November 28

Romans 1:1 — 4:25


1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ and called to be an apostle, separated to God’s good news, 2 which he promised aforetime through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who sprang from the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 but who with power was declared God’s Son according to the spirit of holiness by means of resurrection from the dead—yes, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we received undeserved kindness and an apostleship in order that there might be obedience of faith among all the nations respecting his name, 6 among which [nations] YOU also are those called to belong to Jesus Christ— 7 to all those who are in Rome as God’s beloved ones, called to be holy ones:

May YOU have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.

8 First of all, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ concerning all of YOU, because YOUR faith is talked about throughout the whole world. 9 For God, to whom I render sacred service with my spirit in connection with the good news about his Son, is my witness of how without ceasing I always make mention of YOU in my prayers, 10 begging that if at all possible I may now at last be prospered in the will of God so as to come to YOU. 11 For I am longing to see YOU, that I may impart some spiritual gift to YOU in order for YOU to be made firm; 12 or, rather, that there may be an interchange of encouragement among YOU, by each one through the other’s faith, both YOURS and mine.

13 But I do not want YOU to fail to know, brothers, that I many times purposed to come to YOU, but I have been hindered until now, in order that I might acquire some fruitage also among YOU even as among the rest of the nations. 14 Both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to wise and to senseless ones I am a debtor: 15 so there is eagerness on my part to declare the good news also to YOU there in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the good news; it is, in fact, God’s power for salvation to everyone having faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek; 17 for in it God’s righteousness is being revealed by reason of faith and toward faith, just as it is written: “But the righteous one—by means of faith he will live.”

18 For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who are suppressing the truth in an unrighteous way, 19 because what may be known about God is manifest among them, for God made it manifest to them. 20 For his invisible [qualities] are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable; 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their unintelligent heart became darkened. 22 Although asserting they were wise, they became foolish 23 and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed creatures and creeping things.

24 Therefore God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, that their bodies might be dishonored among them, 25 even those who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the One who created, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 That is why God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; 27 and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error.

28 And just as they did not approve of holding God in accurate knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mental state, to do the things not fitting, 29 filled as they were with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, badness, being full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malicious disposition, being whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, self-assuming, inventors of injurious things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, false to agreements, having no natural affection, merciless. 32 Although these know full well the righteous decree of God, that those practicing such things are deserving of death, they not only keep on doing them but also consent with those practicing them.

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are, if you judge; for in the thing in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, inasmuch as you that judge practice the same things. 2 Now we know that the judgment of God is, in accord with truth, against those who practice such things.

3 But do you have this idea, O man, while you judge those who practice such things and yet you do them, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, because you do not know that the kindly [quality] of God is trying to lead you to repentance? 5 But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and of the revealing of God’s righteous judgment. 6 And he will render to each one according to his works: 7 everlasting life to those who are seeking glory and honor and incorruptibleness by endurance in work that is good; 8 however, for those who are contentious and who disobey the truth but obey unrighteousness there will be wrath and anger, 9 tribulation and distress, upon the soul of every man who works what is injurious, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who works what is good, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 For instance, all those who sinned without law will also perish without law; but all those who sinned under law will be judged by law. 13 For the hearers of law are not the ones righteous before God, but the doers of law will be declared righteous. 14 For whenever people of the nations that do not have law do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. 15 They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them and, between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused. 16 This will be in the day when God through Christ Jesus judges the secret things of mankind, according to the good news I declare.

17 If, now, you are a Jew in name and are resting upon law and taking pride in God, 18 and you know his will and approve of things that are excellent because you are orally instructed out of the Law; 19 and you are persuaded that you are a guide of the blind, a light for those in darkness, 20 a corrector of the unreasonable ones, a teacher of babes, and having the framework of the knowledge and of the truth in the Law— 21 do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching “Do not steal,” do you steal? 22 You, the one saying “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You, the one expressing abhorrence of the idols, do you rob temples? 23 You, who take pride in law, do you by your transgressing of the Law dishonor God? 24 For “the name of God is being blasphemed on account of YOU people among the nations”; just as it is written.

25 Circumcision is, in fact, of benefit only if you practice law; but if you are a transgressor of law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 If, therefore, an uncircumcised person keeps the righteous requirements of the Law, his uncircumcision will be counted as circumcision, will it not? 27 And the uncircumcised [person] that is such by nature will, by carrying out the Law, judge you who with its written code and circumcision are a transgressor of law. 28 For he is not a Jew who is one on the outside, nor is circumcision that which is on the outside upon the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one on the inside, and [his] circumcision is that of the heart by spirit, and not by a written code. The praise of that one comes, not from men, but from God.

What, then, is the superiority of the Jew, or what is the benefit of the circumcision? 2 A great deal in every way. First of all, because they were entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God. 3 What, then, [is the case]? If some did not express faith, will their lack of faith perhaps make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Never may that happen! But let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, even as it is written: “That you might be proved righteous in your words and might win when you are being judged.” 5 However, if our unrighteousness brings God’s righteousness to the fore, what shall we say? God is not unjust when he vents his wrath, is he? (I am speaking as a man does.) 6 Never may that happen! How, otherwise, will God judge the world?

7 Yet if by reason of my lie the truth of God has been made more prominent to his glory, why am I also yet being judged as a sinner? 8 And [why] not [say], just as it is falsely charged to us and just as some men state that we say: “Let us do the bad things that the good things may come”? The judgment against those [men] is in harmony with justice.

9 What then? Are we in a better position? Not at all! For above we have made the charge that Jews as well as Greeks are all under sin; 10 just as it is written: “There is not a righteous [man], not even one; 11 there is no one that has any insight, there is no one that seeks for God. 12 All [men] have deflected, all of them together have become worthless; there is no one that does kindness, there is not so much as one.” 13 “Their throat is an opened grave, they have used deceit with their tongues.” “Poison of asps is behind their lips.” 14 “And their mouth is full of cursing and bitter expression.” 15 “Their feet are speedy to shed blood.” 16 “Ruin and misery are in their ways, 17 and they have not known the way of peace.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that all the things the Law says it addresses to those under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become liable to God for punishment. 20 Therefore by works of law no flesh will be declared righteous before him, for by law is the accurate knowledge of sin.

21 But now apart from law God’s righteousness has been made manifest, as it is borne witness to by the Law and the Prophets; 22 yes, God’s righteousness through the faith in Jesus Christ, for all those having faith. For there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom [paid] by Christ Jesus. 25 God set him forth as an offering for propitiation through faith in his blood. This was in order to exhibit his own righteousness, because he was forgiving the sins that occurred in the past while God was exercising forbearance; 26 so as to exhibit his own righteousness in this present season, that he might be righteous even when declaring righteous the man that has faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. Through what law? That of works? No indeed, but through the law of faith. 28 For we reckon that a man is declared righteous by faith apart from works of law. 29 Or is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of people of the nations? Yes, of people of the nations also, 30 if truly God is one, who will declare circumcised people righteous as a result of faith and uncircumcised people righteous by means of their faith. 31 Do we, then, abolish law by means of our faith? Never may that happen! On the contrary, we establish law.

That being so, what shall we say about Abraham our forefather according to the flesh? 2 If, for instance, Abraham were declared righteous as a result of works, he would have ground for boasting; but not with God. 3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham exercised faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the man that works the pay is counted, not as an undeserved kindness, but as a debt. 5 On the other hand, to the man that does not work but puts faith in him who declares the ungodly one righteous, his faith is counted as righteousness. 6 Just as David also speaks of the happiness of the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Happy are those whose lawless deeds have been pardoned and whose sins have been covered; 8 happy is the man whose sin Jehovah will by no means take into account.”

9 Does this happiness, then, come upon circumcised people or also upon uncircumcised people? For we say: “His faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 Under what circumstances, then, was it counted? When he was in circumcision or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received a sign, namely, circumcision, as a seal of the righteousness by the faith he had while in his uncircumcised state, that he might be the father of all those having faith while in uncircumcision, in order for righteousness to be counted to them; 12 and a father of circumcised offspring, not only to those who adhere to circumcision, but also to those who walk orderly in the footsteps of that faith while in the uncircumcised state which our father Abraham had.

13 For it was not through law that Abraham or his seed had the promise that he should be heir of a world, but it was through the righteousness by faith. 14 For if those who adhere to law are heirs, faith has been made useless and the promise has been abolished. 15 In reality the Law produces wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there any transgression.

16 On this account it was as a result of faith, that it might be according to undeserved kindness, in order for the promise to be sure to all his seed, not only to that which adheres to the Law, but also to that which adheres to the faith of Abraham. (He is the father of us all, 17 just as it is written: “I have appointed you a father of many nations.”) This was in the sight of the One in whom he had faith, even of God, who makes the dead alive and calls the things that are not as though they were. 18 Although beyond hope, yet based on hope he had faith, that he might become the father of many nations in accord with what had been said: “So your seed will be.” 19 And, although he did not grow weak in faith, he considered his own body, now already deadened, as he was about one hundred years old, also the deadness of the womb of Sarah. 20 But because of the promise of God he did not waver in a lack of faith, but became powerful by his faith, giving God glory 21 and being fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do. 22 Hence “it was counted to him as righteousness.”

23 That “it was counted to him” was written, however, not for his sake only, 24 but also for the sake of us to whom it is destined to be counted, because we believe on him who raised Jesus our Lord up from the dead. 25 He was delivered up for the sake of our trespasses and was raised up for the sake of declaring us righteous.