New International Version
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”a
5But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
No One Is Righteous
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”b
13“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”c
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”d
15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16ruin and misery mark their ways,
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Righteousness Through Faith
21But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness is given through faith inh Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,i through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
a 4 Psalm 51:4
b 12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
c 13 Psalm 5:9
d 13 Psalm 140:3
e 14 Psalm 10:7 (see Septuagint)
f 17 Isaiah 59:7,8
g 18 Psalm 36:1
h 22 Or through the faithfulness of
i 25 The Greek for sacrifice of atonement refers to the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant (see Lev. 16:15,16).