I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God's words and acts. I write this letter to all the Christians in Rome, God's friends.
The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets
on God's Son. His descent from David roots him in history;
his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master.
Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus.
You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ!
And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.
I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That's first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him.
And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son - the Message! - knows that every time I think of you
in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you.
The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache. I so want to be there to deliver God's gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)