From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus. God called me to be an apostle and chose me to tell the Good News.
God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets, asit is written in the Holy Scriptures.
The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a man, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness he was appointed to be God's Son with great power by rising from the dead.
Through Christ, God gave me the special work of an apostle, which was to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. I do this work for him.
And you who are in Rome are also called to belong to Jesus Christ.
To all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First I want to say that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because people everywhere in the world are talking about your faith.
God, whom I serve with my whole heart by telling the Good News about his Son, knows that I always mention you
every time I pray. I pray that I will be allowed to come to you, and this will happen if God wants it.
I want very much to see you, to give you some spiritual gift to make you strong.
I mean that I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.
Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that I planned many times to come to you, but this has not been possible. I wanted to come so that I could help you grow spiritually as I have helped the other non-Jewish people.
I have a duty to all people -- Greeks and those who are not Greeks, the wise and the foolish.
That is why I want so much to preach the Good News to you in Rome.
I am proud of the Good News, because it is the power God uses to save everyone who believes -- to save the Jews first, and also to save those who are not Jews.
The Good News shows how God makes people right with himself -- that it begins and ends with faith. As the Scripture says, "But those who are right with God will live by trusting in him."
God's anger is shown from heaven against all the evil and wrong things people do. By their own evil lives they hide the truth.
God shows his anger because some knowledge of him has been made clear to them. Yes, God has shown himself to them.
There are things about him that people cannot see -- his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do.
They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness.
They said they were wise, but they became fools.
They traded the glory of God who lives forever for the worship of idols made to look like earthly people, birds, animals, and snakes.
Because they did these things, God left them and let them go their sinful way, wanting only to do evil. As a result, they became full of sexual sin, using their bodies wrongly with each other.
They traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served what had been created instead of the God who created those things, who should be praised forever. Amen.
Because people did those things, God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women.
In the same way, men stopped having natural sex and began wanting each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs.
People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do.
They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst about each other. They gossip
and say evil things about each other. They hate God. They are rude and conceited and brag about themselves. They invent ways of doing evil. They do not obey their parents.
They are foolish, they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or mercy to others.
They know God's law says that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they applaud others who do them.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.