Thursday, March 20, 2008

Notes on Romans--Part Fifteen

Here is my translation of Romans 3. Will post comments later:

1 Then what's the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision?2 Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the Bible 3 True, some of them did not trust in God; but just because they were not trusting, does that mean God is untrustworthy?4 Of course not! Even if everyone in the world else is a liar, God is true to His word. As the Scriptures say about him,"You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court." 5 "But," some might say, "our unfaithfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how faithful God is. Isn't it unfair, then, for him to punish us?" (Here I am obviously arguing as one uninspired by God.)6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world?7 "But," someone might still argue, "how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?"8 And some people even lie about us by claiming that we say, "The more we sin, the better it is!" Those who say such things deserve to be condemned. Now, all People Are Sinners 9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Bible say,"No one is in right relationship with God— not even one! 11 No one is truly wise; no one is truly seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one." 13 "Their talk is foul, like the stink of an open grave. They lie constantly and.""poison drips from their lips." 14 All their words are laced with evil."15 "They rush to commit murder. 16 Destruction and despair always lay in their wake. 17 They don't know where or how to find peace." 18 "They have no fear of God at all."
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, but remember that its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the Bible long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in King Jesus. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 23 For everyone has sinned; we all stand guilty before God. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we have been acquitted. He did this through King Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the atonement for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life and shed his blood for them. This sacrifice shows that God was being just when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for He was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His faithfulness, for He himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe and trust in- and are loyal to Jesus. 27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on belief and trust. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. 29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course He is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.