Nobody is really good
9 So what about those of us that are Jewish people? Will we get a better deal than other people? No way. Both Jewish people and other people do bad things, just like I already said. We just can’t help it.
10 Like we read in God’s book,
“Nobody is really good, not even one person,
11 Nobody understands about God, nobody even tries to get to know him.
12 Everybody turns away from God,
They all go wrong,
Not even one of them does good things.
13 They say things that make big trouble for other people,
Whenever they talk, they tell lies and trick people.
Their mouths are like the mouths of a cheeky snakes.
14 They just swear at other people and say bad things about them.
15 They quickly get up and to kill other people,
16 Wherever they go they hurt people and make them really sad.
17 They can’t live without fighting.
18 They don’t respect God or take any notice of him.”
19-20 You know, it’s like this. God gave the law to the Jewish people and they have to do everything it says. And God is the judge of everybody in the whole world. We all have to answer to him. Nobody has kept all of that law, so nobody can argue with him. Nobody can tell God, “I have kept all those laws, so I’m all right. You can’t punish me.” We can’t say that because we all broke that law at some time.
So why is the law there? It is there just to let us know that we always go wrong. That’s what it is there for.
If we believe in Jesus, God says we are all right
21-22 But now God shows us a different way. If we follow this way he will be happy with us. It is not about that law, whether we follow it or not, but it is about Jesus Christ, whether we believe in him or not. God tells us about this in his book. (We can read it in the part that has his law as well as in the other part that he got his men to write.) God will save us if we trust in Jesus. It doesn’t matter who we are. God treats everybody the same.
23 We all went wrong and did bad things. None of us is as good as God wants us to be.
24 But Jesus Christ took the blame for us. He paid the cost for those bad things that we did, so now God is really good to us and says that we are all right now, he will not blame us any more. And this doesn’t cost us anything.
25 God sent Jesus to die for us so that, if we believe that he died for us, God isn’t angry with us any more. Jesus let people kill him and spill out his blood, and now, if we trust him, God says we are all right. In this way God shows that he was right and fair in the past, at those times when he didn’t punish people for the bad things they did,
26 and he shows that he is fair at this time now when he tells everyone that believes in Jesus that they are all right now.
27 So none of us can talk up big about anything that we ever did. The only thing that matters is this, we believe in Jesus.
28 It is like this. We believe in Jesus, so God tells us, “You are all right now.” But if we only think about that law and try to do the things it says, God will not tell us that we are all right.
29 So now, what do you reckon? Is God just the God of the Jewish people, or is he the God of other people too that are not Jews? Of course he is God of both. He is God for the people that are not Jewish as well as for the Jews.
30 There is only one God. He makes Jewish people all right if they believe in Jesus, and he makes other people all right too if they believe in Jesus.
31 So what do you reckon about the law? We believe in Jesus now so can we forget about the law? No way. If we believe in Jesus we agree that the law is right.
(The next part, 4:1-12, mainly talks to Jewish people, so we have not translated it yet.)