Romans

A letter to the Christian congregation of Rome that was written (possibly in Aramaic)
by Tertius for the Apostle Paul, sometime around 60-CE.

Chapter 1

1 Paul, a slave of Jesus the Anointed One, who is called an Apostle and who was set aside for the good news of God, 2 which He promised through His Prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 that tell about His Son who came in the flesh from the seed of David, 4 and who proved to be God's Son in a powerful way when he (by [God's] Holy Breath) was resurrected from the dead… yes, Jesus the Anointed One and our Lord, 5 through whom we received loving care and a commission that we have obeyed so that all the nations might have faith in his name, 6 from among whom you've also become called ones belonging to Jesus the Anointed.

7 To all in Rome that are God's loved ones and have a holy calling; may you have favor and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus, the Anointed.

8 First, I thank my God for all of you through the Anointed Jesus, because your faith is being announced throughout the whole world. 9 For my God (who appointed me to use my breath in service to the good news about His Son) is my Witness that I never fail to mention you in my prayers. 10 I keep begging that I can find a way sometime (as it is God's Will) to come to you, 11 for I long to see you so that I can give you some spiritual gift to help make you unshakable… 12 or perhaps we could encourage each other through our faith (both yours and mine).

13 I don't want you to fail to recognize this, brothers: I planned to come to you many times, but I've been prevented from doing so until now, so that I could find the same type of fruitage which I have in you among the rest of the gentiles 14 (the Greeks and the barbarians, the wise and the ignorant… all those to whom I am indebted). 15 Yet I'm eager to preach the good news to you there in Rome also.

16 I'm not ashamed of the good news, because it's the power that God uses to save everyone who has faith… first the Jews, and then the Greeks. 17 Why, God's righteous ways are revealed in the faith of the faithful, for it's written: 'The righteous will live by [their] faith.' 18 However, God's fury is being displayed from heaven against all the ungodliness and badness of people who unrighteously try to resist the truth. 19 For, whatever can be known about God already shines among them, because God made it shine to them. 20 Indeed, His invisible qualities can be seen in everything He's made since creation of the cosmos. And once they are understood, they clearly demonstrate His eternal power and might, which leaves [these people] without any excuse.

21 However, although they already know God, they don't glorify Him as God or thank Him, so their thoughts are wasted and their foolish hearts are darkened. 22 And while they claim to be wise, they've become morons, 23 since they've turned the glory of the incorruptible God into images of corruptible men, of things that fly, of four-footed creatures, and of things that slither. 24 So God is giving them what their hearts desire… uncleanness, to dishonor their bodies. 25 Yes, they've exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and they've started worshiping and serving things that were created rather than the One who created them… the One who is praised through the ages. May it be so.

26 And this is why God abandoned them to their dishonorable passions; for their females have changed the natural use of themselves into something that's unnatural, 27 and the same is true of their males! They've left the natural use of females and started burning in their lust toward each other – males with males – doing what is indecent and receiving the type of reward they deserve for such wrongdoing. 28 And because they don't approve of coming to an accurate knowledge of The God, He has given them depraved minds, which make them do these wrong things.

29 Why, they're filled with unrighteousness, wickedness, greediness, badness, envy, murder, arguing, deceitfulness, rudeness, and gossip. 30 [They are] slanderers, God haters, insolent, proud, braggarts, inventors of badness, disobedient to parents, 31 without any understanding, agreement breakers, without any natural love, and merciless. 32 And although they know the righteous judgments of God very well (that those who do such things deserve death); they not only keep on doing them, but they also approve of others who are doing such things!

Chapter 2

1 So you are defenseless, O man, if you're someone who judges others. Because when you judge others you're condemning yourselves, since you're doing the very same things that you judge [to be wrong in them]. 2 And we know that God's judgment on those who do such things is righteous. 3 Thus, when you judge those who do these things that you're also doing, do you think that you'll escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you fail to appreciate the value of the loving care, patience, and tolerance that He's [had to show for you]? Realize that these [fine] qualities of God are trying to lead you to repentance!

5 Why, because of your hard and unrepentant hearts, you're saving up a treasure of rage upon yourselves in that day of fury when the righteous decisions of God will be seen 6 and He pays them all back for the [bad] things they're doing.

7 Those who do good things are searching for age-long life, as well as glory, honor, and incorruption. 8 But for those who like to argue and disobey the truth by being unrighteous, there'll be just wrath, anger, 9 and some very hard times. Yes, this is what will come into the life of every person who works at doing what's bad (to the Jews first and then to the Greeks). 10 But there is glory, honor, and peace for all those who work at doing what's good (for the Jews first, and then for the Greeks), 11 because God is impartial.

12 Indeed, all those who are without the Law and who sin, will perish without the Law. Likewise, those who are under the Law and who still sin are condemned by the Law. 13 So those who just listen to the Law aren't deemed righteous before God, for only those who obey the Law will be found righteous. 14 But whenever people of the nations who don't have the Law naturally obey things in the Law, they not only have the Law, they are the Law! 15 For when they obey the Law, they show that it's written in their hearts and it's working with their consciences there to examine their thoughts. Then [their own hearts] will either accuse them or defend them 16 in that Day when God judges the hidden things of men by this good news that I'm preaching (through the Anointed Jesus).

17 Now, if you are called a Jew and you're resting on the Law and taking pride in your God, 18 and if you understand His Will and all the excellent instructions of the Law, 19 and if you think that you're a guide to the blind and a light to those who are in darkness 20 (someone who can instruct the unreasonable and teach babies), and if you fully grasp all the knowledge and truth in the Law… 21 then do you, [the one] who is teaching others, also teach yourselves? And you who preach, Do not steal… do you steal? 22 And you who teach, Do not commit adultery… do you commit adultery? And you who are disgusted with idols… do you steal from temples? 23 And you who take pride in [God's] Law… do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? 24 For it's written: 'God's Name is being blasphemed among the gentiles because of you people!'

25 Now, circumcision is good… as long as you're obeying the Law. But if you're a person who breaks the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 And if an uncircumcised person obeys the righteous requirements of the Law; Won't his uncircumcision be considered circumcision? 27 So if those who are uncircumcised naturally obey the Law (except for what it says about being circumcised), they're really judging those of you who break the Law!

28 Therefore, being a Jew isn't something that can be seen; for [true] circumcision isn't something that's visible in the flesh. 29 Rather, being a Jew is something within you, since circumcision comes from the spirit of the heart, not from something that's written… it's not there to be praised by men, but by God!

Chapter 3

1 In what way then is a Jew superior, or of what benefit is circumcision? 2 It's a huge benefit in every way! For God entrusted His Word to the hands [of the circumcised]. 3 And if some [of them] don't believe; does their lack of faith prove that faith in God is worthless? 4 May that never happen! Rather, let God be proven true even if that makes every man a liar! As it's written: 'So that you might be proven righteous by your words and you can come off victorious when you're being judged.'

5 However, if our unrighteousness [is exposed by] God's righteousness; what can we say? Then God won't be wrong when He brings His wrath, will He? So I'm saying this to [all] men: 6 May that never happen! Otherwise, how could God judge the world?

7 But if I tell a lie and that makes the truth of God and His glory grow, why should I be judged a sinner? 8 Well, it's [because we're doing such things] that people aren't just slandering us, they're proving that some of us are saying, 'Let's do bad things so that good things can happen.' And this is why such a condemnation is so well deserved!

9 Is there anything that makes us [Jews] better than [gentiles]? No, not at all; for we have proven to you that both Jews and Greeks are sinners! 10 It's written:
'No one is righteous… no one!
11 For there's no one who truly understands,
And no one one is searching for God,
12 Since all have strayed and are useless.
And no one is kind… no not one!
13 Their throats are like open graves,
And with their tongues, they practice deceit,
For the poison of asps is under their lips.
14 With cursing and shouting, their mouths become filled,
15 And their feet are ready to go and spill blood.
16 In their swath, is misery and destruction,
17 And the road to peace, they've not known;
18 For in their eyes, there's no fear of God.'

19 Now, we know that everything that was said in the Law was meant for just those who are under the Law… yet it stopped every mouth and proved the whole world deserving of God's punishment. 20 But no flesh is going to be called righteous before Him by obedience to the Law, because the Law just helped us to understand what sin is. 21 Therefore, the absence of the Law is revealing the righteousness of God… and to this the Law and the Prophets all testified! 22 So this is why the righteousness of God is now coming to all those who believe and who are showing their faith in Jesus the Anointed One. And it's why there is no longer any difference between us, 23 since we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

24 Being called righteous is a gift that [God] kindly gives to us through the ransom that was paid by the Anointed Jesus. 25 For God sent him here as a sin offering, so that when we have faith in his blood, the sins that we committed 26 back when God was just tolerating us, can be forgiven. And this is what allows us to look into His righteous ways today. Yes, He proves Himself righteous by calling [all] those who have faith in Jesus, righteous!

27 So, where is our reason for boasting? It's gone! Does it come from obeying the Law? No, it comes through the Law of Faith, 28 since we believe that a man is called righteous because of his faith, not by the works of the Law!

29 [Do you think that God is] only the God of the Jews… isn't He also [the God of] of the gentiles? Yes! [He's the God] of the gentiles also! 30 So God is really the One who calls both the circumcised and the uncircumcised righteous because of their faith.

31 Then, does our faith invalidate the Law? Never may that happen! Rather, it makes the Law stronger.

Chapter 4

1 For example, consider our fleshly ancestor AbraHam. 2 If [God] had called AbraHam righteous because of the things he did, [AbraHam] might have had a reason to boast… but not to God. 3 However, what do the Scriptures say? 'AbraHam was counted as righteous because he believed in The God (gr. To Theo).'

4 Now, when a man works [for a living], his getting paid isn't thought of as a kindness… it's something that he's owed! 5 However, those who don't actually do anything other than just believe in the One who calls the ungodly righteous are counted as righteous because of their faith.

6 Notice that David also spoke of how blest a man is whom God counts as righteous despite [all the bad things] that he's done. [For he wrote]:
7 'Blest are those forgiven for breaking the Law,
And those whose sins have been covered.
8 Yes, blest is the man whose sins are not counted by [God]!'

9 So, doesn't this 'blessing' apply to both the circumcised and the uncircumcised? For as [David] said: 'AbraHam was counted as righteous because of his faith.' 10 And just what was [AbraHam's] situation when [God] thought of him that way? Was this before he was circumcised or after he was circumcised? It wasn't after he was circumcised, it was while he was uncircumcised! 11 For the sign that he received (circumcision) was a seal of the righteousness that he showed while he was uncircumcised! Therefore, [AbraHam] became the father of those who have faith while they are yet uncircumcised, and [just like AbraHam], they can be counted as righteous! 12 So he not only became the father of circumcision to the uncircumcised, but also the father of those who follow in the faith and footsteps of our father AbraHam when he was uncircumcised!

13 Indeed, AbraHam and his seed weren't given the promise of inheriting the world because of the Law, but because of their righteous faith! 14 But if [you can only] become heirs through the Law, then faith has no value and the promise is worthless… 15 for all that the Law brings is [God's] wrath. Yet, where there's no law, there's nothing to break!

16 Because we believe in [God's] loving care, we are assured that the promise applies to all who are [AbraHam's] seed… and they're not just those who are under the Law, but all those who have the same faith as AbraHam, who is the father of us all! 17 For notice that it was written: 'I've appointed you to be the father of many nations.'

[Now, when this was said about him], he was standing before The God in whom he believed… the One who makes the dead alive and who calls the things that aren't and makes them exist. 18 So although [AbraHam originally] didn't have any reason for hope, he came to believe that he would become the father of many nations; for he was told, 'They will be your seed.' 19 So the fact that his body was almost dead (since he was a hundred years old) and that the womb of Sarah was dead, this didn't weaken his faith, 20 because it was promised to him by The God in whom he trusted. So he was strengthened by something that was unbelievable… and God was glorified by his faith! 21 For [AbraHam] was completely convinced that [God] could do whatever He promised, 22 and this is why he was counted as righteous!

23 Now, the words, 'he was counted as,' weren't just written for his sake, 24 but for the sake of all those whom [God] thinks of in that same way… those who believe in the One who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead. 25 For after he had been offered up for our errors, he was then raised. And this is why we too can be counted as righteous!

Chapter 5

1 So, now that we've been declared righteous because of our faith, let's enjoy the peace that we have with God through our Lord Jesus the Anointed One. 2 For it's through him that we have this faith and are able to bask in His loving care.

Therefore, let us boast about the hope [that we have] to the Glory of God. 3 And not only that; let's also boast about the difficulties we suffer, because we know that these difficulties give us endurance, 4 the endurance helps us to pass the tests, and passing the tests gives us a hope 5 that will never embarrass us, because it pours God's love into our hearts through the Holy Breath that He gives to us.

6 For a fact; the Anointed One came right on time and died for ungodly men back when we were still weak! 7 Yet, few would be willing to die for the righteous, and even fewer would be willing to die for the good. 8 But God showed His love for us through the Anointed One who died for us while we were still sinners!

9 Now, since we've been called righteous by [Jesus'] blood; isn't it even more likely that he will save us from [God's] wrath? 10 Because, if we found God's favor through the death of His Son while we were His enemies, how much more so will we be saved by His [Son's] life, now that He cares for us! 11 And not only that; but now (through our Lord Jesus the Anointed One) we're also glorifying The God who has granted us this privilege.

12 Sin entered the world through one man, and this sin resulted in death. So by this [one] sin, death was passed on to all men and they have all sinned. 13 So even before the Law arrived, there was sin in the world… yet sin isn't counted [against us] when there's no law to break. 14 But despite that, death still reigned from [the time of] Adam down to Moses, even over those who hadn't sinned in the same wrong way that Adam had sinned… but this [Adam] was a prototype of the one who was to come.

15 Now, the sin [of Adam] can't be compared to the gift [from God]. For if death came to many because of the wrongdoing of one man; think of how much more the loving-care of God and His gift (the loving care of one man, Jesus the Anointed One) has brought an abundance to so many!

16 This true gift didn't come from the one (Adam) who had sinned… indeed, his judgment was just condemnation. But [God's] gift is the justifying of many errors. 17 So if death did in fact come to rule through that one error; how much greater is the abundance of the gift of righteousness and the receiving of life that will come to rule through the loving care of that one… Jesus the Anointed.

18 Also, since the result of one error was to condemn all mankind; then through this one righteous act, everyone can be counted righteous so they can live! 19 And as the disobedience of one man caused many to become sinners; through the obedience of one [man], many will also be counted as righteous!

20 Now, the Law came along so as to show up many errors. However, where there are many sins, a superabundance of loving-care can be shown. 21 Therefore, as sin has reigned and brought death; [God's] loving care will bring a righteous rule and age-long life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed.

Chapter 6

1 So, what can we say? Should we remain sinners so there can be more [of His] loving care? 2 May that never happen! If we've died to sin, how can we still live in it? 3 Are you ignorant of the fact that all who were baptized into the Anointed Jesus were also baptized into his death? 4 Therefore, we were buried with him by our baptism into the death, so that just as the Anointed One was raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father, we should be walking in a new way of life. 5 And if we've been buried with him into the same type of death; then [like him], we will also be resurrected.

6 So we must recognize that the person we used to be was hung on a pole with [him] to bring an end to our sinful bodies… which means that we shouldn't be slaves to sin anymore! 7 Because, those who have died have been acquitted of their sins. 8 And if we believe that we have already died with the Anointed One, we will also live with him. 9 For we know that the Anointed One has been raised from the dead and he won't die again, so death isn't his master anymore. 10 And when he died, he died for sins once and for all time… so now he's alive and he's living to The God (gr. To Theo)! 11 Likewise, you should also consider yourselves dead when it comes to sin, but alive to The God through the Anointed Jesus.

12 Therefore, don't allow sin to rule your mortal bodies anymore and don't obey its desires… 13 don't offer your body parts to serve as unrighteous weapons of sin! Rather, offer yourselves to The God as people who've been made alive from among the dead, and [offer] your body parts to God as weapons of righteousness! 14 Indeed, sin must not be your master… indeed, you aren't under the Law, you're under [God's] loving care.

15 So if we are no longer under the Law but under [God's] loving care, does that mean we can keep on sinning? May that never happen! 16 Don't you know that if you offer yourselves to obey someone as a slave, you're really the slave of the one whom you're obeying? [So, you're] either [a slave] to sin, which results in death, or [you're a slave] to obedience, which results in righteousness. 17 Thank God that, although you used to be slaves to sin, your hearts have started to obey this teaching that you were given, 18 which freed you from sin and made you slaves to righteousness!

19 I'm going to put this in simple terms because of your fleshly weaknesses: Just as you once offered your body parts as unclean slaves to immorality and Law breaking, you must now offer your body parts as slaves to righteousness and holiness; 20 because, [back] when you were slaves to sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 And what was the result of the things [you did] back then? Aren't these the very things that you're so ashamed of? And these are the things that end in death! 22 But now that you've been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, you can have holiness and age-long life. 23 For the wage of sin is death, while God's gift is age-long life through the Anointed Jesus, our Lord.

Chapter 7

1 Are you ignorant, brothers? I'm telling those of you who know the Law, that the Law is a man's master for as long as he lives! 2 This is the same situation as with a woman who is bound to the law of her man for as long as he's alive… but after he dies, she's no longer under his law. 3 So, though she would be condemned as an adulteress if she were to ever become another man's woman while her man is still alive; after he dies, she's free from his law and she isn't an adulteress if she marries another.

4 So my brothers; You died to the Law through the body of the Anointed One, and now you belong to someone else… you've been raised from the dead so that you can now produce fruitage for God! 5 Because, while you were fleshly, what the Law labels as sinful passions were working within you, and the fruitage they produced was death. 6 But now that you've been set free from the Law (because you've died to the thing that held you down), you can become slaves to something new… to a newness of spirit, and no longer to some old writings!

7 So what should we say… that the Law sinful? May that never be true, for I wouldn't have known what sin was, were it not for the Law. [For example;] I wouldn't have known what envy was if the Law hadn't said, 'You must not envy.' 8 Yet, when I learned about this sin from the Commandment, it created every sort of envy [in me]. So before the Law arrived, sin was dead.

9 Actually, I once lived apart from the Law; but after I came under the Commandments, sin came to life and I died. 10 Therefore, I found that the Commandments which were supposed to lead me to life, led me to death… 11 for the sins that I learned about in the Commandments seduced me and killed me. 12 Nevertheless, the Law and the Commandments are still holy, righteous, and good.

13 So, what is it that killed me? Was it the thing that was good for me? May that never be true! Rather, it's sin (when it was exposed as sin by that which is good for me) that [led me to] death… for the Commandments made sin a lot more sinful! 14 This is because the Law is something that's spiritual, while I am fleshly and sold into sin. 15 So I really don't understand what I'm doing, for I don't do the things that I want to do, and I don't like the things that I'm doing. 16 Yet, despite the fact that I'm doing things that I don't want to do, I still say that the Law is good. 17 For although I'm no longer trying to be under [the Law], sin is still there dwelling within me.

18 I know that nothing that's dwelling within me (in this flesh) is any good; for although I want to do what's right, I don't have the will to do it. 19 So I don't do the good things that I want to do and I still practice what's bad. 20 Therefore, if I'm doing things that I don't want to do, I'm really not in charge [of my body]… the sin that dwells there is! 21 So although I find that I want to obey the Law and do good things; badness is always here within me. 22 And although the man that I am on the inside really enjoys the Law of God; 23 my body parts are obeying a different law and they're at war with the law of my mind… they drag me into the laws of sin that are in my body parts.

24 O what a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body of death? 25 But thanks to God (through our Lord Jesus the Anointed); though I'm a slave to sin's law in my flesh, I'm still a slave to God's Law in my mind!

Chapter 8

1 There is nothing that can condemn those who are in the Anointed Jesus (those who are walking in the ways of the Spirit, not [in the ways of] the flesh), 2 because the law of the Spirit of life that's in the Anointed Jesus doesn't come from the Law of sin and death. 3 So the weakness of the Law is just the weakness of the flesh. And by sending His own Son over this matter of sin (in what appeared to be sinful flesh), God condemned the sins of the flesh, 4 so that the righteous requirements of the Law could be fulfilled in those of us who aren't obeying the flesh, but the Spirit. 5 For those of the flesh just think about fleshly things, while those of the Spirit [think about] spiritual things.

6 Indeed, the thoughts of the flesh bring death, while the thoughts of the Spirit bring life and peace. 7 And obeying the flesh brings God's rejection, because [the flesh] isn't under God's Law, nor can it ever be! 8 Therefore, those who follow fleshly ways can't be pleasing to God. 9 However, if God's Breath lives in us, we are no longer fleshly but spiritual… and those don't have the spirit of the Anointed One don't belong to him. 10 So if the Anointed One is truly within you, your body is indeed dead to sin and his spirit is making you alive through your righteousness.

11 Therefore, if the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you; the One who raised the Anointed Jesus from the dead will also make your dying bodies alive through His Breath that's in you. 12 So brothers; since we don't owe anything to the flesh, we shouldn't be following fleshly [ways]! 13 For if you're living according to the flesh, you're intending to die. But if (by [God's] Breath) you're willing to destroy the deeds of the body, you will live!

14 Indeed, all who are led by God's Breath are Sons of God! 15 [And because of this,] you didn't receive a spirit of bondage to fear again; rather, you received a spirit of adoption, through which you can now call out, 'Papa! Father!' 16 This is the same Spirit that testifies to the spirit within us that we are God's children… 17 and if we're [His] children, we're also [His] heirs… yes, heirs of God and heirs with the Anointed One! However, we'll all have to suffer together so we can be glorified together.

18 I don't believe that the sufferings we currently must endure amount to anything when they're compared to the glory that's going to be revealed in us. 19 Indeed, [all] creation is awaiting and earnestly expecting the revealing of the sons of The God. 20 For creation wasn't subjected to futility willingly, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in the hope that 21 all creation will also be set free from bondage to decay and then enter the glorious freedom of the children of The God!

22 We know that all creation has been groaning and in birth pains until now. 23 And it isn't alone, since even those of us who have received the first fruitage of [God's] Breath groan within ourselves as we await the adoption and the [payment of] the ransom that will free our bodies. 24 Yes, this is the hope that's saving us!

Now, when you hope for something that you can see, that really isn't hope… because people don't hope for something they can already see. 25 However, if we keep hoping for something we can't see, we'll keep waiting for it patiently.

26 And we have the [Holy] Spirit helping us with our weaknesses, because we don't always know what we should be praying for. Yet the Spirit is always there, groaning the words [that we] haven't spoken. 27 And the One who searches hearts knows the thoughts of the Spirit; because, like a god, he's an advocate for the holy ones.

28 We know that The God makes everything work together for the good of those who love Him (those who have been called to do His Will). 29 For He recognized them ahead of time and chose them to become like His Son, who was to be the firstborn from among many brothers! 30 All whom He chooses, He calls; all whom He calls, He makes righteous; all whom He makes righteous, He glorifies!

31 So, what can we say about all of this? If God is over us, who can come down on us? 32 And since He didn't spare even His own Son, but handed him over for all our sakes; then, why shouldn't [we believe that] He will also give us everything else? 33 For, who can accuse those who have been chosen by God? Yes, if God has declared us to be righteous, 34 who can condemn us? So, since we now have the Anointed Jesus (who died, was raised from the dead, and is at God's right hand) there pleading our case, 35 what can remove us from the love of the Anointed One? Not hard times, difficulties, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or swords!

36 It was written: 'We're being killed for Your sake all day long… we are thought of as sheep to be slaughtered!' 37 But through this One who loves us, we have conquered all these things! 38 Why, I'm convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor governments, nor things that are happening or will happen, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to take us from God's love that is in the Anointed Jesus, our Lord!

Chapter 9

1 In the name of the Anointed One, I'm telling you this as the truth (no, I'm not lying), for my conscience testifies with me in [God's] Holy Breath 2 that I'm extremely sad and constantly sick at heart, 3 because I wish that I could be the one that is cursed by being separated from the Anointed One, rather than my brothers and fleshly relatives, the IsraElites. 4 For they're the ones to whom the adoption as sons, the glory, the Sacred Agreement, the Law, the worship, and the promises belong. 5 They're the ones [who descended] from the forefathers and the ones through whom the Anointed One [came] in the flesh… yes, praise God who is over it all through the ages. May it be so!

6 However, God's Word hasn't failed in this, because not all who came from IsraEl are really IsraEl, 7 nor are AbraHam's seed his only children. Though [it's written], 'That which will be called your seed will come through IsaAc;' 8 [IsaAc's] fleshly children aren't all the children of God… for the children of the promise are that seed. 9 Notice the promise that [AbraHam] was given: 'I will return at this time and Sarah will have a son.' 10 And this isn't the only occasion. For when Rebecca was pregnant with twins from our forefather IsaAc, 11 and before they were born or did anything good or bad (just to show that God's purpose doesn't depend on the things we do, but on the One who does the choosing), 12 she was told: 'The older will be the younger [one's] slave.' 13 And it was written: 'I loved Jacob, but I didn't care for Esau.'

14 So what can we say? Is God unjust? May that never be true! 15 But he told Moses: 'I will show mercy upon whomever I choose to show mercy, and pity upon whomever I choose to feel pity.' 16 So, it doesn't depend on the one who does the wishing or on the one who does the running, but on the mercy of God! 17 For the Scriptures say that He told the PharaOh: 'The reason why I raised you is so that I can show My power through you, and to have My Name announced throughout the whole earth!'

18 So the [point is this]: He shows mercy on whomever He wishes to show mercy, and He hardens [the hearts] of whomever He wishes.

19 So you might ask: 'Then, why does [God] find fault with anyone who resists His plans?' 20 O man, who are you to question God? Will the thing that is made ask its maker, 'Why did you make me like this?' 21 For, isn't the potter in charge of his clay; and can't he make one pot for an honorable use and another for a dishonorable use from the same lump [of clay]? 22 Therefore, God can choose to show His rage and make His power known through whatever pottery He's had to endure. And if He made it for His rage, it's only fit to be destroyed! 23 But He can also show the richness of His glory upon the pots of mercy that He has prepared ahead of time for glory… 24 those of us whom He called not just from among the Jews, but also from among the gentiles!

25 It's as He said in Hosea: 'I will call those who aren't My people, My people, and the one I didn't love, My loved one. 26 So in those places where they were [once] told, You're not My people, they will be called The Sons of the Living God!'

27 Yet, IsaiAh shouted this about IsraEl:
'The people of IsraEl will then grow to be,
As many as the sands of the seas,
From the few that survive.'

28 And for a fact, [we can see that] the Lord is [now] bringing about this reduction on the earth.'

29 IsaiAh also prophesied:
'If Jehovah of armies hadn't left us a seed,
We would have become just like Sodom,
And the same as GomorRah.'

30 Therefore, we can say that people of the nations became righteous (although they weren't trying to be righteous) with the [type of] righteousness that comes from faith, 31 while IsraEl, which was following a righteous Law, just didn't make it! 32 And why was that so? Because [IsraEl] didn't look for it in faith, but in the things that they were doing… they tripped over the 'stumbling stone.' 33 As it is written:
'{Look!} Upon the foundation of Zion,
I'll place a valuable stone…
A costly, select cornerstone,
In order to serve as its base…
And those trusting in him will never be shamed.

'

Chapter 10

1 Brothers, the goodwill that I have in my heart for [the Jews] and the thing that I beg of God, is for them to be saved! 2 For I can testify to the fact that though they have a zeal for God, they still don't know [Him]. 3 And since they don't understand God's righteous ways and they're always trying to prove their own ways [to be righteous], they don't submit to God's righteousness. 4 However, the Anointed One fulfilled the Law so as to bring righteousness to those who have faith.

5 Moses wrote: 'You must follow all My rules and all My decisions… yes, follow them in such a way [that you learn to] live by them.' 6 However, righteousness that is based on following the [ways of] faith tells us: 'Don't ask in your hearts, Who could ascend into the heavens to bring the Anointed One down, 7 or, Who could descend into the abyss to bring the Anointed One up from the dead?' 8 What does it say? 'The words are close to you… they're in your mouths and in your hearts'… and these are the words of faith that we are preaching!

9 So if you confess and say the words in your mouths that Jesus is [our] Lord, and if you truly believe in your hearts that God raised him from the dead, you'll be saved! 10 For heart-felt faith [moves you to] righteousness, and your mouth's confessions [lead you to] salvation. 11 For the Scriptures tell us, 'Those who believe in him will never be shamed.'

12 So there's really no difference between Jews and Greeks, because we all have the same Lord… and he provides abundantly for all those who call on him. 13 Therefore, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! 14 However, how will they call on someone in whom they don't believe; how will they believe in someone of whom they've never heard; how will they hear without someone to preach; 15 and how will they preach if they aren't sent? This is why it was written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news about good things!'

16 Yet, not everyone will obey the good news; for notice that IsaiAh asked: 'Who has trusted our report of the Lord?' 17 So, faith comes from hearing… that is, by hearing the things that were spoken by the Anointed [One]! 18 But now I'm asking, Why haven't they heard, since the call has gone throughout their whole land… in fact, the words reached to the ends of the earth! 19 Yes I'm asking, Why doesn't IsraEl already know?

Notice that it was Moses who first told [them]:
'I will provoke you to jealousy with those who are not [of your] nation and anger you with those who don't understand.'

20 Then IsaiAh dared to [write]:
'I was seen by those not searching for Me,
And found by those not asking for Me.
I said, Here I am, to a nation,
Which has never called on My Name.'

21 And he went on to say this regarding IsraEl:
'I've held out My hands all day long,
To a people who just will not listen,
And to those who prefer to talk back.'

Chapter 11

1 So, let me ask: Has God pushed His people away? May that never be so! Why, I'm also an IsraElite… I'm the seed of AbraHam and of the tribe of BenJamin, 2 and God hasn't rejected all these people whom He knew first!

Don't you remember what the scriptures tell us that EliJah said as he was pleading with God concerning IsraEl? 3 [He said], 'O Jehovah; They've killed Your Prophets, they've dug up Your Altars, and I'm the only one left… and now they're seeking my life!' 4 And what was [God's] reply? 'I've kept seven-thousand people for Myself who haven't bent a knee to BaAl.' 5 So the same thing is true in this period of time; there are some still left who, through [His] loving care, have been chosen. 6 However, [receiving] His loving care doesn't come through [obedience to the Law], for if it did, His loving care wouldn't really be loving care.

7 So what happened to IsraEl? Well, not all of them received the thing that they were seeking… just the ones who'd been chosen from among them received it, while the rest became more obstinate. 8 For it's written:
'God gave them a spirit to slumber;
So their eyes haven't seen and their ears haven't heard,
Down to this very day.'

9 David also said:
'Let their table be a snare, trip lever, and trap,
As retribution upon them.
10 Let their eyes grow dim, so they cannot see,
And their backs forever bent double.'

11 So I ask: Did they stumble so [badly that] they couldn't be raised [again]? May that never be so! However, they've been missing out as the nations were being saved, just to make them jealous. 12 But if their missing out has enriched the world, and if their failures have enriched the gentiles; how much more will result from their [being included]?

13 Now, I want to address those of you who are gentiles. Since I'm really an Apostle to the gentiles, I can make my service even more glorious 14 if I can somehow make those who are my own flesh jealous and bring some of them to salvation. 15 Because, if throwing them away is restoring the world's relationship [with God], then what will receiving them back again mean, other than life for those who are dead? 16 And if the first fruits [can be made] holy, [then the rest of the crop will also be holy]… if the roots are holy, so are the branches! 17 Therefore, if some of the branches were broken off so that you wild olives could be grafted in, you have become sharers in the fatness of that olive [tree's] roots. 18 But don't start cheering because those branches [were removed]; for if you find yourselves doing that, remember that you aren't supporting the roots, they're supporting you!

19 You can in fact say, 'The branches were broken off so I could be grafted in'… 20 and that's a fact! They were broken off because they lacked faith, and you have taken their place because you have faith. But don't think too much of yourselves… be afraid! 21 For if God didn't spare the natural branches, He won't spare you either!

22 Therefore, recognize God's loving kindness as well as [His] willingness to remove. So, although those who have fallen have been cut off and you're now receiving God's loving care; it's only yours for as long as you stay in that [good relationship], because you can be pruned off also! 23 And then, if [the Jews] don't continue in their disbelief, they will be grafted back in, since God can graft them back in again! 24 So if you were cut from an olive tree that's wild by nature and then (contrary to nature) grafted into the garden olive tree; recognize how much easier it will be for those who are natural branches to be grafted back into their own olive tree again!

25 Brothers, I don't want you to ignore this mystery, so you don't become too wise in your own eyes: IsraEl was allowed to become calloused until the full number of gentiles came in. 26 Yet, this is how all IsraEl is going to be saved! For it's written:
'A Savior will come out of Zion,
And remove from Jacob, his godless ways.
27 Yes, this is My promise to them,
After I have removed all their sins.'

28 Therefore, from the standpoint of the good news, they have become His enemies for your sakes! But from the standpoint of the choosing, they are the ones who are loved because of their ancestors, 29 since the loving gifts of God and His calling are irrevocable!

30 So, just as you were once disobedient to God but have now been shown mercy [despite your] disobedience; 31 they are now being disobedient. Yet, because you were shown mercy, they may also be shown mercy. 32 Yes, God has locked them up together in disobedience so that He might show mercy to us all.

33 'O the depths of God's riches, wisdom, and knowledge,
And the mysteries of His decisions;
For His ways can't be figured out!

34 'Who's come to know the mind of Jehovah,
And who can give Him advice,
35 Or given Him something that He must repay?
36 Since all is from Him, by Him, and for Him,
To glorify Him through the ages'…
May it be so.

Chapter 12

1 So I beg you by the compassion of God, brothers, to offer your bodies as living, holy sacrifices that are pleasing to God, and to serve Him in sensible ways. 2 Don't [allow yourselves] to be molded by this system of things; rather, be transformed by renewing your minds so that you come to think well of the good, pleasing, and perfect Will of The God. 3 So, through the loving care that was shown to me, I'm telling all of you not to think too much of yourselves. Rather, think clearly, as God has given each of you your own share of faith.

4 [Remember that] our bodies have many parts, and none of [these parts] have the same function. 5 So, although there are many of us, we're really just one body in the Anointed One. Then starting from him, we are each parts of that body, so we all belong to each other. 6 And each of us also have different gifts that we were kindly given, whether it's prophesying according to our portion of faith, 7 serving in some service, teaching some point, 8 offering some encouragement, simply sharing, earnestly taking the lead, or cheerfully showing mercy. 9 Therefore, we should love [each other] without being judgmental. Rather, we should hate what is wicked and stick with the good things!

10 So, let your brotherly love make you more tender and caring to each other, and take the lead when it comes to showing honor to each other. 11 Do your best… don't be lazy… slave for the Lord and bubble over with his Spirit12 let your hope fill you with joy as you endure the difficulties and persecutions… and keep on praying. 13 Also, share whatever you have with the Holy Ones and be hospitable. 14 Learn to say nice things to those who persecute [you]… don't curse them, praise them! 15 Rejoice with people who are rejoicing and cry with those who are crying… 16 be aware of each other's needs… don't spend too much time thinking about high ideas, but deal with each other humbly… don't think too much of yourselves! 17 Don't be rude to people who treat you poorly, but plan to do good things in the eyes of everyone. 18 And if possible (whenever you can), be peaceable with everyone… 19 don't get even, loved ones; put anger in its place, because it's written: 'Let Me get even and I'll pay them back, says Jehovah.' 20 Also: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; and if he's thirsty, give him something to drink; for whenever you do this, you'll pile burning coals on his head.' 21 So, don't allow evil to conquer you, Rather, keep conquering the evil with goodness.

Chapter 13

1 Everyone should submit to the authorities that are over them. Indeed, there are no offices of authority that aren't from God, or any that haven't been instituted by God. 2 So those who resist the authorities whose laws have come from God are opposing themselves and condemning themselves! 3 For there's no reason to fear the rulers when we're behaving… just when we're misbehaving.

Do you wish that you wouldn't have to fear the authorities? Then, do good things and they'll praise you, 4 because they're God's servants for your own good. But if you're doing something that's wrong, you have good reason to fear. For that's why they bear the sword of God… they're God's servants and His avengers to show His rage upon those who are doing what is wrong!

5 So, it's important for you to obey them… and not just for [fear of] angering them, but because of [your] consciences. 6 This is why you pay your taxes; because, as public servants, they're serving God's purposes! 7 So, pay everyone whatever they're owed… to the tax collector, the property tax, and to the toll collectors, the tolls. Also, fear the police and show honor to those [who should be] honored. 8 Don't owe anything to anyone, except your love for each other, because those who love others have fulfilled [the] Law. 9 For [the Laws], 'You must not commit adultery; you must not murder; you must not steal; you must not envy;' (and whatever other Commandments there are) are summed up in the words, 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.' 10 So those who love don't do bad things to their neighbors, and the Law is fulfilled through love.

11 As for those of you who are aware of the season; it's time to wake up, because our salvation is now closer than it was when we first became believers! 12 The night is almost over and the Day is near; so we should be getting rid of the things that belong to darkness and putting on the weapons of light. 13 Yes, let's behave as we would in the daytime… not in wild partying and drunkenness; not in immoral sex and the lacking of principles; and not in arguing and jealousy. 14 Rather, we should be putting on the Lord Jesus the Anointed One, and no longer be planning [to satisfy] the cravings of the flesh.

Chapter 14

1 Therefore, welcome those who are weak in the faith and don't try to judge their motives. 2 For [example]: Those who have faith can eat anything, while those who are weak just eat vegetables. 3 But the one who eats [everything] shouldn't look down on the one who doesn't, and the one who doesn't eat [everything] shouldn't judge the one who does, since God has accepted them both. 4 For who are you to judge the house servant of another, since he stands or falls before his own master… and he can stand, because the Lord can make him stand!

5 Also, some consider one day as more important than others, while some consider each day the same as all the rest. However, each one should be sure of this in his own mind! 6 Then those who observe a certain day [as holy] should observe it to the Lord. Also, those who eat [whatever they wish] should eat it to the Lord, because they have thanked God for it, and those who don't eat [everything] should abstain to the Lord, since they too have thanked God [for what they have received].

7 So, none of us should be living just for ourselves, and none of us should be dying just for ourselves. 8 For when we live, we should be living for the Lord, and when we die, we should be dying for the Lord… because whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord! 9 And the reason why the Anointed One died and came to life again was so that he could be the Lord of both the living and the dead.

10 So, why are you judging your brothers, or why are you looking down on them, since we will all stand before the judgment seat of God! 11 For it's written: 'As I live, says the Lord; every knee will bend before Me and every tongue will confess before God.' 12 So, since each of us must answer for ourselves before God, 13 we should stop judging each other. Rather, we shouldn't be setting anything before our brothers that will cause them to stumble and fall.

14 Now, I know (and I've been persuaded by the Lord Jesus) that nothing is unclean… it's only when a man considers something to be unclean that it's unclean to him. 15 So if what you're eating upsets your brother, you aren't following the path of love yet. For you shouldn't want anyone for whom the Anointed One died to be destroyed over the food that you're eating… 16 nor should he speak badly of the good things that you're doing! 17 Because, the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with eating or drinking… just with righteousness, peace, and the joy of [God's] Holy Breath. 18 So, those of you who choose to make yourselves slaves in such matters [for the sake of] the Anointed One will be approved both by God and by men. 19 And what we should all be doing is trying to do the things that promote peace and to build each other up. 20 [We must] stop tearing down the work of God over food!

So, though it's true that all [food] is clean, it can still be bad for someone who stumbles over what others are eating. 21 Therefore, it isn't good to eat meat, or to drink wine, or to do anything else that could be a snare to our brothers. 22 Because, we should be sure that the things we believe [to be right] also look good in the eyes of God… and any man who isn't being judged over things of which he personally approves should be praised. 23 However, if he's unsure of something that he's eating, his lack of faith is condemning him for eating it; because, whenever we do something that we believe [could be wrong], that's a sin.

Chapter 15

1 So, those of us who are strong must handle the weaknesses of those who aren't strong, and not just be pleasing ourselves. 2 Rather, we should each be trying to please our neighbors by doing good things that build them up. 3 For even the Anointed One didn't just please himself. Notice that it's written: 'The insults of those who are insulting you, have fallen upon me.'

4 Understand that everything that was written until now has been written to teach us, so that through our endurance and through the comfort that comes from the Scriptures, we could have hope. 5 Therefore, may the endurance and comfort that comes from God supply these to you, so that you may pay attention to each other's needs in the same ways as did the Anointed Jesus. 6 Then together, as with one mind and one mouth, we can all bring glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One.

7 So, welcome each other as the Anointed One welcomed us (to the glory of God). 8 For [he] became a servant to those who are circumcised for the sake of the truth of God, and he verified the promises that were made to their ancestors, 9 while he allowed the gentiles to glorify God for His mercies. As it's written:
'That's why I will praise You to the gentiles,
And it's why I will sing to Your Name.'

10 And again it says:
'Rejoice, you gentiles, along with His people!'

11 And again:
'Praise Jehovah, you gentiles
Let all the peoples give praise to Him.'

12 Also, IsaiAh wrote:
'From the root of Jesse, one will arise,
Who will rule all the nations;
And in him, the gentiles will all put their hope.'

13 So, may the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace in the belief that you'll have more than enough faith through the power of [His] Holy Breath.

14 I'm sure of this about you, my brothers: You are filled with goodness, because you've been filled with all knowledge. Therefore, you can also strengthen each other!

15 Now, I'm writing to you in plain words to remind you that, because of a gift that God kindly gave to me, 16 I was appointed a [Temple] Official to the gentiles by Jesus the Anointed One and as their Priest of the good news of God, so that the offerings of the gentiles can be found worthy and clean through the Holy Breath… 17 and the Anointed Jesus has given me many good reasons to be cheerful when it comes to these things of God.

18 Therefore, I wouldn't dare to tell of anything that the Anointed One might have failed to accomplish on behalf the gentiles through me, because I've obediently followed his instructions in everything that I've said and done 19 through the power of signs, omens, and by the might of the Holy Breath. For I've thoroughly preached the good news about the Anointed One in a circuit from JeruSalem all the way to IlLyricum. 20 And I've made it my goal not to preach the good news in places where they've already heard about the Anointed One, so I wouldn't be building on another man's foundation. 21 As it's written:
'He'll be seen by those to whom he didn't preach,
And those who haven't heard him will then understand.'

22 So it was because of this that I was prevented from coming to you several times before. 23 However, now that I no longer have a place in these regions, and because I've wanted to come to you for several years, 24 it's my hope to see you along the way as I travel to Spain. Then, perhaps you can come to the place where I'll be stopping over.

25 However, right now I have to travel to JeruSalem to serve the needs of the Holy Ones, 26 because those in Macedonia and Achaea were happy to share their things by contributing to the poor among the Holy Ones in JeruSalem. 27 True, they were happy to do so, but they were also indebted to them. Because, if the gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they owed it [to the Holy Ones] as part of a public service to share things for the fleshly body.

28 So after I finish this and deliver these things to them safely, I'll visit you on the way to Spain. 29 And I know that when I do come to you, I'll come with a full measure of blessings from Anointed One.

30 Now, I beg you brothers, through our Lord Jesus the Anointed One and through the love of the Breath [of God], that you share in praying to God on my behalf, 31 that I might be saved from the unbelievers in Judea… and that my service in JeruSalem may prove to be what the Holy Ones need, 32 so that when I have the joy of getting back to you (if it's God's Will), I can spend some time resting up with you there. 33 May the God who gives peace be with all of you. May it be so.

Chapter 16

1 I recommend our sister Phoebe to you, who is also a servant in the congregation at Kenchreae. 2 Welcome her in the Lord as you would [welcome] the Holy Ones, and help her in any matter where she may have needs, because she has protected me many times… yes, me personally.

3 Give my greetings to Priska and Aquila, my fellow workers in the Anointed Jesus, 4 who have risked their necks for my life. And not just for me, but offer them thanks for all those who are called [from among] the gentiles. 5 And [send my greetings] the called ones in their home.

Also send my greetings to my beloved EpaiNeton, who is one of the first fruits of the Anointed One in [the province of] Asia. 6 And send them to Mary, who has done so many things for you. 7 Give my greetings to Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and fellow captives, who are notable ones among the Apostles, and who've been in the Anointed One longer than I have.

8 Give my greetings to Ampliatus, my loved one in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in the Anointed One, as well as my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, the one who is approved in the Anointed One. Also greet those from the household of AristoBoulou. 11 Send my greetings to my relative Herodion, as well as those in the Lord from the household of Narcissus. 12 Greet TryPhaina and TryPhosa, [women] who are working hard in the Lord. And send my greetings to our beloved Persida, because she has done so many good things in the Lord.

13 Greet Rufus, the Lord's chosen one, as well as his mother and mine. 14 Greet AsynCritus, Phlegonta, Hermes, PatroBas, Herman, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Send my greetings to PhiloLogus and Julian, Nereus and his sister Olympas, and all the Holy Ones with them. 16 Also greet each other with a holy kiss. For all the congregations of the Anointed One send you their greetings.

17 Now, I beg you brothers to keep an eye on those who are creating divisions and setting traps by going against the teachings that you've learned… avoid them, 18 because such men aren't slaving for our Lord the Anointed One, but for their own bellies. They're seducing the hearts of people who aren't really bad by using kind words and praises.

19 However, everyone has noticed your obedience, so I rejoice over you. I just want you to be wise when it comes to doing what's good, and not to get mixed up in doing what's evil, 20 since the God of peace will crush the Opposer under your feet shortly. So, may the loving care of our Lord Jesus be with you.

21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings, as do Lucius, Jason, and SosiPater, my relatives.

22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in [the] Lord.

23 Gaius, our host, and all in his congregation greet you. Erastus, the city public works manager, greets you, as does KouArtos his brother. 24 ——

25 Now, to the One who can make you strong in the good news that I declare through my preaching about Jesus the Anointed One and about the revelation of the mystery that has remained a secret through the ages, 26 but which through the prophetic scriptures have now been made known and seen among all the nations by the command of the God of ageless time to promote obedience by faith; 27 yes, to God who is the only truly wise One, be the glory through Jesus (the Anointed) through the ages. May it be so.

Use your browser BACK button to return to the text you were reading

Home Page