Romans 3: 19-31

19 This makes it clear, doesn't it, 
that whatever is written in these Scriptures
 is not what God says about others but to us
to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! 

And it's clear enough, isn't it, 
that we're sinners, 
every one of us, 
in the same sinking boat
with everybody else?

20 Our involvement with God's revelation
doesn't put us right with God. 

What it does is force us to face
our complicity in everyone else's sin.

21 But in our time something new has been added. 

What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years
has happened.

22 The God-setting-things-right that we read about
has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us.

 And not only for us, 
but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this.

23 Since we've compiled this long and sorry record
as sinners (both us and them) 
and proved that we are utterly incapable
of living the glorious lives God wills for us,
24 God did it for us. 

Out of sheer generosity
he put us in right standing with himself. 

A pure gift. 

He got us out of the mess we're in
and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. 

And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

25 God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world
to clear that world of sin. 

Having faith in him sets us in the clear. 

God decided on this course of action
in full view of the public – 
to set the world in the clear with himself
through the sacrifice of Jesus, 
finally taking care of the sins
he had so patiently endured.

26 This is not only clear, 
but it's now – 
this is current history!

 God sets things right. 

He also makes it possible for us
to live in his rightness.

27 So where does that leave
our proud Jewish insider claims
and counterclaims? 


Yes, canceled. 

What we've learned is this: 

God does not respond to what we do; 
we respond to what God does.

28 We've finally figured it out. 

Our lives get in step
with God and all others
by letting him set the pace, 
not by proudly or anxiously
trying to run the parade.

29 And where does that leave our proud Jewish claim
of having a corner on God? 

Also canceled.

 God is the God of outsider non-Jews
as well as insider Jews.

30 How could it be otherwise
since there is only one God? 

God sets right all who welcome his action and enter into it, 
both those who follow our religious system
and those who have never heard of our religion.

31 But by shifting our focus
from what we do
to what God does,
 don't we cancel out
all our careful keeping
of the rules and ways God commanded? 

Not at all. 

What happens, in fact, 
is that by putting that entire way of life
in its proper place, 
we confirm it.

19We know that whatever the Torah says, 
it speaks to those
who are in [the sphere of] the law, 
in order that
every mouth may be closed
and the whole world stand guilty
before God, 

by works of the law
 “all flesh
shall not be justified
before him”
(Ps 143:2)

For through the law
comes knowledge of sin.

21Now, however, 
apart from the Torah, 
that righteousness of God
has been made manifest
to which the Torah
and the prophets
have testified, 

22the righteousness
of God
through the faithfulness
of Jesus Christ.  

It is for all the believers, 
for there is no distinction.  

23For all have sinned
and lack the glory of God, 

24and are [thus] justified
as a free gift
by his grace
through the redemption
which is
in Christ Jesus, 

25whom God presented
as a means of expiation, 
through [Jesus’] faithfulness
at the cost of his blood, 
in order to demonstrate
his [God’s] righteousness, 

the prosecution
of previous sins
was dropped 

26in the clemency of God, 
in order to demonstrate
his righteousness
in the present time, 

in that he is righteous
and thus justifies the one
[who lives] out of
the faithfulness of Jesus. 

 27What room is there then
for arrogance?  
It is excluded. 

Through the law of works? 

but through the Torah
of [God’s] faithfulness.  

28We maintain
that a human being [a Gentile] 
is justified by means of [God’s] faithfulness
apart from works of the law.  

29Or is it of Jews only
that God is God?  

Not also
of the Gentiles?  
30Of course
also of Gentiles; 
if indeed God, 
who will justify the circumcised
out of [his] faithfulness, 
is one, 
[he will justify] also the uncircumcised
through the same faithfulness.  

31Do we then render obsolete
the Torah
 through this faithfulness? 

 Of course not, 
but we rather confirm
 the Torah.