| Quote #1
For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (KJV 2:11-13)
For Paul, it doesn't matter what group you're aligned with, sin runs rampant. Just being part of God's chosen people doesn't exempt you from sin or God's judgment. Bummer.
| Quote #2
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus[…] He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed. (NRSV 3:23-25)
All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus […] to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. (KJV 3:23-25)
Okay, so we're all lousy sinners. Thanks, Paul. But luckily, Jesus came and brought us back around to God. God could have just let us fester and die in a pool of our own wickedness, but according to Paul, he does us a solid because he's just that cool.
| Quote #3
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. (NRSV 5:6-8)
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV 5:6-8)
This passage illustrates a key point about Jesus. Regular people don't die in order to help rotten people—but according to Christian tradition, Jesus did. We were all terrible and sinful, but he saw some potential in us and went to the cross believing we could do better.