1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I serve Christ Jesus. I have been appointed to be an apostle. God set me apart to tell others his good news. 2He promised the good news long ago. He announced it through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. 3The good news is about God’s Son. He was born into the family line of King David. 4By the Holy Spirit, he was appointed to be the mighty Son of God. God did this by raising him from the dead. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. 5We received grace because of what Jesus did. He made us apostles to the Gentiles. We must invite all of them to obey God by trusting in Jesus. We do this to bring glory to him. 6You also are among those Gentiles who are appointed to belong to Jesus Christ.
7I am sending this letter to all of you in Rome. You are loved by God and appointed to be his holy people.
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Paul Longs to Visit Rome
8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. People all over the world are talking about your faith. 9I serve God with my whole heart. I preach the good news about his Son. God knows that I always remember you 10in my prayers. I pray that now at last it may be God’s plan to open the way for me to visit you.
11I long to see you. I want to make you strong by giving you a gift from the Holy Spirit. 12I want us to encourage one another in the faith we share. 13Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that I planned many times to visit you. But until now I have been kept from coming. My work has produced results among the other Gentiles. In the same way, I want to see results among you.
14I have a duty both to Greeks and to non-Greeks. I have a duty both to wise people and to foolish people. 15So I really want to preach the good news also to you who live in Rome.
16I want to preach it because I’m not ashamed of the good news. It is God’s power to save everyone who believes. It is meant first for the Jews. It is meant also for the Gentiles. 17The good news shows God’s power to make people right with himself. God’s power to be made right with him is given to the person who has faith. It happens by faith from beginning to end. It is written, “The one who is right with God will live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
God’s Anger Against Sinners
18God shows his anger from heaven. It is against all the godless and evil things people do. They are so evil that they say no to the truth. 19The truth about God is plain to them. God has made it plain. 20Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I’m talking about his eternal power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So people have no excuse for what they do.
21They knew God. But they didn’t honor him as God. They didn’t thank him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark. 22They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves. 23They would rather have statues of gods than the glorious God who lives forever. Their statues of gods are made to look like people, birds, animals and reptiles.
24So God let them go. He allowed them to do what their sinful hearts wanted to. He let them commit sexual sins. They made one another’s bodies impure by what they did. 25They chose a lie instead of the truth about God. They worshiped and served created things. They didn’t worship the Creator. But he is praised forever. Amen.
26So God let them continue to have their shameful desires. Their women committed sexual acts that were not natural. 27In the same way, the men turned away from their natural love for women. They burned with sexual desire for each other. Men did shameful things with other men. They suffered in their bodies for all the wrong things they did.
28They didn’t think it was important to know God. So God let them continue to have evil thoughts. They did things they shouldn’t do. 29They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. They want more than they need. They commit murder. They want what belongs to other people. They fight and cheat. They hate others. They say mean things about other people. 30They tell lies about them. They hate God. They are rude and proud. They brag. They think of new ways to do evil. They don’t obey their parents. 31They do not understand. They can’t be trusted. They are not loving and kind. 32They know that God’s commands are right. They know that those who do evil things should die. But they continue to do those very things. They also approve of others who do them.
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life1:3 Or who according to the flesh was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power1:4 Or was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from1:5 Or that is faith for his name’s sake. 6And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome
8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,1:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 7:1, 4; 8:12, 29; 10:1; 11:25; 12:1; 15:14, 30; 16:14, 17. that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,1:17 Or is from faith to faith just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”1:17 Hab. 2:4
God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.