Do you, my friend, pass judgement 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. 2We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these. 3But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgement on others! Do you think you will escape God's judgement? 4Or 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. 5But 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 judgements will be revealed. 6
For God will reward every person according to what each has done. 7Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honour, and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life. 8Other 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. 9There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles. 10But God will give glory, honour, 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.
12The 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. 13For it is not by hearing the Law that people are put right with God, but by doing what the Law commands. 14The 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. 15Their 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. 16And 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.
17What about you? You call yourself a Jew; you depend on the Law and boast about God; 18you know what God wants you to do, and you have learnt from the Law to choose what is right; 19you are sure that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in darkness, 20an 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. 21You teach others — why don't you teach yourself? You preach, “Do not steal” — but do you yourself steal? 22You say, “Do not commit adultery” — but do you commit adultery? You detest idols — but do you rob temples? 23You 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.”
25If you obey the Law, your circumcision is of value; but if you disobey the Law, you might as well never have been circumcised. 26If the Gentile, who is not circumcised, obeys the commands of the Law, will God not regard him as though he were circumcised? 27And 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. 28After 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.
31Have the Jews then any advantage over the Gentiles? Or is there any value in being circumcised? 2Much, indeed, in every way! In the first place, God trusted his message to the Jews. 3But 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 every human being is a liar. As the scripture says,
“You must be shown to be right when you speak;
you must win your case when you are being tried.”
5But 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.) 6By no means! If God is not just, how can he judge the world?
7But 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? 8Why 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.
9Well then, are we Jews in any better condition than the Gentiles? Not at all!3.9 any better condition than the Gentiles? Not at all!; or any worse condition than the Gentiles? Not altogether. 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,
11no one who is wise
or who worships God.
12All have turned away from God;
they have all gone wrong;
no one does what is right, not even one.
Their words are full of deadly deceit;
wicked lies roll off their tongues,
and dangerous threats, like snake's poison, from their lips;
their speech is filled with bitter curses.
They are quick to hurt and kill;
16they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go.
17They have not known the path of peace,
nor have they learnt reverence for God.”
19Now 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 judgement. 20
For no one is put right in God's sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make people know that they have sinned.
21But 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: 23everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. 24But by the free gift of God's grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. 25-26God offered him, so that by his blood3.25–26 by his blood; or by his sacrificial death. 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.
27What, 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. 28For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands. 29Or 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. 31Does this mean that by this faith we do away with the Law? No, not at all; instead, we uphold the Law.
41What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? 2If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about — but not in God's sight. 3
The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 4Those who work are paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned. 5But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself. 6This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of the person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything that person does:
“Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven,
whose sins are pardoned!
8Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!”
9Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 10When did this take place? Was it before or after Abraham was circumcised? It was before, not after. 11
He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his faith God had accepted him as righteous before he had been circumcised. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised. 12He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of faith that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised.
When God promised Abraham and his descendants that the world would belong to him, he did so, not because Abraham obeyed the Law, but because he believed and was accepted as righteous by God. 14
For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then faith means nothing and God's promise is worthless. 15The Law brings down God's anger; but where there is no law, there is no disobeying of the law.
And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God's free gift to all of Abraham's descendants — not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; 17
as the scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” So the promise is good in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed — the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist. 18
Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason for hoping, and so became “the father of many nations.” Just as the scripture says, “Your descendants will be as many as the stars.” 19
He was then almost 100 years old; but his faith did not weaken when he thought of his body, which was already practically dead, or of the fact that Sarah could not have children. 20His faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God's promise; his faith filled him with power, and he gave praise to God. 21He was absolutely sure that God would be able to do what he had promised. 22That is why Abraham, through faith, “was accepted as righteous by God”. 23The words “he was accepted as righteous” were not written for him alone. 24They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death. 25
Because of our sins he was handed over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God.