Parallel Bible results for Romans 9

The Message Bible

New International Version

Romans 9

MSG 1 At the same time, you need to know that I carry with me at all times a huge sorrow. NIV 1 I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit-- MSG 2 It's an enormous pain deep within me, and I'm never free of it. I'm not exaggerating - Christ and the Holy Spirit are my witnesses. It's the Israelites . . . NIV 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. MSG 3 If there were any way I could be cursed by the Messiah so they could be blessed by him, I'd do it in a minute. They're my family. NIV 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, MSG 4 I grew up with them. They had everything going for them - family, glory, covenants, revelation, worship, promises, NIV 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. MSG 5 to say nothing of being the race that produced the Messiah, the Christ, who is God over everything, always. Oh, yes! NIV 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. MSG 6 Don't suppose for a moment, though, that God's Word has malfunctioned in some way or other. The problem goes back a long way. From the outset, not all Israelites of the flesh were Israelites of the spirit. NIV 6 It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. MSG 7 It wasn't Abraham's sperm that gave identity here, but God's promise. Remember how it was put: "Your family will be defined by Isaac"? NIV 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." MSG 8 That means that Israelite identity was never racially determined by sexual transmission, but it was God-determined by promise. NIV 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. MSG 9 Remember that promise, "When I come back next year at this time, Sarah will have a son"? NIV 9 For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son." MSG 10 And that's not the only time. To Rebecca, also, a promise was made that took priority over genetics. When she became pregnant by our one-of-a-kind ancestor, Isaac, NIV 10 Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. MSG 11 and her babies were still innocent in the womb - incapable of good or bad - she received a special assurance from God. What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don't do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. NIV 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: MSG 12 God told Rebecca, "The firstborn of your twins will take second place." NIV 12 not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." MSG 13 Later that was turned into a stark epigram: "I loved Jacob; I hated Esau." NIV 13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." MSG 14 Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. NIV 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! MSG 15 God told Moses, "I'm in charge of mercy. I'm in charge of compassion." NIV 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." MSG 16 Compassion doesn't originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God's mercy. NIV 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. MSG 17 The same point was made when God said to Pharaoh, "I picked you as a bit player in this drama of my salvation power." NIV 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." MSG 18 All we're saying is that God has the first word, initiating the action in which we play our part for good or ill. NIV 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. MSG 19 Are you going to object, "So how can God blame us for anything since he's in charge of everything? If the big decisions are already made, what say do we have in it?" NIV 19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" MSG 20 Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn't talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, "Why did you shape me like this?" NIV 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " MSG 21 Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? NIV 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? MSG 22 If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure NIV 22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? MSG 23 and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn't that all right? NIV 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- MSG 24 Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. NIV 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? MSG 25 Hosea put it well: I'll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I'll call the unloved and make them beloved. NIV 25 As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," MSG 26 In the place where they yelled out, "You're nobody!" they're calling you "God's living children." NIV 26 and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' " MSG 27 Isaiah maintained this same emphasis: If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled "chosen of God," They'd be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection. NIV 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. MSG 28 God doesn't count us; he calls us by name. Arithmetic is not his focus. NIV 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." MSG 29 Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth: If our powerful God had not provided us a legacy of living children, We would have ended up like ghost towns, like Sodom and Gomorrah. NIV 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: "Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah." MSG 30 How can we sum this up? All those people who didn't seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives. NIV 30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; MSG 31 And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it. NIV 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. MSG 32 How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling. NIV 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." MSG 33 Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together: Careful! I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can't get around. But the stone is me! If you're looking for me, you'll find me on the way, not in the way. NIV 33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."