1All the trouble came to an end. Then Paul sent for the believers. After cheering them up, he said good-by. He then left for Macedonia.2He traveled through that area, speaking many words of hope to the people. Finally he arrived in Greece.3There he stayed for three months. He was just about to sail for Syria. But the Jews were making plans against him. So he decided to go back through Macedonia.
1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I serve Christ Jesus. I have been appointed to be an apostle. God set me apart to tell others his good news.2He promised the good news long ago. He announced it through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.3The good news is about God's Son. As a human being, the Son of God belonged to King David's family line.4By the power of the Holy Spirit, he was appointed to be the mighty Son of God because he rose from the dead. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.5I received God's grace because of what Jesus did so that I could bring glory to him. He made me an apostle to all those who aren't Jews. I must invite them to have faith in God and obey him.6You also are among those who are appointed to belong to Jesus Christ.7I am sending this letter to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and appointed to be his people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. People all over the world are talking about your faith.9I serve God with my whole heart. I preach the good news about his Son. God knows that I always remember you10in my prayers. I pray that now at last it may be God's plan to open the way for me to visit you.11I long to see you. I want to make you strong by giving you a gift from the Holy Spirit.12I want us to cheer each other up by sharing our faith.13Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that I planned many times to visit you. But until now I have been kept from coming. My work has produced results among others who are not Jews. In the same way, I want to see results among you.14I have a duty both to Greeks and to non-Greeks. I have a duty both to wise people and to foolish people.15So I really want to preach the good news also to you who live in Rome.16I am not ashamed of the good news. It is God's power. And it will save everyone who believes. It is meant first for the Jews. It is meant also for those who aren't Jews.17The good news shows how God makes people right with himself. From beginning to end, becoming right with God depends on a person's faith. It is written, "Those who are right with God will live by faith."(Habakkuk 2:4)18God shows his anger from heaven. It is against all the godless and evil things people do. They are so evil that they say no to the truth.19The truth about God is plain to them. God has made it plain.20Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I'm talking about his eternal power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So people have no excuse for what they do.21They knew God. But they didn't honor him as God. They didn't thank him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark.22They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves.23They would rather have statues of gods than the glorious God who lives forever. Their statues of gods are made to look like people, birds, animals and reptiles.24So God let them go. He allowed them to do what their sinful hearts wanted to. He let them commit sexual sins. They polluted one another's bodies by what they did.25They chose a lie instead of God's truth. They worshiped and served created things. They didn't worship the Creator. But he must be praised forever. Amen.26So God let them go. They were filled with shameful longings. Their women committed sexual acts that were not natural.27In the same way, the men turned away from their natural love for women. They burned with sexual longing for each other. Men did shameful things with other men. They suffered in their bodies for all the twisted things they did.28They didn't think it was important to know God. So God let them go. He allowed them to have dirty minds. They did things they shouldn't do.29They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. They want more than they need. They commit murder. They want what belongs to other people. They fight and cheat. They hate others. They say mean things about other people.30They tell lies about them. They hate God. They are rude and proud. They brag. They think of new ways to do evil. They don't obey their parents.31They are foolish. They can't be trusted. They are not loving and kind.32They know that God's commands are right. They know that those who do evil things should die. But they continue to do those very things. They also approve of others who do them.
1If you judge someone else, you have no excuse for it. When you judge another person, you are judging yourself. You do the same things you blame others for doing.2We know that when God judges those who do evil things, he judges fairly.3Though you are only a human being, you judge others. But you yourself do the same things. So how do you think you will escape when God judges you?4Do you make fun of God's great kindness and favor? Do you make fun of God when he is patient with you? Don't you realize that God's kindness is meant to turn you away from your sins?5But you are stubborn. In your heart you are not sorry for your sins. You are storing up anger against yourself. The day of God's anger is coming. Then his way of judging fairly will be shown.6God "will give to each person in keeping with what he has done."(Psalm 62:12; %"Proverbs 24:12)7God will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good. They want glory, honor, and life that never ends.8But there are others who only look out for themselves. They don't accept the truth. They go down an evil path. God will pour out his burning anger on them.9There will be trouble and suffering for everyone who does evil. That is meant first for the Jews. It is also meant for the non-Jews.10But there will be glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good. That is meant first for the Jews. It is also meant for the non-Jews.11God treats everyone the same.12Some people do not know God's law when they sin. They will not be judged by the law when they die. Others do know God's law when they sin. They will be judged by the law.13Hearing the law does not make a person right with God. People are considered to be right with God only when they obey the law.14Those who aren't Jews do not have the law. Sometimes they just naturally do what the law requires. They are a law for themselves. This is true even though they don't have the law.15They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts. The way their minds judge them gives witness to that fact. Sometimes their thoughts find them guilty. At other times their thoughts find them not guilty.16People will be judged on the day God appoints Jesus Christ to judge their secret thoughts. That's part of my good news.17Suppose you call yourself a Jew. You trust in the law. You brag that you are close to God.18You know what God wants. You agree with what is best because the law teaches you.19You are sure you can lead people who are blind. You are sure you are a light for those who are in the dark.20You claim to be able to teach foolish people. You can even teach babies. You think that in the law you have all knowledge and truth.21You teach others. But you don't teach yourself! You preach against stealing. But you steal!22You say that people should not commit adultery. But you commit adultery! You hate statues of gods. But you rob temples!23You brag about the law. But when you break it, you rob God of his honor!24It is written, "Those who aren't Jews say evil things against God's name because of you."(Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:22)25Circumcision has value if you obey the law. But if you break the law, it is just as if you hadn't been circumcised.26Sometimes those who aren't circumcised do what the law requires. Won't God accept them as if they had been circumcised?27Many are not circumcised physically, but they obey the law. They will prove that you are guilty. You are breaking the law, even though you have the written law and are circumcised.28A man is not a Jew if he is a Jew only on the outside. And circumcision is more than just something done to the outside of a man's body.29No, a man is a Jew only if he is a Jew on the inside. And true circumcision means that the heart has been circumcised. It is done by the Holy Spirit. It is more than just obeying the written Law. Then a man's praise will not come from others. It will come from God.
1Is there any advantage in being a Jew? Is there any value in being circumcised?2There is great value in every way! First of all, the Jews have been given the very words of God.3What if some Jews did not believe? Will the fact that they don't have faith keep God from being faithful?4Not at all! God is true, even though every human being is a liar. It is written, "You are right when you sentence me. You are fair when you judge me." (Psalm 51:4)5Doesn't the fact that we are wrong prove more clearly that God is right? Then what can we say? Can we say that God is not fair when he brings his anger down on us? As you can tell, I am just using human ways of thinking.6God is certainly fair! If he weren't, how could he judge the world?7Someone might argue, "When I lie, it becomes clearer that God is truthful. It makes his glory shine more brightly. Why then does he find me guilty of sin?"8Why not say, "Let's do evil things so that good things will happen"? Some people actually lie by reporting that this is what we say. They are the ones who should be found guilty.9What should we say then? Are we Jews any better? Not at all! We have already claimed that Jews are sinners. The same is true of those who aren't Jews.10It is written, "No one is right with God, no one at all.11No one understands. No one trusts in God.12All of them have turned away. They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all." (Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20)13"Their throats are like open graves. With their tongues they tell lies." (Psalm 5:9) "The words from their lips are like the poison of a snake." (Psalm 140:3)14"Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness." (Psalm 10:7)15"They run quickly to commit murder.16They leave a trail of failure and pain.17They do not know the way of peace." (Isaiah 59:7,8)18"They don't have any respect for God." (Psalm 36:1)19What the law says, it says to those who are ruled by the law. Its purpose is to shut every mouth and make the whole world accountable to God.20So it can't be said that anyone will be made right with God by obeying the law. Not at all! The law makes us more aware of our sin.21But now God has shown us how to become right with him. The Law and the Prophets give witness to this. It has nothing to do with obeying the law.22We are made right with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That happens to all who believe. It is no different for the Jews than for anyone else.23Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory.24The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free.25God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood. God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them.26God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus.27So who can brag? No one! Are people saved by obeying the law? Not at all! They are saved because of their faith.28We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith. They are not saved by obeying the law.29Is God the God of Jews only? Isn't he also the God of those who aren't Jews? Yes, he is their God too.30There is only one God. When those who are circumcised believe in him, he makes them right with himself. When those who are not circumcised believe in him, he also makes them right with himself.31Does faith make the law useless? Not at all! We agree with the law.