11From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus and an apostle chosen and called by God to preach his Good News.
2The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. 3It is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; 4as to his divine holiness, he was shown with great power to be the Son of God by being raised from death. 5Through him God gave me the privilege of being an apostle for the sake of Christ, in order to lead people of all nations to believe and obey. 6This also includes you who are in Rome, whom God has called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7And so I write to all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his own 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, because the whole world is hearing about your faith. 9God is my witness that what I say is true — the God whom I serve with all my heart by preaching the Good News about his Son. God knows that I remember you 10every time I pray. I ask that God in his good will may at last make it possible for me to visit you now. 11For I want very much to see you, in order to share a spiritual blessing with you to make you strong. 12What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.
You must remember, my brothers and sisters, that many times I have planned to visit you, but something has always kept me from doing so. I want to win converts among you also, as I have among other Gentiles. 14For I have an obligation to all peoples, to the civilized and to the savage, to the educated and to the ignorant. 15So then, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who live in Rome.
I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God's power to save all who believe, first the Jews and also the Gentiles. 17
For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”1.17 put right with God through faith shall live; or put right with God shall live through faith.
18God's anger is revealed from heaven against all the sin and evil of the people whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known. 19God punishes them, because what can be known about God is plain to them, for God himself made it plain. 20Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all! 21
They know God, but they do not give him the honour that belongs to him, nor do they thank him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense, and their empty minds are filled with darkness. 22They say they are wise, but they are fools; 23
instead of worshipping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortal human beings or birds or animals or reptiles.
24And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. 25They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised for ever! Amen.
26Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions. Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts. 27In the same way the men give up natural sexual relations with women and burn with passion for each other. Men do shameful things with each other, and as a result they bring upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wrongdoing.
28Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, he has given them over to corrupted minds, so that they do the things that they should not do. 29They are filled with all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and vice; they are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, deceit, and malice. They gossip 30and speak evil of one another; they are hateful to God, insolent,1.30 are hateful to God, insolent; or hate God, and are insolent. proud, and boastful; they think of more ways to do evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no conscience; they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or pity for others. 32They know that God's law says that people who live in this way deserve death. Yet, not only do they continue to do these very things, but they even approve of others who do them.
Do you, my friend, pass judgement on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are. For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself. 2We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these. 3But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgement on others! Do you think you will escape God's judgement? 4Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent. 5But you have a hard and stubborn heart, and so you are making your own punishment even greater on the Day when God's anger and righteous judgements will be revealed. 6
For God will reward every person according to what each has done. 7Some people keep on doing good, and seek glory, honour, and immortal life; to them God will give eternal life. 8Other people are selfish and reject what is right, in order to follow what is wrong; on them God will pour out his anger and fury. 9There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles. 10But God will give glory, honour, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. 11
For God judges everyone by the same standard.
12The Gentiles do not have the Law of Moses; they sin and are lost apart from the Law. The Jews have the Law; they sin and are judged by the Law. 13For it is not by hearing the Law that people are put right with God, but by doing what the Law commands. 14The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law. 15Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them. 16And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all.
17What about you? You call yourself a Jew; you depend on the Law and boast about God; 18you know what God wants you to do, and you have learnt from the Law to choose what is right; 19you are sure that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in darkness, 20an instructor for the foolish, and a teacher for the ignorant. You are certain that in the Law you have the full content of knowledge and of truth. 21You teach others — why don't you teach yourself? You preach, “Do not steal” — but do you yourself steal? 22You say, “Do not commit adultery” — but do you commit adultery? You detest idols — but do you rob temples? 23You boast about having God's law — but do you bring shame on God by breaking his law? 24
The scripture says, “Because of you Jews, the Gentiles speak evil of God.”
25If you obey the Law, your circumcision is of value; but if you disobey the Law, you might as well never have been circumcised. 26If the Gentile, who is not circumcised, obeys the commands of the Law, will God not regard him as though he were circumcised? 27And so you Jews will be condemned by the Gentiles because you break the Law, even though you have it written down and are circumcised; but they obey the Law, even though they are not physically circumcised. 28After all, who is a real Jew, truly circumcised? It is not the man who is a Jew on the outside, whose circumcision is a physical thing. 29
Rather, the real Jew is the person who is a Jew on the inside, that is, whose heart has been circumcised, and this is the work of God's Spirit, not of the written Law. Such a person receives praise from God, not from human beings.