Romans 4-7 World English Bible

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The Example of Abraham

4 1  What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 2  For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. 3  For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” [1] 4  Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. 5  But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 6  Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works, 7  “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven,
whose sins are covered. 8  Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.” [2]

9  Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10  How then was it counted? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11  He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them. 12  The father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.

The Promise Realized through Faith

13  For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn’t through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14  For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. 15  For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. 16  For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

17  As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” [3] This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were. 18  Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So will your seed be.” [4] 19  Without being weakened in faith, he didn’t consider his own body, already having been worn out, (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20  Yet, looking to the promise of God, he didn’t waver through unbelief, but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God, 21  and being fully assured that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22  Therefore it also was “reckoned to him for righteousness.” [5]

23  Now it was not written that it was accounted to him for his sake alone, 24  but for our sake also, to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, 25  who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.

Results of Justification

5 1  Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2  through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3  Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering works perseverance; 4  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: 5  and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

6  For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7  For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. 8  But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10  For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life. 11  Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Adam and Christ

12  Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned. 13  For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law. 14  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren’t like Adam’s disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come. 15  But the free gift isn’t like the trespass. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16  The gift is not as through one who sinned: for the judgment came by one to condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses to justification. 17  For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so 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  So then as through one trespass, all men were condemned; even so through one act of righteousness, all men were justified to life. 19  For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous. 20  The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly; 21  that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dead to Sin but Alive in Christ

6 1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2  May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? 3  Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4  We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5  For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7  For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8  But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9  knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him! 10  For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11  Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12  Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13  Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14  For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.

Servants of Righteousness

15  What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! 16  Don’t you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17  But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered. 18  Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness. 19  I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification. 20  For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21  What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22  But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life. 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

An Analogy from Marriage

7 1  Or don’t you know, brothers [6] (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives? 2  For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3  So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man. 4  Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God. 5  For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. 6  But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

The Problem of Indwelling Sin

7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn’t have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn’t have known coveting, unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” [7] 8  But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 9  I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10  The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death; 11  for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 12  Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. 13  Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.

14  For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15  For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16  But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17  So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18  For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good. 19  For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. 20  But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 21  I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. 22  For I delight in God’s law after the inward man, 23  but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24  What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? 25  I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, the sin’s law.

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Footnotes

[1] 4:3 Genesis 15:6

[2] 4:8 Psalm 32:1-2

[3] 4:17 Genesis 17:5

[4] 4:18 Genesis 15:5

[5] 4:22 Genesis 15:6

[6] 7:1 The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”

[7] 7:7 Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21

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