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Romans 1:18-3:20 English Standard Version (ESV)

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For (A)the wrath of God (B)is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be (C)known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, (D)have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[a] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they (E)became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 (F)Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (G)exchanged the glory of (H)the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore (I)God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to (J)the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for (K)a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason (M)God gave them up to (N)dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, (O)men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, (P)God gave them up to (Q)a debased mind to do (R)what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know (S)God's righteous decree that those who practice such things (T)deserve to die, they not only do them but (U)give approval to those who practice them.

God's Righteous Judgment

Therefore you have (V)no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For (W)in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on (X)the riches of his kindness and (Y)forbearance and (Z)patience, (AA)not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are (AB)storing up (AC)wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

(AD)He will render to each one according to his works: to those who (AE)by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking[b] and (AF)do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress (AG)for every human being who does evil, the Jew (AH)first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and (AI)peace for everyone who does good, (AJ)the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For (AK)God shows no partiality.

God's Judgment and the Law

12 For all who have sinned (AL)without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For (AM)it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, (AN)by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is (AO)written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 (AP)on that day when, (AQ)according to my gospel, God judges (AR)the secrets of men (AS)by Christ Jesus.

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and (AT)rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are (AU)a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law (AV)the embodiment of (AW)knowledge and truth— 21 (AX)you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you (AY)rob temples? 23 You who (AZ)boast in the law (BA)dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, (BB)as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed (BC)among the Gentiles because of you.”

25 For circumcision indeed is of value (BD)if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if (BE)a man who is uncircumcised keeps (BF)the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded[c] as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically[d] uncircumcised but keeps the law (BG)will condemn you who have (BH)the written code[e] and circumcision but break the law. 28 For (BI)no one is a Jew (BJ)who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one (BK)inwardly, and (BL)circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. (BM)His praise is not from man but from God.

God's Righteousness Upheld

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, (BN)the Jews were entrusted with (BO)the oracles of God. (BP)What if some were unfaithful? (BQ)Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! (BR)Let God be true though (BS)every one were a liar, as it is written,

(BT)“That you may be justified in your words,
    and prevail when you (BU)are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict (BV)wrath on us? ((BW)I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could (BX)God judge the world? But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, (BY)why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not (BZ)do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

No One Is Righteous

What then? Are we Jews[f] any better off?[g] No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both (CA)Jews and (CB)Greeks, are (CC)under sin, 10 as it is written:

(CD)“None is righteous, no, not one;
11     no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”
13 (CE)“Their throat is (CF)an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
(CG)“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14     (CH)“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 (CI)“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and (CJ)the way of peace they have not known.”
18     (CK)“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever (CL)the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, (CM)so that every mouth may be stopped, and (CN)the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For (CO)by works of the law no human being[h] will be justified in his sight, since (CP)through the law comes knowledge of sin.

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.