1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, and which concerns His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and appointed Son of God with power1 according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. To 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.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you at all times in my prayers,2 10 asking if perhaps now, at last, by the will of God, the way may be opened for me to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you3 by our mutual faith, both yours and mine.

13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might obtain some fruit among you as well, just as I have among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and barbarians, both to wise and foolish. 15 Thus, for my part, I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.

God’s Righteousness Revealed in the Gospel

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed, based on faith, resulting in faith.4 As it is written, “The righteous man shall live by faith.”5

God’s Wrath Revealed against Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is evident within6 them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor were they thankful, but instead became futile in their thoughts, and their senseless heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image7 made in the likeness of corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.8

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another,9 25 these who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and who worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to shameful passions. For even their women exchanged natural relations for what is contrary to nature. 27 Likewise the men also, abandoning natural relations with women, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their waywardness.

28 And just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain God in their knowledge, so God gave them over to a worthless mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all sorts of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and depravity; they are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, 30 backbiters, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful—32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Notes

  1. Or declared with power to be (the) Son of God
  2. Or make mention of you, at all times
  3. Or among you
  4. Lit. out of faith, unto faith
  5. Or He who is righteous by faith shall live. See Hab. 2:4
  6. Or, encouraged among you
  7. Or exchanged the glory . . . for an image
  8. Or crawling things, creatures
  9. Lit. among themselves

 

God’s Impartial Judgment

Therefore you are without excuse, O man, every one of you who passes judgment, for at the very point in which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Now we know that the judgment of God is according to truth upon those who practice such things. But do you think this, O man—you who judge those who practice such things, yet do the same things yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think nothing of the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that the goodness of God is meant to lead you to repentance? But in accordance with your stubbornness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath; the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his deeds:1 to those who, by patiently continuing to do good, seek for glory and honor and immortality—eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and who do not obey the truth, but instead obey unrighteousness—wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who does what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and as many as have sinned within the Law will be judged through the Law—13 (for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous in the sight of God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature the things prescribed in the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing them witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else2 defending them)—16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

The Law, the Judgment, and the Jew

17 Now if you call yourself a Jew, and rest upon the Law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the Law, 19 and if you are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having in the Law the very form of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others,3 do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the Law, do you dishonor God through breaking the Law? 24 For, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.4

25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you practice the Law; but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 If, therefore, an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 Indeed, he who is physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the Law, will judge you, who, despite your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the Law! 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely5 outward in the flesh. 29 Rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and his circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter—whose praise is not from men, but from God.

Notes

  1. Psalm 62:12;Prov. 24:12
  2. Or even
  3. Lit. another
  4. See Is. 52:5; Ezek. 36:22
  5. Lit. that which is

What Advantage Has the Jew?

“What advantage, then, has the Jew; or what profit is there in circumcision?” Much in every way! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the very oracles of God!  “What then if some of them were unfaithful?1 Will their unfaithfulness nullify the faithfulness of God?” Certainly not! Rather, let God be true and every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be vindicated in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.”2 “But if our unrighteousness exhibits the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Would not God, who inflicts wrath, be unjust?” (I speak as a mere man) Certainly not! For how then could God judge the world? “But if, through my lie, the truth of God abounds to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?” And why not say—as we are slanderously reported to be saying, and as some claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may come?” Their condemnation is just.

All the World Accountable to God

“What, then? Are we no better off than they?”  No, not at all, for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.

10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They all have turned aside;
Together they have become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”3
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is beneath their lips”;4
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”5
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;6
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”7

19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may become accountable to God. 20 Therefore by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. For there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God publicly displayed as a site of reconciliation,8 accessible through faith in his shed blood. He did this in order to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He had passed over the sins previously committed, 26 but always with a view to the demonstration of His righteousness at this present time, that He might be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? God forbid! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Notes

  1. Or did not have faith
  2. Or enter into judgment; see Psalm 51:4
  3. Psalms 14:1–3,53:1–3; Eccl. 7:20
  4. Psalms 5:9, 140:3
  5. Psalm 10:7
  6. Is. 59:7, 8
  7. Psalm 36:1
  8. Lit. mercy seat; or, propitiation, atoning sacrifice

 

The Justification of Abraham

What then shall we say that Abraham, our father according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about—but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited1 to him as righteousness.”

Now to the one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift, but as his due. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works, saying, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the LORD will never impute sin.”2

9 Is, then, this blessedness pronounced only upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised as well? For we say that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it credited: while he was circumcised or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision (a seal of the righteousness that was his based on the faith he had while as yet uncircumcised) that he might be the father of all who believe, even if they are not circumcised—that righteousness might be imputed to them as well—12 and “the father of circumcision” to those who are not only circumcised, 3 but who also walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham when as yet he was uncircumcised.

Promise, Law, and Faith

13 For the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he would be the heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness that is based on faith.4 14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, then faith is made void and the promise is of no effect, 15 because the Law engenders wrath; but where there is no law, there is also no transgression.

16 For this reason, it is by faith, that it might be according to grace, that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”)5 in the sight of Him whom he believed—even God, who gives life to the dead, and who speaks of things that do not exist as though they did. 18 In hope, against hope, Abraham believed, and so became the father of many nations, according to what had been spoken, “So shall your seed be.”6 19 And not being weak in faith, he considered his own body—already dead, since he was about a hundred years old—and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but instead grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully persuaded that what He had promised He also was well able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was credited to him for righteousness.”7

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was credited to him, 24 but for ours also, to whom it will be credited, even to those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead: 25 who was delivered up for8 our transgressions, and raised up for8 our justification.

Notes

  1. Greek, logizomai: to credit, reckon, account, impute; see Gen. 15:16
  2. Psalm 32:1-2
  3. Lit. of the circumcision
  4. Lit. righteousness of faith
  5. Gen. 17:5
  6. Gen. 15:5
  7. Gen. 16:6
  8. Lit. because of

 

Blessings of the Way of Faith

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have1 peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and so rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also glory in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, perseverance proven character, and proven character hope. Moreover, such hope does not disappoint us, for the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For even for a righteous person, a man will rarely die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. Yet God demonstrates His own love toward us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, shall we be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.11 And not only this, but we also glory in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now have received the reconciliation.

The Two Adams

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

15 But the gift of grace is not like the transgression. For if, by the transgression 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. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For on the one hand, the judgment arose from one transgression, resulting in condemnation; on the other hand, the gift of grace arose from many transgressions, resulting in justification. 17 For if, by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace, and the abundance of the gift of righteousness, reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 So then, just as one transgression resulted in condemnation for all men, so also did one act of righteousness result in justification and life2 for all men. 19 For just as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover, the Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more,3 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Notes

  1. Some mss let us have
  2. Lit. justification of life
  3. Lit. super-abounded

 

Shall the Justified Continue in Sin?

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we who died to sin live in it any longer? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so too we should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,1 that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more: Death no longer has dominion2 over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once and for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves completely dead3 to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it4 in its various lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion5 over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Holy Slavery

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? God forbid! 16 Do 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, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, though you once were slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that form6 of teaching to which you were entrusted.7 18 And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 (I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in8 more lawlessness, so now you must present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in8 sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore, what fruit did you then have in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, having been freed from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit resulting in sanctification, and the outcome:9 eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Notes

  1. Or rendered powerless
  2. Or mastery
  3. Lit. dead indeed, truly dead
  4. I.e. your body
  5. Or mastery
  6. Or pattern
  7. Greek, to hand over; to place in custody
  8. Or for the promotion of
  9. Lit. the end

 

A Better Husband

Or do you not know, brothers (for I speak to those who know the Law), that the Law has lordship over a man as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning a husband. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is freed from the Law, so that she is not an adulteress, even though she has married another man. Therefore, my brothers, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead—so that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that are aroused by the Law were at work in our members to bear fruit unto death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we might serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

Of Sin and the Law

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? God forbid! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the Law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the Law had said, “You shall not covet.”1But sin, taking its opportunity through the commandment, produced in me every kind of evil desire. For apart from the Law sin is dead. And apart from the Law I was once alive, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was meant to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking its opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it, killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did what is good therefore become death to me? God forbid! Rather, sin, that it might be seen as sin, produced death in me through that which is good, so that sin, through the commandment, might become sinful beyond all measure. 14 For we know that the Law is spiritual; however, I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I want to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that very thing I do! 16 But if I am doing what I do not want to do, then I agree with the Law that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who am doing it, but the sin that dwells within me.18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) there dwells no good thing; for the desire for good is present within me, but the actual doing of it is not. 19 For the good that I would do, I do not; but the evil I would not do, that I practice.20 But if I am doing what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who am doing it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 I find, then, a2 law that evil is present with me, the one who desires to do good. 22 For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law at work in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin that is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?3 25 Thanks be to God,4 through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the Law of God with the mind; but with the flesh I serve the law of sin.

Notes

  1. Ex. 20:17;Deut. 5:21
  2. Lit. the law, the principle
  3. Or from this body of death
  4. Some mss I thank God . . .

The Spirit-led Life of the Righteous in Christ

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you1 free from the law of sin and death.For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For those who live2 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. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God; for it does not subject itself to the Law of God, for it is not even able to do soSo then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life3 because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

12 Therefore, brothers, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die. But if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”4 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs also—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we also may be glorified with Him.

Suffering and Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the deep longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, 21 because5 the creation itself also will be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only the creation, but also we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit: Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, then with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

26 And in the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together6 for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

More than Conquerors

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but instead delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also, with Him, freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?  God is the One who justifies; 34 who then is the one who can condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who died; and more than that, the One who was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, and who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.”7 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Notes

  1. Some mss me
  2. Lit. are
  3. Or the spirit is alive
  4. Or a spirit of adoption, by which
  5. Or possibly who subjected it, in hope that
  6. Some mss that all things work together
  7. Psalm 44:2

Paul’s Love for the Jews

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying—my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could pray that I myself were accursed from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites; to whom belong the adoption as sons, the Glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the service of worship, and the promises; to whom belong the fathers, and from whom, according to the flesh, came the Christ—may God, who is over all, be blessed forever.1 Amen!

God’s Sovereign Grace

But it is not as if the word of God has fallen to the ground, for they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel, nor are they all children simply because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “Through Isaac shall your seed be named.”2 In other words, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God; rather, it is the children of the promise who are counted as the seed. For this is a word of promise: “At that time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.”3 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah as well, who conceived twins by one and the same man, our father Isaac. 11 Yet before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose according to election might stand, not by works, but by Him who calls—12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.”4 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”5

Sovereign Grace Defended

14 “What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God?” God forbid! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”6 16 So then, it is neither of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, that I might display My power in you, and that My name should be proclaimed in all the earth.”7 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He will, and whom He will, He hardens.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has ever resisted His will?” 20 But on the contrary, who are you, O man, to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And what if He did this in order to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He also called, not only from among the Jews, but also from among the Gentiles? 25 As He also says in Hosea:

“I will call them ‘My people’ who were not My people,
And her ‘Beloved’ who was not beloved.”8
26 “And it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”9

27 But concerning Israel, Isaiah cries out:

“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
It is only the remnant that will be saved;

28 For the Lord will execute his sentence upon the land,10

And will do so thoroughly and swiftly.” 11

29 Just as Isaiah previously had said:12

“Unless the Lord of Hosts had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And would have been made like Gomorrah.”

Israel and the Way of Works

30 “What shall we say then?” We shall say that Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have now attained righteousness, even the righteousness that is based on faith; 31 but that Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 Just as it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense; but he who believes on Him will never be put to shame.”13

Notes

  1. Or Christ, who is God over all, forever blessed.
  2. Lit. in Isaac shall; Gen. 21:12
  3. Gen. 18:10, 14
  4. Gen. 25:23
  5. Mal. 1:2, 3
  6. Ex. 33:19
  7. Ex. 9:16
  8. Hos. 2:23
  9. Hos. 1:10
  10. Or earth; lit. execute his word upon the land
  11. Lit. finishing it and cutting it short; Is. 10:22-23
  12. Or Just as Isaiah predicted; Is. 1:9
  13. Is. 8:14,28:16

 

10 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they should be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For ignoring God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the goal1 of the Law, resulting in righteousness for everyone who believes.

Moses Himself Wrote of Christ

For Moses writes about the righteousness based upon the Law, saying, “The man who practices these things shall live by them.”2 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down from aboveor, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring up Christ from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart,”3—that is, the word of faith which we proclaim, that if you confess4 with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will never be put to shame.”5 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is lord of all, abounding in riches to all who call upon Him. 13 For, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”6

14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom7 they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” 16 But not all have harkened9 to the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”10 17 So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word about Christ.

18 “But I say, surely they have never heard!” O but they have! For, “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.”11

19 “But I say, surely Israel did not know!” First Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by that which is not a nation; by a nation without understanding I will move you to anger.”12 20 And later on, Isaiah is very bold, saying, “I was found by those who did not seek Me;
I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”13 21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”14

Notes

  1. Or end, termination
  2. Lev. 18:5
  3. Deut. 30:12-14
  4. Or which we proclaim. Because if you confess
  5. Is. 28:16
  6. Joel 2:32
  7. Or of whom
  8. Is. 52:7, Nah. 1:15
  9. Or obeyed
  10. Is. 53:1
  11. Psalm 19:4
  12. Deut. 32:21
  13. Is. 65:1
  14. Is. 65:2

God Has a Remnant of Jewish Believers

11 “I say then, has God completely cast off His people?” God forbid! For I too am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast off His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”?1 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”2 In the same way, then, there is at this present time a remnant according to the election of grace. And if it is by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.

What then? That which Israel seeks, it has not obtained; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were hardened. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see,
And ears that they should not hear,
Down to this very day.”3

And David says:

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
Even a stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 May their eyes be darkened, so as not to see,
May You bend their backs forever.”4

Israel Will Be Grafted in Again

11 “I say then, have they stumbled so as to fall beyond recovery?” God forbid! Rather, through their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness be!

13 I speak to you who are Gentiles: Inasmuch, then, as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I might provoke to jealousy those of my own flesh, and so save some of them. 15 For if their being cast off is reconciliation for the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16 For if the first fruits of the sacred dough is holy, the lump also is holy; and if the root is holy, so too are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them, and became with them a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you!

Let the Gentiles be Grateful—and Fear!

19 You will say to me then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right: They were indeed broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by your faith. But do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Behold, then, the kindness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity, but towards you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and then, contrary to nature, grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?

The Mystery of God’s Plan for Jew and Gentile

25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, lest you should be wise in your own eyes, that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved; just as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come forth from Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this will be5 My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”6

28 With respect to the gospel they are enemies for your sake; but with respect to the election of God, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are without regret or change.7 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, yet now have obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 so now these also have been disobedient, so that through the mercy shown to you they also may now8 obtain mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Eternal Praise for God’s Inscrutable Judgments

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His paths past tracing out!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has ever counseled Him?”9
35 “Or who has first given to Him,
That He should pay him back again?”10

36 For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

Notes

  1. 1 Kings 19:10, 14
  2. 1 Kings 19:18
  3. Deut. 29:4; Is. 29:10
  4. Psalm 69:22, 23
  5. Or is
  6. Is. 59:20, 21
  7. Lit. without repentance
  8. A number of trustworthy mss omit now
  9. Is. 40:13;Jer. 23:18
  10. Lit. that it should be paid back to him; Job 41:11

New Testament Priests

12 Therefore, I exhort you brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is the new spiritual way in which you are to worship Him.1 And do not be conformed to this present evil world,2 but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may give a public proof of the will of God—of that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Humble Service with Spiritual Gifts

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought, but to think judiciously, as God has allotted to each one a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, according to the proportion of our faith; if service, in our service; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with sincerety3; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Attitudes and Actions of the Christian

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, preferring one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit4, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, pursuing hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not set your mind on lofty things, but associate with the lowly.5 Do not be wise in your own eyes. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Take care to do what is right in the eyes of all men. 18 If it is possible, and as much as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but instead leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”6 says the Lord. 20 Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire upon his head.”7 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Notes

  1. Lit. your spiritual (or reasonable) service of worship
  2. Or age
  3. Or generosity, liberality
  4. Or possibly, aglow with the Spirit
  5. Or give yourselves to humble tasks; accommodate yourselves to lowly things
  6. Deut. 32:35
  7. Prov. 25:21, 22

 

God, Government, and the Christian

13 Let every soul be in submission to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except what comes from God, and the authorities that exist have been set in place by God. Therefore the one who resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same, for he is a servant of God to you for your good. But if you do evil, then be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger to bring wrath upon the one who practices evil. Therefore you must be in submission, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. It is for this reason that you also pay taxes, because they are ministers of God, attending continually to this very thing.Therefore, render to all their due: tax to whom tax, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

A Time for Love

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law. For all these— “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder, You shall not steal, you shall not covet,”1 and whatever other commandment there may be—can be summed up in this one saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”2 10 Love works no evil to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now is the time for you to awaken from sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelries and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and unbridled lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to satisfy its lusts.

Notes

  1. Ex. 20:13–15,17;Deut. 5:17–19, 21
  2. Lev. 19:18

Judgment and Liberty in Non-essentials

14 Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, but not with a view to judging1 his opinions. One man believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats look down on him who does not; and let not him who does not eat judge him who does, for God has received him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for God is able to make him stand.

One man values one day above another; another values every day alike. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day observes it to the Lord. Also, he who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, does not eat to the Lord—and he too gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord, both of the dead and of the living.

10 But you who judge, why do you judge your brother? Or again, why do you look down on your brother? For we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God. 14 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall acknowledge God.”2 12 So then, each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve this: not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in our brother’s way.

Self-sacrifice in Pursuit of Peace

14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that in itself nothing is unclean; but if anyone considers something to be unclean, then to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of your food your brother is distressed3, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let your food tear down the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore, do not let what you regard as good4 be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and approved by men.

19 Let us therefore pursue the things which make for peace, and the things by which we may edify one another. 20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. Yes, all things are clean, but eating them is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat, nor drink wine, nor do anything at all by which your brother stumbles. 22 The faith that you have, have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Notes

  1. Or disputing
  2. Or confess, give praise to; Is. 45:23
  3. Or, grieved, offended
  4. Lit. your good

 

Christ, Our Example

15 Now we who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not simply please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, for his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”1 For whatever was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God of perseverance and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another according to Christ Jesus, so that in unison—with one mouth—you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received you to the glory of God.

Christ, the Servant of Jew and Gentile

For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision in behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will confess to You2 among the Gentiles, and I will sing hymns to Your name.”3 10 And again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”4 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”5

12 And again, Isaiah says:

“The root of Jesse shall come,
Even He who shall arise to reign over the Gentiles:
In Him shall the Gentiles hope.”6

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

God’s Apostle to the Gentiles

14 Now concerning you, my brothers, I myself am also confident that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and well able to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, on some points I have written to you more boldly, in order to remind you once again. I have done so because of the grace of God given to me, 16 that I should be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, in the manner of a priest ministering the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore, in Christ Jesus I boast in the things that pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ Jesus has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—19 by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders,7 by the power of the Spirit, so that from Jerusalem and all around as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And thus did I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation. 21 But as it is written:

“Those who were not told of Him shall see,
And those who have not heard shall understand.”8

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

22 For this reason I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, no longer having a place in these regions, and having had a great desire these many years to come to you 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I will indeed come. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped by you on my way there, having first enjoyed your company for a little while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, it pleased them, and indeed they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in physical things. 28 Therefore, when I have completed this ministry, and have sealed this fruit to them, I will go by way of you to Spain. 29 And I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

30 Now I beseech you, brothers, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 asking that I may be delivered from those in Judea who are disobedient, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Notes

  1. Psalm 69:9
  2. Or, give praise to You, acknowledge You
  3. 2 Sam. 22:50;Psalm 18:49
  4. Deut. 32:43
  5. Psalm 117:1
  6. Is. 11:10
  7. Or obedience in word and deed—by the power of
  8. Is. 52:15

Commendations and Greetings

16 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 so that you will welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in any matters wherein she has need of you; for she herself has been a helper of many, and of me as well.

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom I give thanks, and not only I, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Asia to Christ. Greet Mary, who labored much for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias,1 my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, laborers in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who has labored much in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Beware of Divisive Men

17 Now I urge you, brothers, keep your eye on those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way, contrary to the teaching which you learned—and turn away from them. 18 For such men do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth talk and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you; nevertheless, I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil. 20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Greetings from Paul’s Colleagues

21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, all greet you. 22 (I, Tertius, who am writing this letter, greet you in the Lord.) 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, our2 brother. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.3

Concluding Doxology

25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ—according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now made manifest, and, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known through the prophetic Scriptures to all nations for the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen!

Notes

  1. Or Junia (fem.)
  2. Lit. the
  3. Many older mss omit this verse