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1Then what advantage has the Jew? What is the value of circumcision?

2Great, in every way. In the first place, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

3What if some of them were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness cancel the faithfulness of God?

4Certainly not! God must be true though all men be proved liars; for we read in scripture, “When you speak you will be vindicated; when you are accused, you will win the case.”

5Another question: if our injustice serves to confirm God's justice, what are we to say? Is it unjust of God (I speak of him in human terms) to bring retribution upon us?

6Certainly not! If God were unjust, how could he judge the world?

7Again, if the truth of God is displayed to his greater glory through my falsehood, why should I any longer be condemned as a sinner?

8Why not indeed “do evil that good may come”, as some slanderously report me as saying? To condemn such men as these is surely just.

9Well then, are we Jews any better off? No, not at all! For we have already drawn up the indictment that all, Jews and Greeks alike, are under the power of sin.

10Scripture says: There is no one righteous; no, not one;

11no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

12All have swerved aside, all alike have become debased; there is no one to show kindness: no, not one.

13Their throats are open tombs, they use their tongues for treachery, adders' venom is on their lips,

14and their mouths are full of bitter curses.

15Their feet hasten to shed blood,

16ruin and misery mark their tracks,

17they are strangers to the path of peace,

18and reverence for God does not enter their thoughts.

19Now all the words of the law are addressed, as we know, to those who are under the law, so that no one may have anything to say in self-defence, and the whole world may be exposed to God's judgement.

20For no human being can be justified in the sight of God by keeping the law: law brings only the consciousness of sin.

21But now, quite independently of law, though with the law and the prophets bearing witness to it, the righteousness of God has been made known;

22it is effective through faith in Christ for all who have such faith -- all, without distinction.

23For all alike have sinned, and are deprived of the divine glory;

24and all are justified by God's free grace alone, through his act of liberation in the person of Christ Jesus.

25For God designed him to be the means of expiating sin by his death, effective through faith. God meant by this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had overlooked the sins of the past --

26to demonstrate his justice now in the present, showing that he is himself just and also justifies anyone who puts his faith in Jesus.

27What room then is left for human pride? It is excluded. And on what principle? The keeping of the law would not exclude it, but faith does.

28For our argument is that people are justified by faith quite apart from any question of keeping the law.

29Do you suppose God is the God of the Jews alone? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Certainly, of Gentiles also.

30For if the Lord is indeed one, he will justify the circumcised by their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith.

31Does this mean that we are using faith to undermine the law? By no means: we are upholding the law.

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