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The advantages of the Jews. All men are sinners and none can be justified by the works of the law, but only by the grace of Christ.

[1] What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? [2] Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them. [3] For what if some of them have not believed? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid. [4] But God is true; and every man a liar, as it is written, That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and mayest overcome when thou art judged. [5] But if our injustice commend the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust, who executeth wrath?

[4] God is true: God only is essentially true. All men in their own capacity are liable to lies and errors: nevertheless God, who is the truth, will make good his promise of keeping his church in all truth. See St. John 16. 13.

[6] (I speak according to man.) God forbid: otherwise how shall God judge this world? [7] For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, unto his glory, why am I also yet judged as a sinner? [8] And not rather (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil, that there may come good? whose damnation is just. [9] What then? Do we excel them? No, not so. For we have charged both Jews, and Greeks, that they are all under sin. [10] As it is written: There is not any man just.

[10] There is not any man just: viz. By virtue either of the law of nature, or of the law of Moses; but only by faith and grace.

[11] There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [12] All have turned out of the way; they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one. [13] Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have dealt deceitfully. The venom of asps is under their lips. [14] Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: [15] Their feet swift to shed blood:

[16] Destruction and misery in their ways: [17] And the way of peace they have not known: [18] There is no fear of God before their eyes. [19] Now we know, that what things soever the law speaketh, it speaketh to them that are in the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be made subject to God. [20] Because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.

[21] But now without the law the justice of God is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. [22] Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction: [23] For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God. [24] Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, [25] Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins,

[26] Through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that he himself may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith of Jesus Christ. [27] Where is then thy boasting? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. [28] For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law. [29] Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. [30] For it is one God, that justifieth circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

[28] By faith: The faith, to which the apostle here attributes man's justification, is not a presumptuous assurance of our being justified; but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised. Heb. 11. A faith working through charity in Jesus Christ. Gal. 5. 6. In short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments. And the works which he here excludes, are only the works of the law: that is, such as are done by the law of nature, or that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: but by no means, such as follow faith, and proceed from it.

[31] Do we, then, destroy the law through faith? God forbid: but we establish the law.

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