Okay, Rom 3:21-26 is the epicenter of Paul’s gospel. Here’s my attempt at a paraphrase:
But that is not the end of the matter, death and condemnation are not the last words, God has now revealed his saving justice, revealed it apart from the precepts and parameters of the law, and yet the law and the prophets pointed ahead to it. This saving justice is displayed through faith in Messiah Jesus for everyone who believes. No distinctions or exceptions can be made because everyone has done evil things and have shunned the glory of God. And yet believers are declared to be righteous based on God’s wholly free grace as expressed in the redemption that comes through Messiah Jesus. He is the one who God presented as a sacrifice to expiate our sin and to propitiate his wrath when we put our faith in the blood of Jesus’ atoning death. In this way, God shows his justice by passing over the sins that we had earlier committed and in his merciful forbearance he demonstrates his just character so as to be himself just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus.
Where is the bragging then? It is categorically ruled out. By what law is it ruled out? By a law of works? Heck no, but on the basis of the law of faith it is ruled out. For we reckon that a person can be declared righteous by faith without following the Jewish way of life as set out in the law. Or is God only the God the Jewish people as would be the case if righteousness was by works of the law? Is he not also the God of the nations? Yes indeed, he is God of the nations too! For there is one God who will declare the circumcised and uncircumcised to be righteous based on their faith. So do we abolish the law if we find salvation in faith? Heck no! For by our faith we uphold the law!