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3 1So, do Jews have anything that other people don't have? Is there anything special about being circumcised*? 2Yes, the Jews have many special things. The most important thing is this: God trusted the Jews with his teachings. 3It is true that some Jews were not faithful to God. But will that stop God from doing what he promised? 4No! God will continue to be true even when every person is false. Like the Scriptures* say: "You will be proved right in your words, and you will win when you are being judged." Psalm 51:4

5When we do wrong, that shows more clearly that God is right. So can we say that God does wrong when he punishes us? (I am using an idea that some people might have.) 6No! If God could not punish us, then God could not judge the world. 7A person might say, "When I lie, it really gives God glory, because my lie shows God's truth. So why am I judged a sinner?" 8It would be the same to say, "We should do evil so that good will come." Many people criticize us and say that we teach those things. People that say those things are wrong, and they should be condemned.

All People Are Guilty

9So are we Jews better than other people? No! We have already said that Jews and non-Jews are the same. They are all guilty of sin. 10Like the Scriptures* say: "There is no person without sin. None! 11There is no person that understands. There is no person that really wants to be with God. 12All people have turned away, and all people have become worthless. There is no person that does good. None!" Psalm 14:1-3

13"People's mouths are like open graves; they use their tongues for telling lies." Psalm 5:9

"The things they say are like the poison of snakes;" Psalm 140:3

14"their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." Psalm 10:7

15"People are always ready to hurt and kill; 16everywhere they go they cause ruin and sadness. 17People don't know the way of peace." Isaiah 59:7-8

18"They have no fear or respect for God." Psalm 36:1

19These things the law* says are for the people that are under the law. This stops all [Jewish] people from making excuses and brings the whole world (Jews and non-Jews) under God's judgment. 20Why? Because no person can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.

How God Makes People Right

21But God has a way to make people right without the law. And God has now shown us that new way. The law and the prophets* told us about this new way. 22God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this for all people that believe in Christ. All people are the same. 23All people have sinned and are not good enough for God's glory. 24People are made right with God by his grace (kindness). This is a free gift. People are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people's sins through faith. God forgives by the blood (death) of Jesus. God gave Jesus to show that he always does what is right and fair. God was right in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. 26And God gave Jesus to show today that God does what is right. God did this so that he could judge rightly and also make right any person that has faith in Jesus. 27So do we have a reason to boast about ourselves? No! And why not? It is the way of faith that stops all boasting, not the way of following the law. 28Why? Because a person is made right with God through faith, not through the things he has done to follow the law. This is what we believe. 29God is not only the God of the Jews. He is also the God of the non-Jews. 30There is only one God. He will make Jews* right with him by their faith. And he will also make non-Jews* right with him through their faith. 31So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? No! Faith causes us to be what the law truly wants.

circumcision, circumcised To have the foreskin cut off. This was done to every Jewish baby boy. It was a mark of the agreement God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14). Scripture(s) Holy Writings--the Old Testament. law God's law. It is represented in the law of Moses. prophets People that spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. Jews Literally, "circumcision." non-Jews Literally, "uncircumcision."

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