Romans 3:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 3:26, NIV: "he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

Romans 3:26, ESV: "It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Romans 3:26, KJV: "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

Romans 3:26, NASB: "for the demonstration, that is, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Romans 3:26, NLT: "for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus."

Romans 3:26, CSB: "God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus."

What does Romans 3:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul repeats and expands on what he has just written in the previous verse. Why did God hand Jesus over as a sacrifice to atone for our sin with His blood? Why did He make it possible for us to be redeemed from our sin and the death we had earned with it?

Paul now answers that God did it to show His own righteousness when the right time had come. God showed He was just. His sacrifice of His Son for our sin made it possible for Him to offer to us eternal life without leaving human sinfulness unpunished. In addition to His love, God demonstrated His justice, His righteousness. More than that, God also wanted to be the "justifier" of those who have faith in Jesus. Only the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross accomplished both of these goals: to uphold the justness of God, and the merciful love of God.

When we trust in Christ for our salvation, for our place in God's family, our sin is forgiven. God is no longer the executioner-in-waiting. He becomes the "justifier." He changes His verdict from "guilty" to "redeemed." And He can do this with perfect holiness and perfect righteousness, because those sins have, in fact, been punished.