Bible: Romans 1:18-5:21
The Condemnation of the Unrighteous
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people 1 who suppress the truth by their 2 unrighteousness, 3 1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, 4 because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people 5 are without excuse. 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts 6 were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed 7 to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings 8 or birds or four-footed animals 9 or reptiles.
1:24 Therefore God gave them over 10 in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor 11 their bodies among themselves. 12 1:25 They 13 exchanged the truth of God for a lie 14 and worshiped and served the creation 15 rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 16 1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women 17 and were inflamed in their passions 18 for one another. Men 19 committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, 20 God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 21 1:29 They are filled 22 with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with 23 envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, 1:31 senseless, covenant-breakers, 24 heartless, ruthless. 1:32 Although they fully know 25 God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, 26 they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. 27
The Condemnation of the Moralist 28
2:1 Therefore 29 you are without excuse, 30 whoever you are, 31 when you judge someone else. 32 For on whatever grounds 33 you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. 2:2 Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth 34 against those who practice such things. 2:3 And do you think, 35 whoever you are, when you judge 36 those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, 37 that you will escape God’s judgment? 2:4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know 38 that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 2:5 But because of your stubbornness 39 and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! 40 2:6 He 41 will reward 42 each one according to his works: 43 2:7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 2:8 but 44 wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition 45 and do not obey the truth but follow 46 unrighteousness. 2:9 There will be 47 affliction and distress on everyone 48 who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, 49 2:10 but 50 glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 2:12 For all who have sinned apart from the law 51 will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. 52 2:14 For whenever the Gentiles, 53 who do not have the law, do by nature 54 the things required by the law, 55 these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 2:15 They 56 show that the work of the law is written 57 in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend 58 them, 59 2:16 on the day when God will judge 60 the secrets of human hearts, 61 according to my gospel 62 through Christ Jesus.
The Condemnation of the Jew
2:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law 63 and boast of your relationship to God 64 2:18 and know his will 65 and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law, 66 2:19 and if you are convinced 67 that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 2:20 an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth – 2:21 therefore 68 you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 2:22 You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor 69 idols, do you rob temples? 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law! 2:24 For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” 70
2:25 For circumcision 71 has its value if you practice the law, but 72 if you break the law, 73 your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys 74 the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:27 And will not the physically uncircumcised man 75 who keeps the law judge you who, despite 76 the written code 77 and circumcision, transgress the law? 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, 2:29 but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart 78 by the Spirit 79 and not by the written code. 80 This person’s 81 praise is not from people but from God.
3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages. 82 First of all, 83 the Jews 84 were entrusted with the oracles of God. 85 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being 86 shown up as a liar, 87 just as it is written: “so that you will be justified 88 in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” 89
3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates 90 the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? 91 (I am speaking in human terms.) 92 3:6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 3:7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances 93 his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. 94 (Their 95 condemnation is deserved!)
The Condemnation of the World
3:9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 3:10 just as it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one,
3:11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
3:12 All have turned away,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.” 96
3:13 “Their throats are open graves, 97
they deceive with their tongues,
the poison of asps is under their lips.” 98
3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
3:16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
3:17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 101
3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 102
3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under 103 the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him 104 by the works of the law, 105 for through the law comes 106 the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now 107 apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) 108 has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ 109 for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified 110 freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 3:25 God publicly displayed 111 him 112 at his death 113 as the mercy seat 114 accessible through faith. 115 This was to demonstrate 116 his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 117 3:26 This was 118 also to demonstrate 119 his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just 120 and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness. 121
3:27 Where, then, is boasting? 122 It is excluded! By what principle? 123 Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 3:28 For we consider that a person 124 is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. 125 3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 3:30 Since God is one, 126 he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify 127 the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead 128 we uphold the law.
The Illustration of Justification
4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, 129 has discovered regarding this matter? 130 4:2 For if Abraham was declared righteous 131 by the works of the law, he has something to boast about – but not before God. 4:3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited 132 to him as righteousness.” 133 4:4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 134 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, 135 his faith is credited as righteousness.
4:6 So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
4:7 “Blessed 136 are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
4:9 Is this blessedness 140 then for 141 the circumcision 142 or also for 143 the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 144 4:10 How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, 145 so that he would become 146 the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, 147 that they too could have righteousness credited to them. 4:12 And he is also the father of the circumcised, 148 who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised. 149
4:13 For the promise 150 to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 4:14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 151 4:15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression 152 either. 4:16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, 153 with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, 154 who is the father of us all 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). 155 He is our father 156 in the presence of God whom he believed – the God who 157 makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. 158 4:18 Against hope Abraham 159 believed 160 in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations 161 according to the pronouncement, 162 “so will your descendants be.” 163 4:19 Without being weak in faith, he considered 164 his own body as dead 165 (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 4:20 He 166 did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 4:21 He was 167 fully convinced that what God 168 promised he was also able to do. 4:22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham 169 as righteousness.
4:23 But the statement it was credited to him 170 was not written only for Abraham’s 171 sake, 4:24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 4:25 He 172 was given over 173 because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of 174 our justification. 175
The Expectation of Justification
5:1 176 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have 177 peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice 178 in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not 179 only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 5:4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God 180 has been poured out 181 in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 182 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous 183 by his blood, 184 we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 185 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 5:11 Not 186 only this, but we also rejoice 187 in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
The Amplification of Justification
5:12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people 188 because 189 all sinned – 5:13 for before the law was given, 190 sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin 191 when there is no law. 5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type 192 of the coming one) transgressed. 193 5:15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. 194 For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, 195 how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 5:16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. 196 For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, 197 led to condemnation, but 198 the gracious gift from the many failures 199 led to justification. 5:17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, 200 death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
5:18 Consequently, 201 just as condemnation 202 for all people 203 came 204 through one transgression, 205 so too through the one righteous act 206 came righteousness leading to life 207 for all people. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man 208 many 209 were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man 210 many 211 will be made righteous. 5:20 Now the law came in 212 so that the transgression 213 may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 5:21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.