gives life to the dead. Abraham's God also speaks of things that do not exist as if they do exist.18When there was no reason for hope, Abraham believed because he had hope. He became the father of many nations, exactly as God had promised. God said, "That is how many children you will have."(Genesis 15:5)19Without becoming weak in his faith, Abraham accepted the fact that he was past the time when he could have children. At that time he was about 100 years old. He also realized that Sarah was too old to have children.20But he kept believing in God's promise. He became strong in his faith. He gave glory to God.21He was absolutely sure that God had the power to do what he had promised.22That's why "God accepted Abraham because he believed. So his faith made him right with God."23The words "God accepted Abraham's faith" were written not only for Abraham.24They were written also for us. We believe in the God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. So God will accept our faith and make us right with himself.25Jesus was handed over to die for our sins. He was raised to life in order to make us right with God.
1We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ.2Through faith in Jesus we have received God's grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God's glory.3And that's not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us the strength to go on.4The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope.5And hope will never let us down. God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us.6At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own.7It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person.8But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9The blood of Christ has made us right with God. So we are even more sure that Jesus will save us from God's anger.10Once we were God's enemies. But we have been brought back to him because his Son has died for us. Now that God has brought us back, we are even more secure. We know that we will be saved because Christ lives.11And that is not all. We are full of joy in God because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of him, God has brought us back to himself.12Sin entered the world because one man sinned. And death came because of sin. Everyone sinned, so death came to all people.13Before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not judged when there is no law.14Death ruled from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. Death ruled even over those who did not sin as Adam did. He broke God's command. But he also became a pattern of the One who was going to come.15God's gift is different from Adam's sin. Many people died because of the sin of that one man. But it was even more sure that God's grace would also come through one man. That man is Jesus Christ. God's gift of grace was more than enough for the whole world.16The result of God's gift is different from the result of Adam's sin. God judged one sin. That brought guilt. But after many sins, God's gift made people right with him.17One man sinned, and death ruled because of his sin. But we are even more sure of what will happen because of what the one man, Jesus Christ, has done. Those who receive the rich supply of God's grace will rule with Christ in his kingdom. They have received God's gift and have been made right with him.18One man's sin brought guilt to all people. So also one right act made all people right with God. And all who are right with God will live.19Many people were made sinners because one man did not obey. But one man did obey. That is why many people will be made right with God.20The law was given so that sin would increase. But where sin increased, God's grace increased even more.21Sin ruled because of death. So also grace rules in the lives of those who are right with God. The grace of God brings eternal life because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done.
1What should we say then? Should we keep on sinning so that God's grace can increase?2Not at all! As far as sin is concerned, we are dead. So how can we keep on sinning?3All of us were baptized into Christ Jesus. Don't you know that we were baptized into his death?4By being baptized, we were buried with Christ into his death. Christ has been raised from the dead by the Father's glory. And like Christ we also can live a new life.5By being baptized, we have been joined with him in his death. We will certainly also be joined with him in his resurrection.6We know that what we used to be was nailed to the cross with him. That happened so our sinful bodies would lose their power. We are no longer slaves of sin.7Those who have died have been set free from sin.8We died with Christ. So we believe that we will also live with him.9We know that Christ was raised from the dead and will never die again. Death doesn't control him anymore.10When he died, he died once and for all time as far as sin is concerned. Now that he lives, he lives as far as God is concerned.11In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead as far as sin is concerned. Now that you believe in Christ Jesus, consider yourselves to be alive as far as God is concerned.12So don't let sin rule your body, which is going to die. Don't obey its evil longings.13Don't give the parts of your body to serve sin. Don't let them be used to do evil. Instead, give yourselves to God. You have been brought from death to life. Give the parts of your body to him to do what is right.14Sin will not be your master. Law does not rule you. God's grace has set you free.15What should we say then? Should we sin because we are not ruled by law but by God's grace? Not at all!16Don't you know that when you give yourselves to obey someone you become that person's slave? You can be slaves of sin. Then you will die. Or you can be slaves who obey God. Then you will live a godly life.17You used to be slaves of sin. But thank God that with your whole heart you obeyed the teachings you were given!18You have been set free from sin. You have become slaves to right living.19Because you are human, you find this hard to understand. So I have said it in a way that will help you understand it. You used to give the parts of your body to be slaves to unclean living. You were becoming more and more evil. Now give your bodies to be slaves to right living. Then you will become holy.20Once you were slaves of sin. At that time right living did not control you.21What benefit did you gain from doing the things you are now ashamed of? Those things lead to death!22You have been set free from sin. God has made you his slaves. The benefit you gain leads to holy living. And the end result is eternal life.23When you sin, the pay you get is death. But God gives you the gift of eternal life because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.
1Brothers and sisters, I am speaking to you who know the law. Don't you know that the law has authority over us only as long as we are alive?2For example, by law a married woman is joined to her husband as long as he is living. But suppose her husband dies. Then the marriage law no longer applies to her.3But suppose that married woman gets married again while her husband is still alive. Then she is called a woman who commits adultery. But suppose her husband dies. Then she is free from that law. She is not guilty of adultery even if she marries another man.4My brothers and sisters, when Christ died you also died as far as the law is concerned. Then it became possible for you to belong to him. He was raised from the dead. Now our lives can be useful to God.5Our sinful nature used to control us. The law stirred up sinful longings in our bodies. So the things we did resulted in death.6But now we have died to what used to control us. We have been set free from the law. Now we serve in the new way of the Holy Spirit. We no longer serve in the old way of the written law.7What should we say then? That the law is sin? Not at all! I wouldn't have known what sin was unless the law had told me. The law said, "Do not want what belongs to other people."(Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21) If the law hadn't said that, I would not have known what it was like to want what belonged to others.8But the commandment gave sin an opportunity. Sin caused me to want all kinds of things that belonged to others. No one can break a law that doesn't exist.9Before I knew about the law, I was alive. But then the commandment came. Sin came to life, and I died.10I found that the commandment that was supposed to bring life actually brought death.11When the commandment gave sin the opportunity, sin tricked me. It used the commandment to put me to death.12So the law is holy. The commandment also is holy and right and good.13Did what is good cause me to die? Not at all! Sin had to be recognized for what it really is. So it produced death in me through what was good. Because of the commandment, sin became totally sinful.14We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin.15I don't understand what I do. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do.16I do what I don't want to do. So I agree that the law is good.17As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.18I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can't.19I don't do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don't want to do.20I do what I don't want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.21Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.22Deep inside me I find joy in God's law.23But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body.24What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body?25I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord. So in my mind I am a slave to God's law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin.