The Illustration of Justification
4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, 1 has discovered regarding this matter? 2 2 For if Abraham was declared righteous 3 by the works of the law, he has something to boast about – but not before God. 3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited 4 to him as righteousness.” 5 4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 6 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, 7 his faith is credited as righteousness.
6 So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed 8 are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the one 9 against whom the Lord will never count 10 sin.” 11
9 Is this blessedness 12 then for 13 the circumcision 14 or also for 15 the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 16 10 How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, 17 so that he would become 18 the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, 19 that they too could have righteousness credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised, 20 who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised. 21
13 For the promise 22 to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 23 15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression 24 either. 16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, 25 with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, 26 who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). 27 He is our father 28 in the presence of God whom he believed – the God who 29 makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. 30 18 Against hope Abraham 31 believed 32 in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations 33 according to the pronouncement, 34 “so will your descendants be.” 35 19 Without being weak in faith, he considered 36 his own body as dead 37 (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He 38 did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21 He was 39 fully convinced that what God 40 promised he was also able to do. 22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham 41 as righteousness.
23 But the statement it was credited to him 42 was not written only for Abraham’s 43 sake, 24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He 44 was given over 45 because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of 46 our justification. 47
The Expectation of Justification 1
5 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have 2 peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice 3 in the hope of God’s glory. 3 Not 4 only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God 5 has been poured out 6 in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 7 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous 8 by his blood, 9 we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 11 Not 11 only this, but we also rejoice 12 in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
The Amplification of Justification
12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people 13 because 14 all sinned – 13 for before the law was given, 15 sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin 16 when there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type 17 of the coming one) transgressed. 18 15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. 19 For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, 20 how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. 21 For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, 22 led to condemnation, but 23 the gracious gift from the many failures 24 led to justification. 17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, 25 death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, 26 just as condemnation 27 for all people 28 came 29 through one transgression, 30 so too through the one righteous act 31 came righteousness leading to life 32 for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man 33 many 34 were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man 35 many 36 will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in 37 so that the transgression 38 may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Believer’s Freedom from Sin’s Domination
6 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. 1
5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. 2 6 We know that 3 our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, 4 so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.) 5
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know 6 that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die 7 again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you too consider yourselves 8 dead to sin, but 9 alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 13 and do not present your members to sin as instruments 10 to be used for unrighteousness, 11 but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments 12 to be used for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.
The Believer’s Enslavement to God’s Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves 13 as obedient slaves, 14 you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? 15 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed 16 from the heart that pattern 17 of teaching you were entrusted to, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) 18 For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.
21 So what benefit 19 did you then reap 20 from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, freed 21 from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit 22 leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the payoff 23 of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.