Paul's Journey to Macedonia and Greece
20 1 And after the noise had come to an end, Paul, having sent for the disciples and given them comfort, went away from them to Macedonia. 2 And when he had gone through those parts and given them much teaching, he came into Greece. 3 And when he had been there three months, because the Jews had made a secret design against him when he was about to take ship for Syria, he made a decision to go back through Macedonia.
1 1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, an Apostle by the selection of God, given authority as a preacher of the good news, 2 Of which God had given word before by his prophets in the holy Writings, 3 About his Son who, in the flesh, came from the family of David, 4 But was marked out as Son of God in power by the Holy Spirit through the coming to life again of the dead; Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 Through whom grace has been given to us, sending us out to make disciples to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom you in the same way have been marked out to be disciples of Jesus Christ: 7 To all those who are in Rome, loved by God, marked out as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul's Desire to Visit Rome
8 First of all, I give praise to my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because news of your faith has gone into all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whose servant I am in spirit in the good news of his Son, that you are at all times in my memory and in my prayers, 10 And that I am ever making prayers that God will give me a good journey to you. 11 For I have a strong desire to see you, and to give you some grace of the spirit, so that you may be made strong; 12 That is to say, that all of us may be comforted together by the faith which is in you and in me. 13 You may be certain, my brothers, that it has frequently been in my mind to come to you (but till now I was kept from it), so that I might have some fruit from you in the same way as I have had it from the other nations. 14 I have a debt to Greeks and to the nations outside; to the wise and to those who have no learning. 15 For which reason I have the desire, as far as I am able, to give the knowledge of the good news to you who are in Rome.
The Power of the Gospel
16 For I have no feeling of shame about the good news, because it is the power of God giving salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first, and then to the Greek. 17 For in it there is the revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith: as it is said in the holy Writings, The man who does righteousness will be living by his faith.
The Guilt of Mankind
18 For there is a revelation of the wrath of God from heaven against all the wrongdoing and evil thoughts of men who keep down what is true by wrongdoing;
19 Because the knowledge of God may be seen in them, God having made it clear to them. 20 For from the first making of the world, those things of God which the eye is unable to see, that is, his eternal power and existence, are fully made clear, he having given the knowledge of them through the things which he has made, so that men have no reason for wrongdoing: 21 Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God, and did not give praise, but their minds were full of foolish things, and their hearts, being without sense, were made dark. 22 Seeming to be wise, they were in fact foolish, 23 And by them the glory of the eternal God was changed and made into the image of man who is not eternal, and of birds and beasts and things which go on the earth. 24 For this reason God gave them up to the evil desires of their hearts, working shame in their bodies with one another: 25 Because by them the true word of God was changed into that which is false, and they gave worship and honour to the thing which is made, and not to him who made it, to whom be blessing for ever. So be it. 26 For this reason God gave them up to evil passions, and their women were changing the natural use into one which is unnatural: 27 And in the same way the men gave up the natural use of the woman and were burning in their desire for one another, men doing shame with men, and getting in their bodies the right reward of their evil-doing. 28 And because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right; 29 Being full of all wrongdoing, evil, desire for the goods of others, hate, envy, putting to death, fighting, deceit, cruel ways, evil talk, and false statements about others; 30 Hated by God, full of pride, without respect, full of loud talk, given to evil inventions, not honouring father or mother, 31 Without knowledge, not true to their undertakings, unkind, having no mercy: 32 Who, though they have knowledge of the law of God, that the fate of those who do these things is death, not only go on doing these things themselves, but give approval to those who do them.
The Righteous Judgment of God
2 1 So you have no reason, whoever you are, for judging: for in judging another you are judging yourself, for you do the same things. 2 And we are conscious that God is a true judge against those who do such things. 3 But you who are judging another for doing what you do yourself, are you hoping that God's decision will not take effect against you? 4 Or is it nothing to you that God had pity on you, waiting and putting up with you for so long, not seeing that in his pity God's desire is to give you a change of heart? 5 But by your hard and unchanged heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of the revelation of God's judging in righteousness; 6 Who will give to every man his right reward: 7 To those who go on with good works in the hope of glory and honour and salvation from death, he will give eternal life: 8 But to those who, from a love of competition, are not guided by what is true, will come the heat of his wrath, 9 Trouble and sorrow on all whose works are evil, to the Jew first and then to the Greek; 10 But glory and honour and peace to all whose works are good, to the Jew first and then to the Greek: 11 For one man is not different from another before God. 12 All those who have done wrong without the law will get destruction without the law: and those who have done wrong under the law will have their punishment by the law; 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who will be judged as having righteousness before God, but only the doers: 14 For when the Gentiles without the law have a natural desire to do the things in the law, they are a law to themselves; 15 Because the work of the law is seen in their hearts, their sense of right and wrong giving witness to it, while their minds are at one time judging them and at another giving them approval; 16 In the day when God will be a judge of the secrets of men, as it says in the good news of which I am a preacher, through Jesus Christ.
The Jews and the Law
17 But as for you who have the name of Jew, and are resting on the law, and take pride in God, 18 And have knowledge of his desires, and are a judge of the things which are different, having the learning of the law, 19 In the belief that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those in the dark, 20 A teacher of the foolish, having in the law the form of knowledge and of what is true; 21 You who give teaching to others, do you give it to yourself? you who say that a man may not take what is not his, do you take what is not yours? 22 You who say that a man may not be untrue to his wife, are you true to yours? you who are a hater of images, do you do wrong to the house of God? 23 You who take pride in the law, are you doing wrong to the honour of God by behaviour which is against the law? 24 For the name of God is shamed among the Gentiles because of you, as it is said in the holy Writings. 25 It is true that circumcision is of use if you keep the law, but if you go against the law it is as if you had it not. 26 If those who have not circumcision keep the rules of the law, will it not be credited to them as circumcision? 27 And they, by their keeping of the law without circumcision, will be judges of you, by whom the law is broken though you have the letter of the law and circumcision. 28 The true Jew is not one who is only so publicly, and circumcision is not that which may be seen in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew who is a secret one, whose circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.
3 1 How then is the Jew better off? or what profit is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way: first of all because the words of God were given to them. 3 And if some have no faith, will that make the faith of God without effect? 4 In no way: but let God be true, though every man is seen to be untrue; as it is said in the Writings, That your words may be seen to be true, and you may be seen to be right when you are judged. 5 But if the righteousness of God is supported by our wrongdoing what is to be said? is it wrong for God to be angry (as men may say)? 6 In no way: because if it is so, how is God able to be the judge of all the world? 7 But if, because I am untrue, God being seen to be true gets more glory, why am I to be judged as a sinner? 8 Let us not do evil so that good may come (a statement which we are falsely said by some to have made), because such behaviour will have its right punishment.
There Is None Righteous
9 What then? are we worse off than they? In no way: because we have before made it clear that Jews as well as Greeks are all under the power of sin; 10 As it is said in the holy Writings, There is not one who does righteousness; 11 Not one who has the knowledge of what is right, not one who is a searcher after God; 12 They have all gone out of the way, there is no profit in any of them; there is not one who does good, not so much as one: 13 Their throat is like an open place of death; with their tongues they have said what is not true: the poison of snakes is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of curses and bitter words: 15 Their feet are quick in running after blood; 16 Destruction and trouble are in their ways; 17 And of the way of peace they have no knowledge: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now, we have knowledge that what the law says is for those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all men may be judged by God: 20 Because by the works of the law no man is able to have righteousness in his eyes, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
Righteousness through Faith
21 But now without the law there is a revelation of the righteousness of God, to which witness is given by the law and the prophets; 22 That is, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all those who have faith; and one man is not different from another, 23 For all have done wrong and are far from the glory of God; 24 And they may have righteousness put to their credit, freely, by his grace, through the salvation which is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God has put forward as the sign of his mercy, through faith, by his blood, to make clear his righteousness when, in his pity, God let the sins of earlier times go without punishment; 26 And to make clear his righteousness now, so that he might himself be upright, and give righteousness to him who has faith in Jesus. 27 What reason, then, is there for pride? It is shut out. By what sort of law? of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For this reason, then, a man may get righteousness by faith without the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? is he not in the same way the God of Gentiles? Yes, of Gentiles: 30 If God is one; and he will give righteousness because of faith to those who have circumcision, and through faith to those who have not circumcision. 31 Do we, then, through faith make the law of no effect? in no way: but we make it clear that the law is important.