Bible: Romans 1-4
1:1 From Paul, 1 a slave 2 of Christ Jesus, 3 called to be an apostle, 4 set apart for the gospel of God. 5 1:2 This gospel 6 he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 1:3 concerning his Son who was a descendant 7 of David with reference to the flesh, 8 1:4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power 9 according to the Holy Spirit 10 by the resurrection 11 from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1:5 Through him 12 we have received grace and our apostleship 13 to bring about the obedience 14 of faith 15 among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. 1:6 You also are among them, 16 called to belong to Jesus Christ. 17 1:7 To all those loved by God in Rome, 18 called to be saints: 19 Grace and peace to you 20 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul’s Desire to Visit Rome
1:8 First of all, 21 I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 1:9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel 22 of his Son, is my witness that 23 I continually remember you 1:10 and I always ask 24 in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. 25 1:11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift 26 to strengthen you, 1:12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, 27 both yours and mine. 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, 28 brothers and sisters, 29 that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles. 30 1:14 I am a debtor 31 both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15 Thus I am eager 32 also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. 33
The Power of the Gospel
1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 34 1:17 For the righteousness 35 of God is revealed in the gospel 36 from faith to faith, 37 just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” 38
The Condemnation of the Unrighteous
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people 39 who suppress the truth by their 40 unrighteousness, 41 1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, 42 because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people 43 are without excuse. 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts 44 were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed 45 to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings 46 or birds or four-footed animals 47 or reptiles.
1:24 Therefore God gave them over 48 in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor 49 their bodies among themselves. 50 1:25 They 51 exchanged the truth of God for a lie 52 and worshiped and served the creation 53 rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 54 1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women 55 and were inflamed in their passions 56 for one another. Men 57 committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, 58 God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 59 1:29 They are filled 60 with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with 61 envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, 1:31 senseless, covenant-breakers, 62 heartless, ruthless. 1:32 Although they fully know 63 God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, 64 they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them. 65
The Condemnation of the Moralist 66
2:1 Therefore 67 you are without excuse, 68 whoever you are, 69 when you judge someone else. 70 For on whatever grounds 71 you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things. 2:2 Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth 72 against those who practice such things. 2:3 And do you think, 73 whoever you are, when you judge 74 those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, 75 that you will escape God’s judgment? 2:4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know 76 that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 2:5 But because of your stubbornness 77 and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed! 78 2:6 He 79 will reward 80 each one according to his works: 81 2:7 eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, 2:8 but 82 wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition 83 and do not obey the truth but follow 84 unrighteousness. 2:9 There will be 85 affliction and distress on everyone 86 who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, 87 2:10 but 88 glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 2:12 For all who have sinned apart from the law 89 will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. 90 2:14 For whenever the Gentiles, 91 who do not have the law, do by nature 92 the things required by the law, 93 these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 2:15 They 94 show that the work of the law is written 95 in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend 96 them, 97 2:16 on the day when God will judge 98 the secrets of human hearts, 99 according to my gospel 100 through Christ Jesus.
The Condemnation of the Jew
2:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law 101 and boast of your relationship to God 102 2:18 and know his will 103 and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law, 104 2:19 and if you are convinced 105 that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 2:20 an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth – 2:21 therefore 106 you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 2:22 You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor 107 idols, do you rob temples? 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law! 2:24 For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” 108
2:25 For circumcision 109 has its value if you practice the law, but 110 if you break the law, 111 your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcised man obeys 112 the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:27 And will not the physically uncircumcised man 113 who keeps the law judge you who, despite 114 the written code 115 and circumcision, transgress the law? 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, 2:29 but someone is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart 116 by the Spirit 117 and not by the written code. 118 This person’s 119 praise is not from people but from God.
3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages. 120 First of all, 121 the Jews 122 were entrusted with the oracles of God. 123 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being 124 shown up as a liar, 125 just as it is written: “so that you will be justified 126 in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” 127
3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates 128 the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? 129 (I am speaking in human terms.) 130 3:6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 3:7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances 131 his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. 132 (Their 133 condemnation is deserved!)
The Condemnation of the World
3:9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 3:10 just as it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one,
3:11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
3:12 All have turned away,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.” 134
3:13 “Their throats are open graves, 135
they deceive with their tongues,
the poison of asps is under their lips.” 136
3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
3:16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
3:17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 139
3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 140
3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under 141 the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him 142 by the works of the law, 143 for through the law comes 144 the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now 145 apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) 146 has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ 147 for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified 148 freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 3:25 God publicly displayed 149 him 150 at his death 151 as the mercy seat 152 accessible through faith. 153 This was to demonstrate 154 his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 155 3:26 This was 156 also to demonstrate 157 his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just 158 and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness. 159
3:27 Where, then, is boasting? 160 It is excluded! By what principle? 161 Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 3:28 For we consider that a person 162 is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. 163 3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 3:30 Since God is one, 164 he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify 165 the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead 166 we uphold the law.
The Illustration of Justification
4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh, 167 has discovered regarding this matter? 168 4:2 For if Abraham was declared righteous 169 by the works of the law, he has something to boast about – but not before God. 4:3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited 170 to him as righteousness.” 171 4:4 Now to the one who works, his pay is not credited due to grace but due to obligation. 172 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, 173 his faith is credited as righteousness.
4:6 So even David himself speaks regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
4:7 “Blessed 174 are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
4:9 Is this blessedness 178 then for 179 the circumcision 180 or also for 181 the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 182 4:10 How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, 183 so that he would become 184 the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, 185 that they too could have righteousness credited to them. 4:12 And he is also the father of the circumcised, 186 who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised. 187
4:13 For the promise 188 to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 4:14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 189 4:15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression 190 either. 4:16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, 191 with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, 192 who is the father of us all 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). 193 He is our father 194 in the presence of God whom he believed – the God who 195 makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. 196 4:18 Against hope Abraham 197 believed 198 in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations 199 according to the pronouncement, 200 “so will your descendants be.” 201 4:19 Without being weak in faith, he considered 202 his own body as dead 203 (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 4:20 He 204 did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 4:21 He was 205 fully convinced that what God 206 promised he was also able to do. 4:22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham 207 as righteousness.
4:23 But the statement it was credited to him 208 was not written only for Abraham’s 209 sake, 4:24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 4:25 He 210 was given over 211 because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of 212 our justification. 213