Evangelical Heritage Version
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised in advance through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures. 3 This gospel is about his Son—who in the flesh[a] was born a descendant of David, 4 who in the spirit[b] of holiness was declared to be God’s powerful Son by his resurrection from the dead—Jesus Christ, our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and the call to be an apostle on behalf of his name, to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, 6 including you, who were called by Jesus Christ.
7 To all those loved by God who are in Rome, called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s Desire to Come to Rome
8 First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ concerning all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 To be sure, God, whom I serve with my spirit by proclaiming the gospel of his Son, is my witness to how constantly I make mention of you. In all my prayers, 10 I always ask if perhaps at last a way might be opened, if God wills, for me to come to you. 11 I certainly long to see you, in order that I may deliver some spiritual gift to you, so that you are strengthened— 12 that is, when I am with you, that we will be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, yours and also mine.
13 I do not want you to be unaware of the fact, brothers,[c] that I have often planned to come to you but have been prevented from doing so until now. I wanted to have some fruit among you in the same way as I did among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I have an obligation both to Greeks and non-Greeks,[d] to the wise and to the foolish. 15 That is why I am eager to proclaim the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
The Power of the Gospel
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes—to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed by faith, for faith,[e] just as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith.”[f]
God’s Anger on All Who Reject Him
18 Indeed, God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who try to suppress the truth by unrighteousness. 19 This happens because what can be known about God is evident among them, because God made it evident among them. 20 In fact, his invisible characteristics—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, because they are understood from the things he made. As a result, people are without excuse, 21 because, even though they knew God, they did not honor him or give him thanks as God. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless heart was darkened.
22 Although they claim to be wise, they have become fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human, or like birds, four-footed animals, and crawling things. 24 So, as they followed the sinful desires of their hearts, God handed them over to the impurity of degrading their own bodies among themselves. 25 Such people have traded the truth about God for the lie, worshipping and serving the creation rather than the Creator, who is worthy of praise forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God handed them over to disgraceful passions. Even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 And, in the same way, their males, after abandoning natural sexual relations with females, were consumed by their lust for one another. Males perform indecent acts with males and receive in themselves the penalty that is fitting for their perversion.
28 And since they did not consider it worthwhile to hold on to the true knowledge of God, God handed them over to a corrupted mind to do things that should never be done. 29 They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and malice. They are gossipers, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent mockers, arrogant boasters, and loudmouths. They dream up evil things. They disobey their parents. 31 They are senseless, faithless, heartless, and merciless. 32 Even though they know God’s righteous decree that those who do these things are worthy of death, such people not only continue to do them, but also approve of others who continue to commit such sins.
God Will Judge What Each Person Does
2 Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who judges someone else, because by judging the other person you also condemn yourself, since you, who are judging, are doing the very same things. 2 And we know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth.
3 Are you thinking that you will escape God’s judgment, you who judge those who do such things and then do the same things yourself? 4 Or do you have so little regard for his rich kindness, his restraint, and his patience, that you ignore the fact that the purpose of God’s kindness is to lead you to repentance? 5 As a result of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God will reveal his righteous judgment.
6 God “will repay each person according to what he has done”[g]— 7 eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality by persisting in doing what is good, 8 but furious anger to those who out of selfish ambition are disobeying what is true and obeying what is wrong. 9 There will be trouble and distress for the soul of every person who does what is evil—for the Jew first and for the Greek— 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good—for the Jew first and for the Greek. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 Indeed, all people who have sinned without law will also perish without law, and all the people who have sinned in connection with law will be judged by law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who will be righteous in God’s sight, but those who do the law who will be declared righteous.
14 In fact, whenever Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires—even though they do not have the law—they are a law for themselves. 15 They demonstrate the work of the law that is written in their hearts, since their conscience also bears witness as their thoughts go back and forth, at times accusing or at times even defending them.
16 This will happen on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people’s secrets through Jesus Christ.
Paul Addresses the Jew Directly
17 Now if you call yourself a Jew, and you find your comfort in the law, and you boast in God; 18 and if you know his will, and you approve the things that really matter, since you are instructed by the law; 19 and if you are convinced that you yourself are a guide for the blind, a light for those in darkness, 20 an instructor of the ignorant, and a teacher of infants (since you have the essence of knowledge and truth in the law)— 21 now then, you, the one who is teaching someone else, do you fail to teach yourself? You who preach, “Do not steal,” do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law bring shame on God by breaking the law. 24 Yes, as it is written, “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”[h]
Does Circumcision Make a Difference?
25 Indeed, circumcision has value if you observe the law. On the other hand, if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So, if an uncircumcised person keeps the righteous requirements of the law, won’t his uncircumcision be credited to him as circumcision? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically, but who fulfills the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker, even though you have the written law and circumcision.
28 In fact, a Jew who is merely one outwardly is not really a Jew, and circumcision that is only outward in the flesh is not really circumcision. 29 Rather, a real Jew is one on the inside, and his circumcision is of the heart—a spiritual circumcision, not one based on carrying out the letter of the law. That person’s praise does not come from people but from God.
- Romans 1:3 Here flesh is a reference to Christ’s state of humiliation. See 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18.
- Romans 1:4 Here spirit is a reference to Christ’s state of exaltation. See 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18.
- Romans 1:13 When context indicates it, the Greek word for brothers may refer to all fellow believers, male and female.
- Romans 1:14 Or barbarians
- Romans 1:17 Or from faith to faith, or by faith resulting in faith
- Romans 1:17 Habakkuk 2:4
- Romans 2:6 Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12
- Romans 2:24 Isaiah 52:5