Romans 10:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 10:5, NIV: Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: 'The person who does these things will live by them.'

Romans 10:5, ESV: For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.

Romans 10:5, KJV: For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Romans 10:5, NASB: For Moses writes of the righteousness that is based on the Law, that the person who performs them will live by them.

Romans 10:5, NLT: For Moses writes that the law's way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.

Romans 10:5, CSB: since Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them.

What does Romans 10:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has just written that Jesus Christ, by becoming the "end of the law"—keeping the law perfectly and fulfilling it— provides righteousness to everyone who believes in Him. This is the only way to become righteous in God's eyes.

Now Paul refers to a teaching from Moses, found in Leviticus 18:1–5. This describes a path to righteousness for those who keep the law, who live by the commandments of the law. In the context of the old covenant, this was a means for Israel to honor their relationship with God, and to obtain His earthly blessings (Deuteronomy 30:15–18).

However, this teaching was also meant to demonstrate that when it came to sin, salvation, and God's eternal standards, nobody can possibly maintain this obedience (Galatians 3:24). Not perfectly, and not nearly well enough to earn eternal salvation (Romans 3:10). That's why nobody can be made righteous by keeping the law. Everybody breaks the law. Everybody sins (Romans 3:23).

James put it very simply, "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it" (James 2:10). Those who seek to be justified before God based on their actions are doomed to failure (Romans 3:20). This is why God promised, even before Christ, to establish a new covenant to resolve those flaws (Jeremiah 31:31–34).