Romans 1 Living Bible (TLB)
1 Dear friends in Rome: This letter is from Paul, Jesus Christ’s slave, chosen to be a missionary, and sent out to preach God’s Good News. 2 This Good News was promised long ago by God’s prophets in the Old Testament. 3 It is the Good News about his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who came as a human baby, born into King David’s royal family line; 4 and by being raised from the dead he was proved to be the mighty Son of God, with the holy nature of God himself.
5 And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners; and now he is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they, too, will believe and obey him.
6-7 And you, dear friends in Rome, are among those he dearly loves; you, too, are invited by Jesus Christ to be God’s very own—yes, his holy people. May all God’s mercies and peace be yours from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord.
8 Let me say first of all that wherever I go I hear you being talked about! For your faith in God is becoming known around the world. How I thank God through Jesus Christ for this good report, and for each one of you. 9 God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to the one I serve with all my might, telling others the Good News about his Son.
10 And one of the things I keep on praying for is the opportunity, God willing,[a] to come at last to see you and, if possible, that I will have a safe trip.* 11-12 For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith[b] that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.
13 I want you to know, dear brothers, that I planned to come many times before (but was prevented) so that I could work among you and see good results, just as I have among the other Gentile churches.[c] 14 For I owe a great debt to you and to everyone else, both to civilized people and uncivilized alike; yes, to the educated and uneducated alike. 15 So, to the fullest extent of my ability, I am ready to come also to you in Rome to preach God’s Good News.
16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is God’s powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. This message was preached first to the Jews alone, but now everyone is invited to come to God in this same way. 17 This Good News tells us that God makes us ready for heaven—makes us right in God’s sight—when we put our faith and trust in Christ to save us. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.[d] As the Scripture says it, “The man who finds life will find it through trusting God.”*
18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, evil men who push away the truth from them. 19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively;[e] God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day.[f]
21 Yes, they knew about him all right, but they wouldn’t admit it or worship him or even thank him for all his daily care. And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what he wanted them to do. The result was that their foolish minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming themselves to be wise without God, they became utter fools instead. 23 And then, instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they took wood and stone and made idols for themselves, carving them to look like mere birds and animals and snakes and puny[g] men.
24 So God let them go ahead into every sort of sex sin, and do whatever they wanted to—yes, vile and sinful things with each other’s bodies. 25 Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they prayed to the things God made, but wouldn’t obey the blessed God who made these things.
26 That is why God let go of them and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God’s natural plan for them and indulged in sex sin with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sex relationships with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men and, as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserved.
28 So it was that when they gave God up and would not even acknowledge him, God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness and sin, of greed and hate, envy, murder, fighting, lying, bitterness, and gossip.
30 They were backbiters, haters of God, insolent, proud, braggarts, always thinking of new ways of sinning and continually being disobedient to their parents. 31 They tried to misunderstand,[h] broke their promises, and were heartless—without pity. 32 They were fully aware of God’s death penalty for these crimes, yet they went right ahead and did them anyway and encouraged others to do them, too.