Romans is the perfect example of the fact that the Bible was not written with verse and chapter divisions, the church did that centuries ago to make it easier to find what we are looking for. Every “chapter” we have in Romans seems to begin with a reference to the previous paragraphs.
Here, Paul sums up what he’d just discussed. We are justified by faith by faith, no circumcision, not baptism, not even all our goodness. Justification is a gift, it can’t be earned. If you believe the blood of Christ is all you need to be saved, reconciled, made right with God or worthy of a spot in heaven, then you are. It’s as simple as that.
Why then, all the rules of the Old Testament? I’m probably getting ahead of myself because I’m sure Paul explains this somewhere. The rules show us how impossible it is to earn God’s favor on our own. We cannot be good enough. We try, but we just can’t do it! If I manage to never steal, lie, murder or commit adultery, there’s a good chance I’ll still want something someone else has or give into another “god.”
Praise God! He knows/knew my condition and sent Jesus anyway!