· Epistle to the Romans ·

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CHAPTER 1
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Greetings

1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Good News of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him, we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience of faith among all the nations, for his Name’s sake. 6Among them, you are also called to belong to Jesus Christ.

7To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9For God, whom I worship in my spirit in the Good News of his Son, is my witness; how unceasingly I always make mention of you in my prayers. 10I request, if by any means now at last I may be blessed by the will of God to come to you. 11For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift with the purpose that you may be established; 12that is, that I with you may be encouraged in you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

The wrath of God – Idolatry and immorality

13Now, I do not desire to have you unaware, brethren, that I have often planned to come to you, but so far I have been hindered, so that I might have some fruit among you also, even as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. 14I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15This is why there is so much eagerness on my part to preach the Good News to you also who are in Rome.

16Indeed, I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ. It is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. 17For in the Gospel God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith. As it is written,

But the righteous shall live by faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)

18However, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because what is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. 20For since the creation of the world, his invisible things are clearly seen. They are perceived through created things, even his everlasting power and divinity. This is so that they may be without excuse, 21because knowing God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.

22Thinking themselves to be wise, they became fools. 23They exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, of birds, of four-footed animals, and creeping things. 24Therefore, God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies should be dishonoured among themselves. 25Having exchanged the truth of God for a lie, they exalted and worshipped the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever. Amen.

26For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions: their women changed the natural function into what is against nature 27and the men did likewise. They abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. 28Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a worthless mind, to do those things which are not fitting. 29They have become filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, and malice. They are also full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and evil habits, secret slanderers, 30backbiters, hateful of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, and unmerciful. 32Knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do these things but also approve of those who practice them.

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CHAPTER 2
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The judgement of God

1Therefore, you are without excuse, if you are judging. For in passing judgement on another, you condemn yourself, because you pass judgement and yet practice the same things. 2We know that the judgement of God is according to truth and against those who practice such things. 3Do you think that you will escape the judgement of God if you judge those who practice such things and yet act the same? 4Or do you despise the riches of God’s goodness, tolerance, and patience, not knowing that his goodness leads you to repentance? 5But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgement of God. 6He ‘will pay back to everyone according to their works.’ (Psalms 61[62]:12; Proverbs 24:12) 7Eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory, honour, and incorruptibility. 8However, to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth but unrighteousness, there will be retribution and intense wrath, 9oppression and anguish. Trouble and distress will come to everyone who does evil, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

10On the other hand, glory, honour, and peace for everyone who does good; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, 11because there is no partiality with God. 12Hence, all those who have sinned apart from the law will also perish without the law; as many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous. 14Indeed, when Gentiles who do not have the law do by nature the things of the law, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15by showing that the practical expression of the law is written in their hearts. Their conscience bears witness, and their thoughts alternately accuse or defend them. 16This is for the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.

17Indeed, you bear the name of Jew, you rely on the law and glory in God. 18You know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law. 19You are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20a corrector of the foolish and a teacher of infants, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth. 21You therefore who teach another, why do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, why do you steal? 22You who say that a man should not commit adultery, why do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, why do you rob temples? 23You who glory in the law by your disobedience of the law, why do you dishonour God? 24For, ‘the Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you’ (Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:22), just as it is written.

About circumcision

25Indeed, circumcision gains something if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26And so, if an uncircumcised man keeps the ordinances of the law, will not his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision? 27Will not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfils the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law? 28For one is not a Jew by being so outwardly, neither is that circumcision, true circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. 29Instead, someone is a Jew by being one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter. Truly, their praise is not from human beings but from God.

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CHAPTER 3
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Objections and answers – The domination of sin

1And so, what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2Much in every way. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3But what if some were without faith? Will their lack of faith nullify the faithfulness of God? 4May it never be. Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written,

That you might be justified in your words,
and might prevail when you come into judgement. (Psalms 50[51]:4)

5But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous if he inflicts wrath? – I speak as people do. 6May it never be. For then, how will God judge the world? 7For if through my lie the truth of God overflowed to his glory, why am I still judged as a sinner? 8Why not, as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say, “Let us do evil, so that good may come?” Those who say so are justly condemned. 9What then? Are we better than they? No, by no means. For we previously warned both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10As it is written,

There is no one righteous; no, not one.
11There is no one who understands.
There is no one who seeks after God.
12They have all turned aside.
They have together become worthless.
There is no one who does good, no, not so much as one. (Psalms 13[14]:1-3; 52[53]:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20)
13Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they have used deceit.
The poison of vipers is under their lips; (Psalms 5:9; 139[140]:3)
14Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. (Psalms 9[10]:7)
15Their feet are swift to shed blood.
16Destruction and misery are in their ways.
17The way of peace, they have not known. (Isaiah 59:7-8)
18There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Psalms 35[36]:1)

The righteousness of God – Faith and the works of the Law

19Now, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be closed, and so that the whole world may be brought under the judgement of God. 20The reason is that by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight because the exact knowledge of sin comes through the law. 21But now, a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law; and the law and the prophets bear witness to it. 22It is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. 23There is no distinction because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24All are being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25God purposed him to be an atoning sacrifice through the shedding of his blood and to be received through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness by passing over prior sins, according to God’s patience. 26This was also to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time, so that God might himself be just and the justifier of whoever has faith in Jesus.

27Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28Therefore, we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles as well? Indeed, of the Gentiles too, 30since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by means of faith, and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be. In fact, we uphold the law.

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CHAPTER 4
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About Abraham

1What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, gained? 2Certainly, if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, although not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say?

Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)

4Now, to the one who works, the reward is not considered as a grace but as something owed. 5But to one who does not work but believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, it is faith that is accounted for righteousness. 6Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God attributes righteousness apart from works:

7Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin. (Psalms 31[32]:1-2)

9Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised as well? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham as righteousness. 10How then was faith taken into account? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was still uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all those who believe, even if they are uncircumcised, so that righteousness might also be accounted to them. 12He is the father of circumcision not only to those who are of the circumcision but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had before he was circumcised. 13Indeed, the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14However, if those who are of the law are heirs, then faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. 15As it is, the law brings about wrath; but where there is no law there is no transgression either. 16This is why the promise is to faith, so that it comes as a free gift and it is secure for all the descendants, not only for those who rely on the law but also for all those others who rely on the faith of Abraham, the father of us all. 17As it is written,

I have made you a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:5)

This is in the presence of the one whom Abraham believed: even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence what does not yet exist. 18Hoping against hope, Abraham believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations,’ according to what had been spoken, ‘And so will your seed be.’ (Genesis 15:5) 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body which was already worn out – he was about a hundred years old – and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20Yet, looking to the promise of God, he did not waver through unbelief but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God. 21Abraham was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to accomplish. 22Therefore, it also was ‘credited to him for righteousness.’ (Genesis 15:6) 23Now, it was not written that ‘it was accounted to him’ for his sake alone, 24but also for our sake; faith will be credited to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered up for our sins, and was raised for our justification.

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CHAPTER 5
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Reconciled with God through Christ

1Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, one will hardly die for someone righteous, but perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. 8But God entrusts his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

9Even more so then, since we are now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more shall we be saved by his life.

11And not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Sin and death – God’s gift through Christ

12Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to everyone, because all sinned. 13Until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins were not like Adam’s disobedience, and Adam is a type of him who was to come. 15However, the free gift is not like the sin. For if by the sin of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ abound to the many. 16The gift is not comparable to what happened through the one who sinned: certainly, the judgement came by one man’s condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses to bring justification. 17For if by the sin of the one, death reigned through that one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 18And so, as through one sin all men were condemned; likewise through one act of righteousness all men were justified to life. 19Indeed, just as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, likewise, through the obedience of the one, many will be made righteous. 20Moreover, the law came in so that sin might be multiplied; but where sin did multiply, grace multiplied even more. 21This way, just as sin ruled in death, grace was to rule through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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CHAPTER 6
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United to Christ – Baptism – Dead to sin

1What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? 2May it never be. We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer? 3Or do you not know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4And so, we were buried with him through baptism to death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we might also walk in newness of life. 5Truly, if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be [united with him] by a resurrection like his. 6It means that we recognise this, that our old humanity was crucified with him, so that the body of sin might be done away with, and so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7Whoever has died has been freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him. 10For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11Thus, consider yourselves to be dead as regards sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12And so, do not let sin rule in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13Also, do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14Sin will not have dominion over you because you are not under law but under grace. 15What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be so. 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God, that, although you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed. 18Having been released from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

19I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. Indeed, as you used to offer your members as servants of impurity and ever- increasing wickedness, now offer your members as servants of righteousness for sanctification. 20For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21What fruit did you obtain at that time by those things which now shame you? The end result of those things is death. 22But now, being made free from sin and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life. 23The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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CHAPTER 7
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Released from the Law – Its rôle

1Do you not know, brethren, for I speak to men who know the law, that the law has dominion over a person for as long as that person lives? 2Hence, the woman who has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3Therefore, if she is joined to another man while her husband lives, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law and she is no adulteress even though she is now joined to another man. 4Therefore, my brethren, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ in order to be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, so that we might bring forth fruit to God. 5While we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to produce fruit unto death. 6But now, we have been released from the law, having died to what was binding us, so that we serve in ‘newness of the spirit,’ and not in ‘oldness of the letter.’

7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be. However, I would not have recognised sin, except through the law. Indeed, I would not have known coveting, unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’ (Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21) 8But sin, finding an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 9I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10The commandment which was for life, I found to be for death, 11because sin, finding an opportunity through the commandment deceived me, and through it, killed me. 12Therefore, the law indeed is holy, and the commandment is holy, and righteous, and good.

Inner struggle

13Does that mean that something good resulted in death to me? May it never be. However, in order to be identified as sin, sin caused my death through that good thing. Hence, it is by means of the commandment that sin could become sinful beyond what anyone can bear. 14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15Indeed, I do not know what I am doing. I do not practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, this is what I do. 16But if I do what I do not desire, I agree that the law is good. 17And so, I am no longer the one doing this, but the sin which dwells in me. 18Thus, I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells, because although the desire is present within me, I do not find it doing what is good. 19In fact, the good which I desire, I do not do; but the evil which I do not desire, this is what I do. 20But if I do what I do not desire, I am no longer the one doing it, but the sin which dwells in me. 21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, it is evil that is present. 22For I delight in God’s law in my inmost self, 23but I see a different law in my members, and it is at war against the law of my mind. It brings me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24What a wretched man I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord. And so, with the mind I serve God’s law, but with the flesh, the law of sin.

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CHAPTER 8
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Free from the law of sin and of death

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God has accomplished by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin. Thus he condemned sin in the flesh; 4so that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, on the things of the Spirit. 6The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. 7This is because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; certainly, it is not subject to God’s law, and indeed it cannot be. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9However, you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. But anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12And so, brethren, we are not in debt to the flesh that we should live after the flesh. 13For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, then you will live. 14As many as are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15You did not receive the spirit of bondage to fear again. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption through which we cry, “Abba. Father.”

Adopted as children of God: hope of glory

16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; 17and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, so that we may also be glorified with him. 18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us. 19As it is, the creation waits with eager expectation for the revelation of God’s children. 20Indeed, creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that creation will also be delivered from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the totality of creation groans and labours in pain until now. 23Moreover, so do we who have the first fruits of the Spirit. We groan within ourselves, awaiting the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24We were saved in hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. Indeed, who hopes for what can be seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26Also, the Spirit helps our weaknesses, because we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27He who searches the hearts knows the way of thinking of the Spirit, because the prayers that the Spirit makes for the saints are always in accordance with God.

God’s purpose: foreknowledge, predestination, justification, salvation, glorification

28We know that everything works together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. 29Whoever God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that his Son a might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Whoever God predestined, he also called. Those whom he called, he also justified. Those whom he justified, he also glorified.

31What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also give us all things with him freely? 33Who could bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is the one who condemns? It is Christ, who died, yes and rather, who was raised from the dead and who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

No separation from the love of God in Christ

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Even as it is written:

For your sake we are killed all day long.
We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (Psalms 43[44]:22)

37No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38Indeed, I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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CHAPTER 9
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Paul’s sorrow for Israel’s unbelief – God’s sovereign mercy

1I tell the truth in Christ. I am not lying and my conscience bears witness with me in the Holy Spirit 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing pain in my heart. 3In fact, I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my relatives according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites. Theirs is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5From them are the fathers and Christ according to the flesh who is over all: God blessed forever. Amen.

6But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. In fact, those of ‘Israel’ are not all Israel, 7and just because they are Abraham’s seed, not all are children. But, ‘In Isaac will your seed be called.’ (Genesis 21:12) 8That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are considered as descendants. 9For this is a word of promise, ‘At the appointed time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.’ (Genesis 18:10,14) 10Not only so, but Rebecca also conceived by our father Isaac. 11Even before her twins had been born or had done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose of election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls, 12it was said to her, ‘The elder will serve the younger.’ (Genesis 25:23) 13Even as it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ (Malachi 1:2-3)

14What then shall we say? That there is injustice with God? May it never be. 15For God said to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ (Exodus 33:19) 16And so, it is not about someone willing or running, but it depends on God who has mercy. 17Thus, the Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose, I caused you to be raised up, so that I might show in you my power, and that my Name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ (Exodus 9:16) 18And so, God has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires. 19You will then ask me, ‘Why does God still find fault? Who can resist his will?’

20But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will the thing formed ask the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ (Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; Jeremiah 18:6-11) 21Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one part a vessel for honour, and another for dishonour? 22What if God, willing to show his wrath and also to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; 23and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory? 24That is us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? 25As he says also in Hosea:

I will call them “my people,” which were not my people;
and her “beloved,” who was not beloved. (Hosea 2:23)
26It will be that in the place where it was said to them,
“You are not my people,”
there they will be called “children of the living God.” (Hosea 1:10)

27Isaiah cries concerning Israel:

If the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea,
it is the remnant who will be saved;
28for he will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth. (Isaiah 10:22-23)

29As Isaiah has said before:

If the Lord of Hosts had not left us a seed,
we would have become like Sodom,
and would have been made like Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)

The righteousness which is of faith

30What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not in fact arrive at the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by the works of the law. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33even as it is written:

Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offence;
and no one who believes in him will be disappointed. (Isaiah 8:14; 28:16)

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CHAPTER 10
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About Israel – On salvation

1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God are for Israel, that they may be saved. 2Certainly, I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge. 3Being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the fulfilment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5Moses writes about the righteousness of the law, ‘The one who does them will live by them.’ (Leviticus 18:5) 6But the righteousness which is of faith speaks this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’, that is, to bring Christ down; 7or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’, that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.’ 8But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;’ (Deuteronomy 30:12-14) that is, the word of faith, which we preach. 9If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10With the heart, one believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made, resulting in salvation. 11As the Scripture says,

Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 28:16)

12Indeed, there is no distinction between Jew and Greek because the same Lord is Lord of all, and he is generous to all who call on him. 13For,

Whoever will call on the Name of the Lord will be saved. (Joel 2:32)

14But how will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher? 15And how will they preach unless they are sent? As it is written,

How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Good News of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things. (Isaiah 52:7)

16Still, they did not all listen to the Good News. As Isaiah says,

Lord, who has believed our report? (Isaiah 53:1)

17And so, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18But I say, did they not hear? Yes, most certainly:

Their sound went out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

19But I ask, did not Israel know? First, Moses says,

I will provoke you to jealousy with what is no nation.
With a nation void of understanding I will make you angry. (Deuteronomy 32:31)

20Isaiah is very bold and says,

I was found by those who did not seek me.
I was revealed to those who did not ask for me. (Isaiah 65:1)

21Yet, regarding Israel, he says,

All day long I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and opposing people.

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CHAPTER 11
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About Israel – On salvation

1I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be. In fact, I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people, which he foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he complained to God against Israel:

3Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have broken down your altars. I am left alone, and they seek my life. (3[1] Kings 19:10,14)

4But how does God answer him?

I have reserved for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (3[1] Kings 19:18)

5Likewise, at this present time, there is also a remnant according to the election of grace. 6And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

7What then? Israel did not obtain what it what seeking, but the elect obtained it; and the rest were hardened. 8This is according to what is written:

God gave them a spirit of deep sleep,
eyes not to see, and ears not to hear,
even to this very day. (Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10)

9As David says:

Let their table become a snare and a trap; a stumbling block.
Let it be their recompense.
10Let their eyes be darkened so that they may not see,
and keep their backs forever bent. (Psalms 68[69]:22,23)

11I ask then, did they stumble in order to fall? May it never be. However, by their fall, salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 12Now, if their fall is the treasure of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much greater riches will their fullness bring. 13For I speak to you who are Gentiles: since I am an apostle to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry. 14May I somehow provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh so that I may save some of them. 15For if their rejection means the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, if not life from the dead? 16If the first fruit is holy, so is the whole batch. If the root is holy, so are the branches. 17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them. Having become partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree; 18do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will then say, “Branches were broken off, so that I might be grafted in.” 20True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Do not be full of pride, but fear. 21Certainly, if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22You see, then, both the goodness and the severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23As for them, if they do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in, because God is able to graft them in again. 24If you were cut out of what is by nature a wild olive tree and were grafted against nature into a good olive tree, how much more will the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree.

Israel’s hardening – The gifts and the calling of God

25Indeed, I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brethren, so that you may not claim to be wiser than you are: a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in. 26And thus all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written:

There will come out of Zion the Deliverer,
and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
27This is my covenant to them,
when I will take away their sins. (Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

28Concerning the Good News, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of the forefathers. 29Indeed, without regret are the gifts and the calling of God. 30In the past, you were disobedient to God, but now, you have obtained mercy by their disobedience. 31Likewise, they also have now been disobedient, so that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy. 32Indeed, God has bound all human beings to disobedience, so that he might have mercy on all.

33Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgements, and how unfathomable are his ways.

34For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counsellor? (Isaiah 40:13)
35Or who has first given to the Lord so as to be paid back? (Job 41:11)

36Indeed, from him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory unto the ages. Amen.

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CHAPTER 12
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Holy worship – One Body, many parts

1Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your rational worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. 3By the grace that was given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, think [of yourselves] reasonably, as God has apportioned to everyone a measure of faith. 4For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members do not have the same function, 5likewise we, who are many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6We have different gifts according to the grace given to us: if it is prophecy, let us prophesy according to the measure of our faith. 7If it is service, let us dedicate ourselves to service. He who teaches should do his teaching; 8or he who exhorts his exhorting. As for the one who gives, let the giving be done with generosity. He who rules should rule with diligence and the one who shows mercy should do so with joy.

Christian living

9Let your love be without hypocrisy. Reject with horror what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10In love for the brethren, be tenderly affectionate with one another; place the honour of others above your own. 11Do not fall back in zeal; be fervent in the spirit, serving the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, endure in troubles, persevere in prayer; 13contribute to the needs of the saints; look for opportunities to be hospitable. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Do not set your mind on exalted things, but associate with the humble. Do not think that you are wiser than you really are. 17Repay no one evil for evil. Show respect for what is honourable in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, as much as is in your power, be at peace with all people. 19Do not seek revenge, beloved, but let God’s wrath follow its course. As it is written,

Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. (Deuteronomy 32:35)

20Therefore:

If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him a drink.
In doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head. (Proverbs 25:21-22)

21Do not be overcome by evil; instead, overcome evil with good.

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CHAPTER 13
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About higher authorities

1Let every human being be in subjection to the higher authorities because there is no authority except from God, and those who exist are ordained by God. 2Therefore, whoever opposes the authority opposes the ordinance of God and rebels will receive judgement upon themselves. 3Certainly, rulers are not a terror to the good deed, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will have praise, 4because it is for you a minister of God for good. But if you do what is evil, then be afraid, because it does not bear the sword in vain; it is a servant of God, an avenger of wrath to anyone who does evil. 5Therefore, you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for the sake of conscience. 6For this reason, you also pay taxes, because the authorities are ministers of God’s service, always taking care of this purpose. 7And so, give to everyone as you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; revenues to whom revenues are due; respect to whom respect is due; honour to whom honour is due.

Love, the fulfillment of the law – The day is near

8Do not owe anything to anyone, except to love one another; for whoever loves the other has fulfilled the law.

9Indeed, these commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this very saying, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Exodus 20:13-15,17; Deuteronomy 5:17-19,21; Leviticus 19:18) 10Love does not harm a neighbour. Love therefore is the fulfilment of the law.

11Do this, being aware of the time: it is already time for you to awaken from sleep, for salvation is now nearer to us than when we first believed. 12The night is far gone, and the day is near. Let us therefore throw off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13Let us walk decently, as in the day; not in parties and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and lustful acts, and not in strife or jealousy. 14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think how to satisfy the flesh and its lusts.

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CHAPTER 14
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Mutual respect

1Accept the one who is weak in faith, but not to enter into arguments over disputable matters. 2One has faith to eat everything while the weak eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats should not look down on the one who does not eat. The one who does not eat should not judge the one who eats because God has accepted him. 4Who are you who judge someone else’s servant? He stands or falls to his own master. Yes, that one will be made to stand, because God has the power to make someone stand.

5One person considers that one day is more important than others. Another thinks that every day is alike. Let each in his own mind be fully convinced. 6The one who observes the day should observe it ‘to the Lord;’ and the one who does not observe it should do so ‘to the Lord.’ The one who eats should eat ‘to the Lord’ because he gives thanks to God. Likewise, the one who does not eat should do so ‘to the Lord’ because he gives thanks to God. 7Indeed, we do not live selfishly and we do not die for ourselves. 8In fact, if we live, we live ‘to the Lord;’ or if we die, we die ‘to the Lord.’ Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9It is for this purpose that Christ died, rose, and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

10But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. 11As it is written,

“As I live,” says the Lord, “every knee will bow to me.
Every tongue will confess to God.” (Isaiah 45:23)

12And so, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13Therefore, let us not judge one another any more. Instead, resolve that no one should put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling.

14In the Lord Jesus, I know and I am convinced that nothing is unclean of itself. But to the one who considers anything to be unclean, to such a one it is unclean. 15Yet, if because of food your brother is grieved, you no longer walk in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16Thus, do not let what is good to you become a cause of evil things being said, 17because the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18Certainly, whoever serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by all. 19And so, let us pursue things which cause peace, and things by which we may edify one another. 20Do not overthrow God’s work for the sake of food. Everything indeed is clean; however it is evil for someone to create a stumbling block by eating. 21It is good not to eat meat, drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.

22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Blessed is the one who does not judge himself in what he approves. 23But the one who doubts is condemned if by eating, it is not of faith. Whatever is not of faith is sin.

24Now to him who is able to establish you according to my Good News and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret through long ages 25but is now revealed, and who by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known for obedience of faith to all the nations; 26to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever. Amen.

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CHAPTER 15
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Endurance and encouragement

1Now, we who are strong should bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not please ourselves. 2Let each one of us please our neighbour for what is good, to be edifying to him. 3Even Christ did not please himself. But, as it is written,

The insults of those who insulted you fell on me. (Psalms 68[69]:9)

4For whatever things were written before were written for our instruction, so that through patience and through the Scriptures’ encouragement we might have hope. 5Now, may the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to be together of the same mind according to Christ Jesus, 6so that with one accord, you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7Therefore, accept one another, even as Christ also accepted you, to the glory of God. 8Now, I say that Christ was made a servant of the circumcision for the truth of God, so that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9and so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

Therefore, I will give you praise among the Gentiles, and sing to your Name. (2 Samuel 22:50; Psalms 17[18]:49)

10Again he says:

Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people. (Deuteronomy 32:43)

11Again:

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles.
Let all the peoples praise him. (Psalms 116[117]:1)

12Again, Isaiah says:

There will be the root of Jesse,
He who arises to rule over the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles will hope. (Isaiah 11:10)

13Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s ministry and plans

14I myself am also convinced about you, my brethren, that you are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to instruct others. 15But I write all the more boldly to you, as reminding you, because of the grace that was given to me by God, 16that I should be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I should serve as a priest the Good News of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17I have my boasting in Christ Jesus in things pertaining to God 18because I will not dare to speak of anything except of what Christ has worked through me. This is for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of God’s Spirit. And so, from Jerusalem, and as far as Illyricum, I have fully preached the Good News of Christ. 20Yes, I have made it my goal to preach the Good News where Christ was not already called upon, in order not to build on someone else’s foundation. 21But, as it is written:

Those to whom no tidings of him came will see.
Those who have not heard will understand. (Isaiah 52:15)

22For this reason, I was hindered many times from coming to you. 23But now, since I no longer have any place in these regions and since I had for many years a longing to come to you, 24I will come to you whenever I travel to Spain, in order to be helped on my way there by you, and first of all to enjoy your company for a while. 25But now, I want you to know that I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26It has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem. 27Yes, it has been their good pleasure, as they are in debt to them. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them to be of service in material things. 28After I accomplish this and deliver this harvest to them, I will go to Spain by your way. 29I know that, when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Good News of Christ.

30Now I beg you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31so that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea and so that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints; 32that I may come to you in joy by the will of God, and together with you, find rest. 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

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CHAPTER 16
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Greetings

1I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the Church that is at Cenchreae, 2so that you receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints. Also, may you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you since she has been a benefactor to many, including myself.

3Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus, 4who risked their own lives for my sake. I am grateful to them, and with me all the Churches of the Gentiles. 5Greet the Church that is in their house and Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ. 6Greet Mary, who laboured much for us. 7Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and fellow-prisoners who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 9Greet Urbanus, our fellow-worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who work hard in the Lord. Greet Persis, the beloved, who has laboured much in the Lord. 13Greet Rufus, the chosen in the Lord, and his mother, a mother to me as well. 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brethren who are with them. 15Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. The Churches of Christ greet you.

17Now I beg you, brethren, watch out for those who are causing divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned. Stay away from them. 18Such people do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly. By their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the innocent.

19Indeed, your obedience has become known to all and I rejoice over you. I desire to have you wise in what is good, but innocent in what is evil, 20and the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

21Timothy, my fellow-worker, greets you, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. 22I, Tertius, who write the letter, greet you in the Lord. 23Gaius, my host and host of the whole Church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, as does Quartus, the brother. 24The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.