Romans 3
Contemporary English Version

1What good is it to be a Jew? What good is it to be circumcised? 2It is good in a lot of ways! First of all, God's messages were spoken to the Jews. 3It is true that some of them did not believe the message. But does this mean that God cannot be trusted, just because they did not have faith? 4 No, indeed! God tells the truth, even if everyone else is a liar. The Scriptures say about God,

“Your words

will be proven true,

and in court

you will win your case.”

5If our evil deeds show how right God is, then what can we say? Is it wrong for God to become angry and punish us? What a foolish thing to ask. 6But the answer is, “No.” Otherwise, how could God judge the world? 7Since your lies bring great honor to God by showing how truthful he is, you may ask why God still says you are a sinner. 8You might as well say, “Let's do something evil, so that something good will come of it!” Some people even claim that we are saying this. But God is fair and will judge them as well.

No One Is Good

9What does all this mean? Does it mean that we Jews are better off+ than the Gentiles? No, it doesn't! Jews, as well as Gentiles, are ruled by sin, just as I have said. 10 The Scriptures tell us,

“No one is acceptable to God!

11Not one of them understands

or even searches for God.

12They have all turned away

and are worthless.

There isn't one person

who does right.

13 Their words are like

an open pit,

and their tongues are good

only for telling lies.

Each word is as deadly

as the fangs of a snake,

14 and they say nothing

but bitter curses.

15 These people quickly

become violent.

16Wherever they go,

they leave ruin

and destruction.

17They don't know how

to live in peace.

18 They don't even fear God.”

19We know that everything in the Law was written for those who are under its power. The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty. 20 God doesn't accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is to point out our sin.

God's Way of Accepting People

21Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets+ tell how we become acceptable, and it isn't by obeying the Law of Moses. 22 God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. 23All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. 24But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. 25-26 God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.

27What is left for us to brag about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. 28We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. 29Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! 30 There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. 31Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful.




Footnotes:

3.9 better off: Or “worse off.”
3.21 The Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.


Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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