The Example of Abraham
4 1 What, then, may we say that Abraham, our father after the flesh, has got? 2 For if Abraham got righteousness by works, he has reason for pride; but not before God. 3 But what does it say in the holy Writings? And Abraham had faith in God, and it was put to his account as righteousness. 4 Now, the reward is credited to him who does works, not as of grace but as a debt. 5 But to him who without working has faith in him who gives righteousness to the evil-doer, his faith is put to his account as righteousness. 6 As David says that there is a blessing on the man to whose account God puts righteousness without works, saying, 7 Happy are those who have forgiveness for their wrongdoing, and whose sins are covered. 8 Happy is the man against whom no sin is recorded by the Lord.
9 Is this blessing, then, for the circumcision only, or in the same way for those who have not circumcision? for we say that the faith of Abraham was put to his account as righteousness. 10 How, then, was it judged? when he had circumcision, or when he had it not? Not when he had it, but when he did not have it: 11 And he was given the sign of circumcision as a witness of the faith which he had before he underwent circumcision: so that he might be the father of all those who have faith, though they have not circumcision, and so that righteousness might be put to their account; 12 And the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who keep to the way of that faith which our father Abraham had before he underwent circumcision.
The Promise Realized through Faith
13 For God's word, that the earth would be his heritage, was given to Abraham, not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they who are of the law are the people who get the heritage, then faith is made of no use, and the word of God has no power; 15 For the outcome of the law is wrath; but where there is no law it will not be broken. 16 For this reason it is of faith, so that it may be through grace; and so that the word of God may be certain to all the seed; not only to that which is of the law, but to that which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
17 (As it is said in the holy Writings, I have made you a father of a number of nations) before him in whom he had faith, that is, God, who gives life to the dead, and to whom the things which are not are as if they were. 18 Who without reason for hope, in faith went on hoping, so that he became the father of a number of nations, as it had been said, So will your seed be. 19 And not being feeble in faith though his body seemed to him little better than dead (he being about a hundred years old) and Sarah was no longer able to have children: 20 Still, he did not give up faith in the undertaking of God, but was made strong by faith, giving glory to God, 21 And being certain that God was able to keep his word. 22 For which reason it was put to his account as righteousness.
23 Now, it was not because of him only that this was said, 24 But for us in addition, to whose account it will be put, if we have faith in him who made Jesus our Lord come back again from the dead, 25 Who was put to death for our evil-doing, and came to life again so that we might have righteousness.
Results of Justification
5 1 For which reason, because we have righteousness through faith, let us be at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 Through whom, in the same way, we have been able by faith to come to this grace in which we now are; and let us have joy in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting; 4 And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope does not put to shame; because our hearts are full of the love of God through the Holy Spirit which is given to us.
6 For when we were still without strength, at the right time Christ gave his life for evil-doers. 7 Now it is hard for anyone to give his life even for an upright man, though it might be that for a good man someone would give his life. 8 But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were still sinners, Christ gave his life for us. 9 Much more, if we now have righteousness by his blood, will salvation from the wrath of God come to us through him. 10 For if, when we were haters of God, the death of his Son made us at peace with him, much more, now that we are his friends, will we have salvation through his life; 11 And not only so, but we have joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we are now at peace with God.
Adam and Christ
12 For this reason, as through one man sin came into the world, and death because of sin, and so death came to all men, because all have done evil: 13 Because, till the law came, sin was in existence, but sin is not put to the account of anyone when there is no law to be broken. 14 But still death had power from Adam till Moses, even over those who had not done wrong like Adam, who is a picture of him who was to come. 15 But the free giving of God is not like the wrongdoing of man. For if, by the wrongdoing of one man death came to numbers of men, much more did the grace of God, and the free giving by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, come to men. 16 And the free giving has not the same effect as the sin of one: for the effect of one man's sin was punishment by the decision of God, but the free giving had power to give righteousness to wrongdoers in great number. 17 For, if by the wrongdoing of one, death was ruling through the one, much more will those to whom has come the wealth of grace and the giving of righteousness, be ruling in life through the one, even Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as the effect of one act of wrongdoing was that punishment came on all men, even so the effect of one act of righteousness was righteousness of life for all men. 19 Because, as numbers of men became sinners through the wrongdoing of one man, even so will great numbers get righteousness through the keeping of the word of God by one man. 20 And the law came in addition, to make wrongdoing worse; but where there was much sin, there was much more grace: 21 That, as sin had power in death, so grace might have power through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dead to Sin but Alive in Christ
6 1 What may we say, then? are we to go on in sin so that there may be more grace? 2 In no way. How may we, who are dead to sin, be living in it any longer? 3 Or are you without the knowledge that all we who had baptism into Christ Jesus, had baptism into his death? 4 We have been placed with him among the dead through baptism into death: so that as Christ came again from the dead by the glory of the Father, we, in the same way, might be living in new life. 5 For, if we have been made like him in his death, we will, in the same way, be like him in his coming to life again; 6 Being conscious that our old man was put to death on the cross with him, so that the body of sin might be put away, and we might no longer be servants to sin. 7 Because he who is dead is free from sin. 8 But if we are dead with Christ, we have faith that we will be living with him; 9 Having knowledge that because Christ has come back from the dead, he will never again go down to the dead; death has no more power over him. 10 For his death was a death to sin, but his life now is a life which he is living to God. 11 Even so see yourselves as dead to sin, but living to God in Christ Jesus. 12 For this cause do not let sin be ruling in your body which is under the power of death, so that you give way to its desires; 13 And do not give your bodies to sin as the instruments of wrongdoing, but give yourselves to God, as those who are living from the dead, and your bodies as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin may not have rule over you: because you are not under law, but under grace.
Servants of Righteousness
15 What then? are we to go on in sin because we are not under law but under grace? Let it not be so. 16 Are you not conscious that you are the servants of him to whom you give yourselves to do his desire? if to sin, the end being death, or if to do the desire of God, the end being righteousness. 17 But praise be to God that though you were the servants of sin, you have now given yourselves freely to that form of teaching under which you were placed; 18 And being made free from sin you have been made the servants of righteousness. 19 I am using words in the way of men, because your flesh is feeble: as you gave your bodies as servants to what is unclean, and to evil to do evil, so now give them as servants to righteousness to do what is holy. 20 When you were servants of sin you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had you at that time in the things which are now a shame to you? for the end of such things is death. 22 But now, being free from sin, and having been made servants to God, you have your fruit in that which is holy, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the reward of sin is death; but what God freely gives is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
An Analogy from Marriage
7 1 Is it not clear, my brothers (I am using an argument to those who have knowledge of the law), that the law has power over a man as long as he is living? 2 For the woman who has a husband is placed by the law under the power of her husband as long as he is living; but if her husband is dead, she is free from the law of the husband. 3 So if, while the husband is living, she is joined to another man, she will get the name of one who is untrue to her husband: but if the husband is dead, she is free from the law, so that she is not untrue, even if she takes another man. 4 In the same way, my brothers, you were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, even to him who came again from the dead, so that we might give fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the evil passions which came into being through the law were working in our bodies to give the fruit of death. 6 But now we are free from the law, having been made dead to that which had power over us; so that we are servants in the new way of the spirit, not in the old way of the letter.
The Problem of Indwelling Sin
7 What then is to be said? is the law sin? in no way. But I would not have had knowledge of sin but for the law: for I would not have been conscious of desire if the law had not said, You may not have a desire for what is another's. 8 But sin, taking its chance through that which was ordered by the law, was working in me every form of desire: because without the law sin is dead. 9 And there was a time when I was living without the law: but when the law gave its orders, sin came to life and put me to death; 10 And I made the discovery that the law whose purpose was to give life had become a cause of death: 11 For I was tricked and put to death by sin, which took its chance through the law. 12 But the law is holy, and its orders are holy, upright, and good. 13 Was then that which is good, death to me? In no way. But the purpose was that sin might be seen to be sin by working death to me through that which is good; so that through the orders of the law sin might seem much more evil.
14 For we are conscious that the law is of the spirit; but I am of the flesh, given into the power of sin. 15 And I have no clear knowledge of what I am doing, for that which I have a mind to do, I do not, but what I have hate for, that I do. 16 But, if I do that which I have no mind to do, I am in agreement with the law that the law is good. 17 So it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me. 18 For I am conscious that in me, that is, in my flesh, there is nothing good: I have the mind but not the power to do what is right. 19 For the good which I have a mind to do, I do not: but the evil which I have no mind to do, that I do. 20 But if I do what I have no mind to do, it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me. 21 So I see a law that, though I have a mind to do good, evil is present in me. 22 In my heart I take pleasure in the law of God, 23 But I see another law in my body, working against the law of my mind, and making me the servant of the law of sin which is in my flesh. 24 How unhappy am I! who will make me free from the body of this death? 25 I give praise to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So with my mind I am a servant to the law of God, but with my flesh to the law of sin.