Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?
Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.
What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, " THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.'
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? ( I am speaking in human terms.)
May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?
But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?
And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), " Let us do evil that good may come'? Their condemnation is just.
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
as it is written, " THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.'
" THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,' " THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS';
" WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS';
" THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.'
" THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.'
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. 4
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
For what does the Scripture say? " ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.'
Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
" BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.
" BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.'
Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, " FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.'
How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
(as it is written, " A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU') in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, " SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.'
Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;
yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Therefore IT WAS also CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. 5