The Message

Romans 1

1I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God’s words and acts. I write this letter to all the believers in Rome, God’s friends.

2-7 The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah.

8-12 I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That’s first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him. And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son—the Message!—knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you. The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache. I so want to be there to deliver God’s gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes! But don’t think I’m not expecting to get something out of this, too! You have as much to give me as I do to you.

13-15 Please don’t misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I’ve made plans for Rome. I’ve been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God’s work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it. Everyone I meet—it matters little whether they’re mannered or rude, smart or simple—deepens my sense of interdependence and obligation. And that’s why I can’t wait to get to you in Rome, preaching this wonderful good news of God.

16-17 It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23 But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25 So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

26-27 Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

28-32 Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

罗马书 1

问候

1我是基督耶稣的奴仆保罗,蒙召做使徒,奉命传上帝的福音。 这福音是上帝从前借着众先知在圣经中应许的, 讲的是上帝的儿子——我们的主耶稣基督的事。从肉身来说,祂是大卫的后裔; 从圣洁的灵来看,祂从死里复活,用大能显明自己是上帝的儿子。 我们从祂领受了恩典并成为使徒,要带领万民信从祂,使祂的名得荣耀。 你们也是其中蒙召信从耶稣基督的人。 我问候所有住在罗马、上帝所爱、蒙召做圣徒的人。愿我们的父上帝和主耶稣基督赐给你们恩典和平安!

保罗渴望去罗马

首先,我借着耶稣基督为各位感谢我的上帝,因为你们的信心正在传遍天下。 9-10 我在祂儿子的福音事工上全心事奉的上帝可以为我做见证:我如何在祷告中常常想到你们,并求上帝让我照祂的旨意最终能去你们那里。 11 因为我实在想见你们,好将一些属灵的恩赐分给你们,使你们坚固, 12 也可以说是借着我们彼此的信心互相激励。

13 弟兄姊妹,我希望你们知道,我曾多次计划去你们那里,要在你们中间收获一些福音的果子,像在其他外族人中一样,只是至今仍有拦阻。 14 不论是希腊人、非希腊人[a]、智者、愚人,我对他们都有义务。 15 所以,我也切望能将福音传给你们在罗马的人。

16 我不以福音为耻,因为这福音是上帝的大能,要拯救一切相信的人,先是犹太人,然后是希腊人。 17 这福音显明了上帝的义,这义始于信,终于信,正如圣经上说:“义人必靠信心而活。”

人类的罪恶

18 上帝的烈怒从天上降下,要惩罚一切心中无神、行为不义、压制真理的人。 19 有关上帝的事情,可以让人类知道的都已经显而易见,因为上帝已经向人类显明了。 20 自从创造天地以来,上帝永恒的大能和神性是明明可知的,虽然肉眼看不见,但透过受造之物就可以领悟,因而人类毫无借口推说不知。 21 他们虽然明知有上帝,却不把祂当作上帝,既不将荣耀归给祂,也不感谢祂。他们的思想因此变得荒谬无用,无知的心也变得昏暗不明。 22 他们自以为聪明,其实愚不可及, 23 以必朽的人、飞禽、走兽和爬虫的形象来取代永恒上帝的荣耀。

24 因此,上帝任凭他们随从内心的情欲行污秽的事,玷污彼此的身体。 25 他们把上帝的真理当作谎言,祭拜、供奉受造之物,却不敬拜、事奉造物主。主是永远值得称颂的。阿们!

26 因此,上帝任凭他们放纵可耻的情欲。女人放弃正常的两性关系,做出变态反常的事。 27 男人也背弃了和女人正常的两性关系,欲火焚烧,同性之间彼此贪恋,男人和男人做出羞耻不堪的事。他们必在自己的身体上遭受应得的报应。

28 既然他们故意不认识上帝,上帝就任凭他们心思败坏,做不当做的事。 29 他们心里塞满了各种不义、邪恶、贪婪、阴险、嫉妒、凶杀、纷争、诡诈、恶毒;说长道短、 30 背后批评、怨恨上帝、欺侮别人、心骄气傲、自高自大、自我吹捧、无恶不作、违背父母、 31 愚钝无知、不守信用、无情无义、毫无怜悯。 32 他们明知,按上帝公义的法则,做这些事的人该死,不但执迷不悟,还喜欢别人跟他们同流合污。

Notas al pie

  1. 1:14 非希腊人”希腊文是“未开化的人”,指在希腊、罗马文化影响之外的人。