Bible: Romans 9-16
Israel’s Rejection Considered
I am telling the truth in Christ (I am not lying!), for my conscience assures me 2 in the Holy Spirit – 9:2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 9:3 For I could wish 4 that I myself were accursed – cut off from Christ – for the sake of my people, 5 my fellow countrymen, 6 9:4 who are Israelites. To them belong 7 the adoption as sons, 8 the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, 9 and the promises. 9:5 To them belong the patriarchs, 10 and from them, 11 by human descent, 12 came the Christ, 13 who is God over all, blessed forever! 14 Amen.
9:6 It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, 15 9:7 nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” 16 9:8 This means 17 it is not the children of the flesh 18 who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants. 9:9 For this is what the promise declared: 19 “About a year from now 20 I will return and Sarah will have a son.” 21 9:10 Not only that, but when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, 22 our ancestor Isaac – 9:11 even before they were born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s purpose in election 23 would stand, not by works but by 24 his calling) 25 – 9:12 26 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,” 27 9:13 just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 28
9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 9:15 For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 29 9:16 So then, 30 it does not depend on human desire or exertion, 31 but on God who shows mercy. 9:17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: 32 “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 33 9:18 So then, 34 God 35 has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden. 36
9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 9:20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being 37 – to talk back to God? 38 Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 39 9:21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay 40 one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 41 9:22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects 42 of wrath 43 prepared for destruction? 44 9:23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects 45 of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory – 9:24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 9:25 As he also says in Hosea:
9:26 “And in the very place 48 where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” 49
9:27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children 50 of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 9:28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 51 9:29 Just 52 as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of armies 53 had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have resembled Gomorrah.” 54
Israel’s Rejection Culpable
9:30 What shall we say then? – that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 9:31 but Israel even though pursuing 55 a law of righteousness 56 did not attain it. 57 9:32 Why not? Because they pursued 58 it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. 59 They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 60 9:33 just as it is written,
“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble
and a rock that will make them fall, 61
yet the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 62
10:1 Brothers and sisters, 63 my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites 64 is for their salvation. 10:2 For I can testify that they are zealous for God, 65 but their zeal is not in line with the truth. 66 10:3 For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.
10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” 67 10:6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, 68 ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” 69 (that is, to bring Christ down) 10:7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?” 70 (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” 71 (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 10:9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord 72 and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10:10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness 73 and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 74 10:11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 75 10:12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 76
10:14 How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them 77 ? 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How timely 78 is the arrival 79 of those who proclaim the good news.” 80 10:16 But not all have obeyed the good news, for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 81 10:17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word 82 of Christ. 83
10:18 But I ask, have they 84 not heard? 85 Yes, they have: 86 Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. 87 10:19 But again I ask, didn’t Israel understand? 88 First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by those who are not a nation; with a senseless nation I will provoke you to anger.” 89 10:20 And Isaiah is even bold enough to say, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I became well known to those who did not ask for me.” 90 10:21 But about Israel he says, “All day long I held out my hands to this disobedient and stubborn people!” 91
Israel’s Rejection not Complete nor Final
11:1 So I ask, God has not rejected his people, has he? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 11:2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew! Do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 11:3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left and they are seeking my life!” 92 11:4 But what was the divine response 93 to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand people 94 who have not bent the knee to Baal.” 95
11:5 So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 11:6 And if it is by grace, it is no longer by works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 11:7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was diligently seeking, but the elect obtained it. The 96 rest were hardened, 11:8 as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear,
to this very day.” 97
11:9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
11:10 let their eyes be darkened so that they may not see,
and make their backs bend continually.” 98
11:11 I ask then, they did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, 99 did they? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel 100 jealous. 11:12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world and their defeat means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full restoration 101 bring?
11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Seeing that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 11:14 if somehow I could provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them. 11:15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 11:16 If the first portion 102 of the dough offered is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so too are the branches. 103
11:17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in 104 the richness of the olive root, 11:18 do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 11:19 Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 11:20 Granted! 105 They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. 11:22 Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but 106 God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; 107 otherwise you also will be cut off. 11:23 And even they – if they do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?
11:25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, 108 so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel 109 until the full number 110 of the Gentiles has come in. 11:26 And so 111 all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion;
he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.
11:27 And this is my covenant with them, 112
when I take away their sins.” 113
11:28 In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 11:30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, 11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now 114 receive mercy. 11:32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all. 115
11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!
11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor? 116
11:35 Or who has first given to God, 117
11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.
Consecration of the Believer’s Life
12:1 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, 120 by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God 121 – which is your reasonable service. 12:2 Do not be conformed 122 to this present world, 123 but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve 124 what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Conduct in Humility
12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you 125 a measure of faith. 126 12:4 For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, 12:5 so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. 12:6 And we have different gifts 127 according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. 12:7 If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; 12:8 if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness.
Conduct in Love
12:9 Love must be 128 without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 12:10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12:12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 12:14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. 129 Do not be conceited. 130 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 131 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 132 12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, 133 for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” 134 says the Lord. 12:20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 135 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Submission to Civil Government
13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, 136 and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 13:2 So the person who resists such authority 137 resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 13:3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, 13:4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer. 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities 138 but also because of your conscience. 139 13:6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities 140 are God’s servants devoted to governing. 141 13:7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
Exhortation to Love Neighbors
13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 13:9 For the commandments, 142 “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” 143 (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 144 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Motivation to Godly Conduct
13:11 And do this 145 because we know 146 the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 13:12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13:13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. 13:14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires. 147
Exhortation to Mutual Forbearance
14:1 Now receive the one who is weak in the faith, and do not have disputes over differing opinions. 148 14:2 One person believes in eating everything, but the weak person eats only vegetables. 14:3 The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord 149 is able to make him stand.
14:5 One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. 150 Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. 14:6 The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The 151 one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 14:7 For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 14:9 For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
14:10 But you who eat vegetables only – why do you judge your brother or sister? 152 And you who eat everything – why do you despise your brother or sister? 153 For we will all stand before the judgment seat 154 of God. 14:11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” 155 14:12 Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 156
Exhortation for the Strong not to Destroy the Weak
14:13 Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. 157 14:14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. 14:15 For if your brother or sister 158 is distressed because of what you eat, 159 you are no longer walking in love. 160 Do not destroy by your food someone for whom Christ died. 14:16 Therefore do not let what you consider good 161 be spoken of as evil. 14:17 For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 14:18 For the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by people. 162
14:19 So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for building up one another. 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. For although all things are clean, 163 it is wrong to cause anyone to stumble by what you eat. 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 164 14:22 The faith 165 you have, keep to yourself before God. Blessed is the one who does not judge himself by what he approves. 14:23 But the man who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not do so from faith, and whatever is not from faith is sin. 166
Exhortation for the Strong to Help the Weak
15:1 But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves. 167 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. 15:3 For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 168 15:4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. 15:5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another 169 in accordance with Christ Jesus, 15:6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exhortation to Mutual Acceptance
15:7 Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. 15:8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised 170 on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 171 15:9 and thus the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy. 172 As it is written, “Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.” 173 15:10 And again it says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 174 15:11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him.” 175 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope.” 176 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, 177 so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s Motivation for Writing the Letter
15:14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, 178 that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15:15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve 179 the gospel of God 180 like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, 181 sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
15:17 So I boast 182 in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience 183 of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 15:20 And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, 15:21 but as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” 184
Paul’s Intention of Visiting the Romans
15:22 This is the reason I was often hindered from coming to you. 15:23 But now there is nothing more to keep me 185 in these regions, and I have for many years desired 186 to come to you 15:24 when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me 187 on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
15:25 But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 15:27 For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints. 188 For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 15:28 Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them, 189 I will set out for Spain by way of you, 15:29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
15:30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 190 through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 15:31 Pray 191 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 15:32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 15:33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen. 192
16:1 Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant 193 of the church in Cenchrea, 16:2 so that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and provide her with whatever help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many, including me.
16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, 194 my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 16:4 who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I, but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 16:5 Also greet the church in their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, 195 who was the first convert 196 to Christ in the province of Asia. 197 16:6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, 198 my compatriots 199 and my fellow prisoners. They are well known 200 to the apostles, 201 and they were in Christ before me. 16:8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my good friend Stachys. 16:10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 16:11 Greet Herodion, my compatriot. 202 Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 16:12 Greet Tryphena 203 and Tryphosa, laborers in the Lord. Greet my dear friend 204 Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother who was also a mother to me. 205 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters 206 with them. 16:15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the believers 207 who are with them. 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
16:17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 208 to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them! 16:18 For these are the kind who do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By their smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds 209 of the naive. 16:19 Your obedience is known to all and thus I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 16:20 The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my compatriots. 210 16:22 I, Tertius, who am writing this letter, greet you in the Lord. 16:23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus the city treasurer and our brother Quartus greet you.16:24 [[EMPTY]] 211 16:25 212
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that had been kept secret for long ages, 16:26 but now is disclosed, and through the prophetic scriptures has been made known to all the nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever! Amen.