Romans 1-5

Romans 1

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Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--

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the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures

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regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David,

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and who through the Spirit[1] of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God[2] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

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And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

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To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

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First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

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God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you

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in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

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I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--

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that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

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I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

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I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.

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That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.

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I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

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For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[3] just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."[4]

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The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

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since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

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For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

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For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

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Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

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and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

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Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

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They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

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Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

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In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

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Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

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They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

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slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

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they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

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Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

 

Romans 2

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You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

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Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.

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So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?

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Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

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But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

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God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[1]

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To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

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But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

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There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;

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but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

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For God does not show favoritism.

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All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

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For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

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(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,

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since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

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This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

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Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God;

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if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law;

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if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,

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an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--

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you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?

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You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

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You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?

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As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."[2]

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Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.

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If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

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The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[3] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

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A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.

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No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

 

Romans 3

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What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?

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Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.

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What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?

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Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."[1]

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But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

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Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?

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Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"

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Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved.

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What shall we conclude then? Are we any better[2] ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.

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As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

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there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

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All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."[3]

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"Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit."[4] "The poison of vipers is on their lips."[5]

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"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."[6]

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"Their feet are swift to shed blood;

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ruin and misery mark their ways,

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and the way of peace they do not know."[7]

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"There is no fear of God before their eyes."[8]

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Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

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Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

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But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

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This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

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for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

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and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

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God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,[9] through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--

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he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

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Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.

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For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

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Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

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since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

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Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 4

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What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

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If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God.

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What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."[1]

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Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

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However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

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David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

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"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

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Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."[2]

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Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness.

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Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!

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And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

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And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

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It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

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For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless,

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because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

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Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

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As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."[3] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

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Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."[4]

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Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead.

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Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,

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being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

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This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."

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The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone,

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but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

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He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 5

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[1] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

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through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[2] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

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Not only so, but we[3] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

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perseverance, character; and character, hope.

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And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

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You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

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Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

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But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!

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For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

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Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--

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for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

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Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

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But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

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Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.

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For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

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Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

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For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

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The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

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so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.