Romans 9-11 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Paul’s Love for the Jewish People
9 1–2 O Israel, my Jewish family,[a] I feel such great sorrow and heartache for you that never leaves me! God knows these deep feelings within me as I long for you to come to faith in the Anointed One. My conscience will not let me speak anything but the truth. 3–4 For my grief is so intense that I wish that I would be accursed, cut off from the Messiah, if it would mean that you, my people, would come to faith in him!
You are Israelites, my fellow citizens, and God’s chosen people.[b] To you belong God’s glorious presence, the covenants, the Torah, the temple with its required sacrifices, and the promises of God. 5 We trace our beginnings back to the patriarchs, and through their bloodline is the genealogy of the Messiah, who is God over everything. May he be praised through endless ages! Amen!
6 Clearly, God has not failed to fulfill his promises to Israel, for that will never happen! But not everyone who has descended from Israel belongs to Israel. 7 Physical descent from Abraham doesn’t guarantee the inheritance, because God has said:
“Through Isaac your descendants will be counted as part of your lineage.”[c]
8 This confirms that it is not merely the natural offspring of Abraham who are considered the children of God; rather, the children born because of God’s promise[d] are counted as descendants. 9 For God promised Abraham:
“In nine months from now your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”[e]
God’s Freedom of Choice
10 Now, this son was our ancestor, Isaac, who, with his wife, Rebekah, conceived twins. 11–12 And before her twin sons were born, God spoke to Rebekah and said:
“The oldest will serve the younger.”[f]
God spoke these words before the sons had done anything good or bad, which proves that God calls people not on the basis of their good or bad works, but according to his divine purpose. 13 For in the words of Scripture:
“Jacob I have chosen, but Esau I have rejected.”[g]
14 So, what does all this mean? Are we saying that God is unfair? Of course not! 15 He had every right to say to Moses:
“I will be merciful to whomever I choose and I will show compassion to whomever I wish.”[h]
16 Again, this proves that God’s choice doesn’t depend on how badly someone wants it or tries to earn it,[i] but it depends on God’s kindness and mercy. 17 For just as God said to Pharaoh:
“I raised you up[j] as ruler of Egypt for this reason, that I might make you an example of how I demonstrate my miracle power. For by the example of how I deal with you, my powerful name will be a message proclaimed throughout the earth!”[k]
18 So again we see that it is entirely up to God to show mercy or to harden[l] the hearts of whomever he chooses.
19 Well then, one might ask, “If God is in complete control, how could he blame us? For who can resist whatever he wants done?”
20 But who do you think you are to second-guess God? How could a human being molded out of clay say to the one who molded him, “Why in the world did you make me this way?”[m] 21 Or are you denying the right of the potter to make out of clay whatever he wants? Doesn’t the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay an elegant vase or an ordinary pot?
22 And in the same way, although God has every right to unleash his anger and demonstrate his power, yet he is extremely patient with those who deserve wrath—vessels prepared for destruction. 23 And doesn’t he also have the right[n] to release the revelation of the wealth of his glory to his vessels of mercy, whom God prepared beforehand to receive his glory? 24 Even for us, whether we are Jews or non-Jews, we are those he has called to experience his glory. 25 Remember the prophecy God gave in Hosea:
“To those who were rejected and not my people,
“In the place where they were told, ‘You are nobody,’
29 Just as Isaiah saw it coming and prophesied:
30 So then, what does all this mean? Here’s the irony: The non-Jewish people, who weren’t even pursuing righteousness, were the ones who seized it—a perfect righteousness that is transferred by faith. 31 Yet Israel, even though pursuing a legal righteousness,[u] did not attain to it. 32 And why was that? Because they did not pursue the path of faith but insisted on pursuing righteousness by works,[v] as if it could be seized another way. They were offended by the means of obtaining it and stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written:
10 My beloved brothers and sisters, the passionate desire of my heart and constant prayer to God is for my fellow Israelites to experience salvation. 2 For I know that although they are deeply devoted to God, they are unenlightened. 3 And since they’ve ignored the righteousness God gives, wanting instead to be acceptable to God because of their own works, they’ve refused to submit to God’s faith-righteousness. 4 For the Christ is the end of the law.[y] And because of him, God has transferred his perfect righteousness to all who believe.
5 Moses wrote long ago about the need to obey every part of the law in order to be declared right with God:
“The one who obeys these things must always live by them.”[z]
6 But we receive the faith-righteousness that speaks an entirely different message:
“Don’t for a moment think you need to climb into the heavens to find the Messiah and bring him down, 7 or to descend into the underworld to bring him up from the dead.”[aa]
8 But the faith-righteousness we receive speaks to us in these words of Moses:
“God’s living message is very close to you, as close as your own heart beating in your chest and as near as the tongue in your mouth.”[ab]
9 And what is God’s “living message”? It is the revelation of faith for salvation,[ac] which is the message that we preach. For if you publicly declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will experience salvation. 10 The heart that believes in him receives the gift of the righteousness of God—and then the mouth gives thanks[ad] to salvation. 11 For the Scriptures encourage us with these words:
“Everyone who believes in him will never be disappointed.”[ae]
Good News for All People
12 So then faith eliminates the distinction between Jew and non-Jew, for he is the same Lord Jehovah[af] for all people. And he has enough treasures to lavish generously upon all who call on him. 13 And it’s true:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Yahweh
14 But how can people call on him for help if they’ve not yet believed? And how can they believe in one they’ve not yet heard of? And how can they hear the message of life if there is no one there to proclaim it? 15 And how can the message be proclaimed if messengers have yet to be sent? That’s why the Scriptures say:
How welcome is the arrival[ah]
16 But not everyone welcomes[ai] the good news, as Isaiah said:
Lord, is there anyone who hears
17 Faith, then, is birthed in a heart that responds to God’s anointed utterance of the Anointed One.
18 Can it be that Israel hasn’t heard the message? No, they have heard it, for:
The voice has been heard throughout the world,
“I will make you jealous of a people who are ‘nobodies.’
20 And Isaiah the fearless prophet dared to declare:
21 Yet regarding Israel Isaiah says:
“With love I have held out my hands day after day,
God Will Not Forget His Promises to Israel
11 So then I ask you this question: did God really push aside and reject his people?[ar] Absolutely not! For I myself am a Jew, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.[as] 2 God has not rejected his chosen, destined people![at] Haven’t you heard Elijah’s testimony in the Scriptures, and how he prays to God, agonizing over Israel?
3 “Lord, they’ve murdered your prophets; they’ve demolished your altars. Now I’m the only one left and they want to kill me!”[au]
4 But what was the revelation[av] God spoke to him in response?
“You are not alone. For I have preserved a remnant for myself—seven thousand others who are faithful and have refused to worship Baal.”[aw]
5 And that is but one example of what God is doing in this age of fulfillment, for God’s grace empowers his chosen remnant. 6 And since it is by God’s grace, it can’t be a matter of their good works; otherwise, it wouldn’t be a gift of grace, but earned by human effort.
7 So then, Israel failed to achieve what it had strived for, but the divinely chosen remnant receives it by grace, while the rest were hardened and unable to receive the truth. 8 Just as it is written:
9 And King David also prophesied this:
May their table[az] prove to be a snare
The Restoration of Israel
11 So, am I saying that Israel stumbled so badly that they will never get back up? Certainly not! Rather, it was because of their stumble that salvation now extends to all the non-Jewish people, in order to make Israel jealous and desire the very things that God has freely given them. 12 So if all the world is being greatly enriched through their failure, and through their fall great spiritual wealth is given to the non-Jewish people, imagine how much more will Israel’s awakening[bb] bring to us all!
13 Now, I speak to you who are not Jewish, since I am an apostle to reach the non-Jewish people. And I draw attention to this ministry as much as I can when I am among the Jews, 14 hoping to make them jealous of what God has given to those who are not Jews, winning some of my people to salvation.
15 For if their temporary rejection released the reconciling power of grace into the world, what will happen when Israel is reinstated and reconciled to God? It will unleash resurrection power throughout the whole earth!
A Warning to Non-Jewish Believers
16 Since Abraham and the patriarchs are consecrated and set apart for God, so also will their descendants be set apart.[bc] If the roots of a tree are holy and set apart for God, so too will be the branches.
17 However, some of the branches have been pruned away. And you,[bd] who were once nothing more than a wild olive branch in the desert,[be] God has grafted in—inserting you among the remaining branches as a joint partner to share in the wonderful richness of the cultivated olive stem. 18 So don’t be so arrogant as to believe that you are superior to the natural branches. There’s no reason to boast, for the new branches don’t support the root, but you owe your life to the root that supports you!
19 You might begin to think that some branches were pruned or broken off just to make room for you. 20 Yes, that’s true.[bf] They were removed because of their unbelief. But remember this: you are only attached by your faith. So don’t be presumptuous, but stand in awe and reverence. 21 Since God didn’t spare the natural branches that fell into unbelief, perhaps he won’t spare you either!
22 So fix your gaze on the simultaneous kindness[bg] and strict justice[bh] of God. How severely he treated those who fell into unbelief! Yet how tender and kind is his relationship with you. So keep on trusting in his kindness; otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 God is more than ready to graft back in the natural branches when they turn from clinging to their unbelief to embracing faith. 24 For if God grafted you in, even though you were taken from what is by nature a wild olive tree, how much more can he reconnect the natural branches by inserting them back into their own cultivated olive tree!
The Mystery of Israel’s Restoration
A partial and temporary hardening[bk] to the gospel has come over Israel, which will last until the full number of non-Jews has come into God’s family. 26 And then God will bring all of Israel to salvation! The prophecy will be fulfilled that says:
28 Now, many of the Jews are opposed to the gospel, but their opposition has opened the door of the gospel to you who are not Jewish. Yet they are still greatly loved by God because their ancestors were divinely chosen to be his. 29 And when God chooses someone and graciously imparts gifts to him, they are never rescinded.[bn]
30 You who are not Jews were once rebels against God, but now, because of their disobedience, you have experienced God’s tender mercies. 31 And now they are the rebels, and because of God’s tender mercies to you, you can open the door to them to share in and enjoy what God has given to us!
32 Actually, God considers all of humanity to be prisoners of their unbelief, so that he can unlock our hearts and show his tender mercies to all who come to him.
33 Who could ever wrap their minds around the riches of God, the depth of his wisdom, and the marvel of his perfect knowledge? Who could ever explain the wonder of his decisions[bo] or search out the mysterious way he carries out his plans?
34 For who has discovered how the Lord thinks
“Who has ever first given something to God
36 And because God is the source and sustainer of everything, everything finds fulfillment in him. May all praise and honor be given to him forever! Amen!