1 From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and appointed to spread the Good News of God. 2 (God had already promised this Good News through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. 3 This Good News is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In his human nature he was a descendant of David. 4 In his spiritual, holy nature he was declared the Son of God. This was shown in a powerful way when he came back to life. 5 Through him we have received God's kindness and the privilege of being apostles who bring people from every nation to the obedience that is associated with faith. This is for the honor of his name. 6 You are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ.) 7 To everyone in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his holy people. Good will and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours! 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for every one of you because the news of your faith is spreading throughout the whole world. 9 I serve God by spreading the Good News about his Son. God is my witness that I always mention you 10 every time I pray. I ask that somehow God will now at last make it possible for me to visit you. 11 I long to see you to share a spiritual blessing with you so that you will be strengthened. 12 What I mean is that we may be encouraged by each other's faith. 13 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I often planned to visit you. However, until now I have been kept from doing so. What I want is to enjoy some of the results of working among you as I have also enjoyed the results of working among the rest of the nations. 14 I have an obligation to those who are civilized and those who aren't, to those who are wise and those who aren't. 15 That's why I'm eager to tell you who live in Rome the Good News also. 16 I'm not ashamed of the Good News. It is God's power to save everyone who believes, Jews first and Greeks as well. 17 God's approval is revealed in this Good News. This approval begins and ends with faith as Scripture says, "The person who has God's approval will live by faith." 18 God's anger is revealed from heaven against every ungodly and immoral thing people do as they try to suppress the truth by their immoral living. 19 What can be known about God is clear to them because he has made it clear to them. 20 From the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse. 21 They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness. 22 While claiming to be wise, they became fools. 23 They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for statues that looked like mortal humans, birds, animals, and snakes. 24 For this reason God allowed their lusts to control them. As a result, they dishonor their bodies by sexual perversion with each other. 25 These people have exchanged God's truth for a lie. So they have become ungodly and serve what is created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen! 26 For this reason God allowed their shameful passions to control them. Their women have exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion. 28 And because they thought it was worthless to acknowledge God, God allowed their own immoral minds to control them. So they do these indecent things. 29 Their lives are filled with all kinds of sexual sins, wickedness, and greed. They are mean. They are filled with envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, haughty, arrogant, and boastful. They think up new ways to be cruel. They don't obey their parents, 31 don't have any sense, don't keep promises, and don't show love to their own families or mercy to others. 32 Although they know God's judgment that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do these things but also approve of others who do them.
1 No matter who you are, if you judge anyone, you have no excuse. When you judge another person, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. 2 We know that God's judgment is right when he condemns people for doing these things. 3 When you judge people for doing these things but then do them yourself, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4 Do you have contempt for God, who is very kind to you, puts up with you, and deals patiently with you? Don't you realize that it is God's kindness that is trying to lead you to him and change the way you think and act? 5 Since you are stubborn and don't want to change the way you think and act, you are adding to the anger that God will have against you on that day when God vents his anger. At that time God will reveal that his decisions are fair. 6 He will pay all people back for what they have done. 7 He will give everlasting life to those who search for glory, honor, and immortality by persisting in doing what is good. But he will bring 8 anger and fury on those who, in selfish pride, refuse to believe the truth and who follow what is wrong. 9 There will be suffering and distress for every person who does evil, for Jews first and Greeks as well. 10 But there will be glory, honor, and peace for every person who does what is good, for Jews first and Greeks as well. 11 God does not play favorites. 12 Here's the reason: Whoever sins without having laws from God will still be condemned to destruction. And whoever has laws from God and sins will still be judged by them. 13 People who merely listen to laws from God don't have God's approval. Rather, people who do what those laws demand will have God's approval. 14 For example, whenever non-Jews who don't have laws from God do by nature the things that Moses' Teachings contain, they are a law to themselves even though they don't have any laws from God. 15 They show that some requirements found in Moses' Teachings are written in their hearts. Their consciences speak to them. Their thoughts accuse them on one occasion and defend them on another. 16 This happens as they face the day when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge people's secret thoughts. He will use the Good News that I am spreading to make that judgment. 17 You call yourself a Jew, rely on the laws in Moses' Teachings, brag about your God, 18 know what he wants, and distinguish right from wrong because you have been taught Moses' Teachings. 19 You are confident that you are a guide for the blind, a light to those in the dark, 20 an instructor of ignorant people, and a teacher of children because you have the full content of knowledge and truth in Moses' Teachings. 21 As you teach others, are you failing to teach yourself? As you preach against stealing, are you stealing? 22 As you tell others not to commit adultery, are you committing adultery? As you treat idols with disgust, are you robbing temples? 23 As you brag about the laws in Moses' Teachings, are you dishonoring God by ignoring Moses' Teachings? 24 As Scripture says, "God's name is cursed among the nations because of you." 25 For example, circumcision is valuable if you follow Moses' laws. If you don't follow those laws, your circumcision amounts to uncircumcision. 26 So if a man does what Moses' Teachings demand, won't he be considered circumcised even if he is uncircumcised? 27 The uncircumcised man who carries out what Moses' Teachings say will condemn you for not following them. He will condemn you in spite of the fact that you are circumcised and have Moses' Teachings in writing. 28 A person is not a Jew because of his appearance, nor is circumcision a matter of how the body looks. 29 Rather, a person is a Jew inwardly, and circumcision is something that happens in a person's heart. Circumcision is spiritual, not just a written rule. That person's praise will come from God, not from people.
1 Is there any advantage, then, in being a Jew? Or is there any value in being circumcised? 2 There are all kinds of advantages. First of all, God entrusted them with his word. 3 What if some of them were unfaithful? Can their unfaithfulness cancel God's faithfulness? 4 That would be unthinkable! God is honest, and everyone else is a liar, as Scripture says, "So you hand down justice when you speak, and you win your case in court." 5 But if what we do wrong shows that God is fair, what should we say? Is God unfair when he vents his anger on us? (I'm arguing the way humans would.) 6 That's unthinkable! Otherwise, how would God be able to judge the world? 7 If my lie increases the glory that God receives by showing that God is truthful, why am I still judged as a sinner? 8 Or can we say, "Let's do evil so that good will come from it"? Some slander us and claim that this is what we say. They are condemned, and that's what they deserve. 9 What, then, is the situation? Do we have any advantage? Not at all. We have already accused everyone (both Jews and Greeks) of being under the power of sin, 10 as Scripture says, "Not one person has God's approval. 11 No one understands. No one searches for God. 12 Everyone has turned away. Together they have become rotten to the core. No one does anything good, not even one person. 13 Their throats are open graves. Their tongues practice deception. Their lips hide the venom of poisonous snakes. 14 Their mouths are full of curses and bitter resentment. 15 They run quickly to murder people. 16 There is ruin and suffering wherever they go. 17 They have not learned to live in peace. 18 They are not terrified of God." 19 We know that whatever is in Moses' Teachings applies to everyone under their influence, and no one can say a thing. The whole world is brought under the judgment of God. 20 Not one person can have God's approval by following Moses' Teachings. Moses' Teachings show what sin is. 21 Now, the way to receive God's approval has been made plain in a way other than Moses' Teachings. Moses' Teachings and the Prophets tell us this. 22 Everyone who believes has God's approval through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no difference between people. 23 Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God's glory. 24 They receive God's approval freely by an act of his kindness through the price Christ Jesus paid to set us free [from sin]. 25 God showed that Christ is the throne of mercy where God's approval is given through faith in Christ's blood. In his patience God waited to deal with sins committed in the past. 26 He waited so that he could display his approval at the present time. This shows that he is a God of justice, a God who approves of people who believe in Jesus. 27 So, do we have anything to brag about? Bragging has been eliminated. On what basis was it eliminated? On the basis of our own efforts? No, indeed! Rather, it is eliminated on the basis of faith. 28 We conclude that a person has God's approval by faith, not by his own efforts. 29 Is God only the God of the Jews? Isn't he also the God of people who are not Jewish? Certainly, he is, 30 since it is the same God who approves circumcised people by faith and uncircumcised people through this same faith. 31 Are we abolishing Moses' Teachings by this faith? That's unthinkable! Rather, we are supporting Moses' Teachings.