Romans 10-16 Common English Bible (CEB)
10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire is for Israel’s salvation. That’s my prayer to God for them. 2 I can vouch for them: they are enthusiastic about God. However, it isn’t informed by knowledge. 3 They don’t submit to God’s righteousness because they don’t understand his righteousness, and they try to establish their own righteousness. 4 Christ is the goal of the Law, which leads to righteousness for all who have faith in God.
5 Moses writes about the righteousness that comes from the Law: The person who does these things will live by them.[a] 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith talks like this: Don’t say in your heart, “Who will go up into heaven?”[b] (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “Who will go down into the region below?”[c] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart[d] (that is, the message of faith that we preach). 9 Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation. 11 The scripture says, All who have faith in him won’t be put to shame.[e] 12 There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives richly to all who call on him. 13 All who call on the Lord’s name will be saved.[f]
14 So how can they call on someone they don’t have faith in? And how can they have faith in someone they haven’t heard of? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the good news.[g]
16 But everyone hasn’t obeyed the good news. As Isaiah says, Lord, who has had faith in our message?[h] 17 So, faith comes from listening, but it’s listening by means of Christ’s message. 18 But I ask you, didn’t they hear it? Definitely! Their voice has gone out into the entire earth, and their message has gone out to the corners of the inhabited world.[i] 19 But I ask you again, didn’t Israel understand? First, Moses says, I will make you jealous of those who aren’t a people, of a people without understanding.[j] 20 And Isaiah even dares to say, I was found by those who didn’t look for me; I revealed myself to those who didn’t ask for me.[k] 21 But he says about Israel, All day long I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.[l]
Israel and God’s faithfulness
11 So I ask you, has God rejected his people? Absolutely not! I’m an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hasn’t rejected his people, whom he knew in advance. Or don’t you know what the scripture says in the case of Elijah, when he pleads with God against Israel? 3 Lord, they have killed your prophets, and they have torn down your altars. I’m the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.[m] 4 But what is God’s reply to him? I have kept for myself seven thousand people who haven’t bowed their knees to Baal.[n] 5 So also in the present time there is a remaining group by the choice of God’s grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it isn’t by what’s done anymore. If it were, God’s grace wouldn’t be grace.
7 So what? Israel didn’t find what it was looking for. Those who were chosen found it, but the others were resistant. 8 As it is written, God gave them a dull spirit, so that their eyes would not see and their ears not hear, right up until the present day.[o] 9 And David says,
Their table should become a pitfall and a trap,
11 So I’m asking you: They haven’t stumbled so that they’ve fallen permanently, have they? Absolutely not! But salvation has come to the Gentiles by their failure, in order to make Israel jealous. 12 But if their failure brings riches to the world, and their defeat brings riches to the Gentiles, how much more will come from the completion of their number! 13 I’m speaking to you Gentiles. Considering that I’m an apostle to the Gentiles, I publicize my own ministry 14 in the hope that somehow I might make my own people jealous and save some of them. 15 If their rejection has brought about a close relationship between God and the world, how can their acceptance mean anything less than life from the dead?
16 But if part of a batch of dough is offered to God as holy, the whole batch of dough is holy too. If a root is holy, the branches will be holy too. 17 If some of the branches were broken off, and you were a wild olive branch, and you were grafted in among the other branches and shared the root that produces the rich oil of the olive tree, 18 then don’t brag like you’re better than the other branches. If you do brag, be careful: it’s not you that sustains the root, but it’s the root that sustains you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Fine. They were broken off because they weren’t faithful, but you stand only by your faithfulness.[q] So don’t think in a proud way; instead be afraid. 21 If God didn’t spare the natural branches, he won’t spare you either. 22 So look at God’s kindness and harshness. It’s harshness toward those who fell, but it’s God’s kindness for you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise, you could be cut off too. 23 And even those who were cut off will be grafted back in if they don’t continue to be unfaithful, because God is able to graft them in again. 24 If you were naturally part of a wild olive tree and you were cut off from it, and then, contrary to nature, you were grafted into the cultivated olive tree, won’t these natural branches stand an even better chance of being grafted back onto their own olive tree?
All Israel will be saved
25 I don’t want you to be unaware of this secret,[r] brothers and sisters. That way you won’t think too highly of yourselves. A part of Israel has become resistant until the full number of the Gentiles comes in. 26 In this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
The deliverer will come from Zion.
28 According to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but according to God’s choice, they are loved for the sake of their ancestors. 29 God’s gifts and calling can’t be taken back. 30 Once you were disobedient to God, but now you have mercy because they were disobedient. 31 In the same way, they have also been disobedient because of the mercy that you received, so now they can receive mercy too. 32 God has locked up all people in disobedience, in order to have mercy on all of them.
33 God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep! They are as mysterious as his judgments, and they are as hard to track as his paths!
34 Who has known the Lord’s mind?
Living sacrifice and transformed lives
12 So, brothers and sisters, because of God’s mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. This is your appropriate priestly service. 2 Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
3 Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you. 4 We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. 5 In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. 6 We have different gifts that are consistent with God’s grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, you should prophesy in proportion to your faith. 7 If your gift is service, devote yourself to serving. If your gift is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8 If your gift is encouragement, devote yourself to encouraging. The one giving should do it with no strings attached. The leader should lead with passion. The one showing mercy should be cheerful.
9 Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 11 Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. 14 Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16 Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. 17 Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good.
18 If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. 19 Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, Revenge belongs to me; I will pay it back, says the Lord.[v] 20 Instead, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. By doing this, you will pile burning coals of fire upon his head.[w] 21 Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.
13 Every person should place themselves under the authority of the government. There isn’t any authority unless it comes from God, and the authorities that are there have been put in place by God. 2 So anyone who opposes the authority is standing against what God has established. People who take this kind of stand will get punished. 3 The authorities don’t frighten people who are doing the right thing. Rather, they frighten people who are doing wrong. Would you rather not be afraid of authority? Do what’s right, and you will receive its approval. 4 It is God’s servant given for your benefit. But if you do what’s wrong, be afraid because it doesn’t have weapons to enforce the law for nothing. It is God’s servant put in place to carry out his punishment on those who do what is wrong. 5 That is why it is necessary to place yourself under the government’s authority, not only to avoid God’s punishment but also for the sake of your conscience. 6 You should also pay taxes for the same reason, because the authorities are God’s assistants, concerned with this very thing. 7 So pay everyone what you owe them. Pay the taxes you owe, pay the duties you are charged, give respect to those you should respect, and honor those you should honor.
8 Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. 9 The commandments, Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have,[x] and any other commandments, are all summed up in one word: You must love your neighbor as yourself.[y] 10 Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law.
The day is near
11 As you do all this, you know what time it is. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. Now our salvation is nearer than when we first had faith. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is near. So let’s get rid of the actions that belong to the darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let’s behave appropriately as people who live in the day, not in partying and getting drunk, not in sleeping around and obscene behavior, not in fighting and obsession. 14 Instead, dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.
Welcoming each other like Christ
14 Welcome the person who is weak in faith—but not in order to argue about differences of opinion. 2 One person believes in eating everything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Those who eat must not look down on the ones who don’t, and the ones who don’t eat must not judge the ones who do, because God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servants? They stand or fall before their own Lord (and they will stand, because the Lord has the power to make them stand). 5 One person considers some days to be more sacred than others, while another person considers all days to be the same. Each person must have their own convictions. 6 Someone who thinks that a day is sacred, thinks that way for the Lord. Those who eat, eat for the Lord, because they thank God. And those who don’t eat, don’t eat for the Lord, and they thank the Lord too. 7 We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God. 9 This is why Christ died and lived: so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you look down on your brother or sister? We all will stand in front of the judgment seat of God. 11 Because it is written,
As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me,
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister. 14 I know and I’m convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is wrong to eat in itself. But if someone thinks something is wrong to eat, it becomes wrong for that person. 15 If your brother or sister is upset by your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don’t let your food destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 And don’t let something you consider to be good be criticized as wrong. 17 God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever serves Christ this way pleases God and gets human approval.
19 So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up. 20 Don’t destroy what God has done because of food. All food is acceptable, but it’s a bad thing if it trips someone else. 21 It’s a good thing not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that trips your brother or sister. 22 Keep the belief that you have to yourself—it’s between you and God. People are blessed who don’t convict themselves by the things they approve. 23 But those who have doubts are convicted if they go ahead and eat, because they aren’t acting on the basis of faith. Everything that isn’t based on faith is sin.
15 We who are powerful need to be patient with the weakness of those who don’t have power, and not please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good in order to build them up. 3 Christ didn’t please himself, but, as it is written, The insults of those who insulted you fell on me.[aa] 4 Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus’ attitude. 6 That way you can glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ together with one voice.
7 So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God’s glory. 8 I’m saying that Christ became a servant of those who are circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the ancestors, 9 and so that the Gentiles could glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles,
10 And again, it says,
Rejoice, Gentiles, with his people.[ac]
11 And again,
Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
12 And again, Isaiah says,
There will be a root of Jesse,
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles
14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and are able to teach each other. 15 But I’ve written to you in a sort of daring way, partly to remind you of what you already know. I’m writing to you in this way because of the grace that was given to me by God. 16 It helps me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I’m working as a priest of God’s gospel so that the offering of the Gentiles can be acceptable and made holy by the Holy Spirit. 17 So in Christ Jesus I brag about things that have to do with God. 18 I don’t dare speak about anything except what Christ has done through me to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles. He did it by what I’ve said and what I’ve done, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit. So I’ve completed the circuit of preaching Christ’s gospel from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum. 20 In this way, I have a goal to preach the gospel where they haven’t heard of Christ yet, so that I won’t be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Instead, as it’s written, Those who hadn’t been told about him will see, and those who hadn’t heard will understand.[af]
Travel plans to visit Rome
22 That’s why I’ve been stopped so many times from coming to see you. 23 But now, since I don’t have any place to work in these regions anymore, and since I’ve wanted to come to see you for many years, 24 I’ll visit you when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while I’m passing through. And I hope you will send me on my way there, after I have first been reenergized by some time in your company.
25 But now I’m going to Jerusalem, to serve God’s people. 26 Macedonia and Achaia have been happy to make a contribution for the poor among God’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were happy to do this, and they are actually in debt to God’s people in Jerusalem. If the Gentiles got a share of the Jewish people’s spiritual resources, they ought to minister to them with material resources. 28 So then after I have finished this job and have safely delivered the final amount of the Gentiles’ offering to them, I will leave for Spain, visiting you on the way. 29 And I know that when I come to you I will come with the fullest blessing of Christ.
30 Brothers and sisters, I urge you, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggles in your prayers to God for me. 31 Pray that I will be rescued from the people in Judea who don’t believe. Also, pray that my service for Jerusalem will be acceptable to God’s people there 32 so that I can come to you with joy by God’s will and be reenergized with your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Introduction to Phoebe
16 I’m introducing our sister Phoebe to you, who is a servant[ag] of the church in Cenchreae. 2 Welcome her in the Lord in a way that is worthy of God’s people, and give her whatever she needs from you, because she herself has been a sponsor of many people, myself included.
Greetings to Roman Christians
3 Say hello to Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life. I’m not the only one who thanks God for them, but all the churches of the Gentiles do the same. 5 Also say hello to the church that meets in their house. Say hello to Epaenetus, my dear friend, who was the first convert[ah] in Asia for Christ. 6 Say hello to Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 7 Say hello to Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners. They are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Say hello to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Say hello to Urbanus, our coworker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Say hello to Apelles, who is tried and true in Christ. Say hello to the members of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Say hello to my relative Herodion. Say hello to the members of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Say hello to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who are workers for the Lord. Say hello to my dear friend Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Say hello to Rufus, who is an outstanding believer, along with his mother and mine. 14 Say hello to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. 15 Say hello to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Say hello to each other with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ say hello to you.
Warning against divisions
17 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for people who create divisions and problems against the teaching that you learned. Keep away from them. 18 People like that aren’t serving the Lord. They are serving their own feelings. They deceive the hearts of innocent people with smooth talk and flattery. 19 The news of your obedience has reached everybody, so I’m happy for you. But I want you to be wise about what’s good, and innocent about what’s evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan[ai] under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Greetings from Paul’s coworkers
21 Timothy my coworker says hello to you, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. 22 I’m Tertius, and I’m writing this letter to you in the Lord—hello! 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, says hello to you. Erastus the city treasurer says hello to you, along with our brother Quartus.[aj]
25 May the glory be to God who can strengthen you with my good news and the message that I preach about Jesus Christ. He can strengthen you with the announcement of the secret[ak] that was kept quiet for a long time. 26 Now that secret is revealed through what the prophets wrote. It is made known to the Gentiles[al] in order to lead to their faithful obedience based on the command of the eternal God. 27 May the glory be to God, who alone is wise! May the glory be to him through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.