Contemporary English Version
Don’t Criticize Others
14 Welcome all the Lord’s followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don’t criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours. 2 Some think it is all right to eat anything, while those whose faith is weak will eat only vegetables. 3 But you should not criticize others for eating or for not eating. After all, God welcomes everyone. 4 What right do you have to criticize someone else’s servants? Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right, and the Lord will make sure that they do right.
5 Some of the Lord’s followers think one day is more important than another. Others think all days are the same. But each of you should make up your own mind. 6 Any followers who count one day more important than another day do it to honor their Lord. And any followers who eat meat give thanks to God, just like the ones who don’t eat meat.
7 Whether we live or die, it must be for God, rather than for ourselves. 8 Whether we live or die, it must be for the Lord. Alive or dead, we still belong to the Lord. 9 This is because Christ died and rose to life, so that he would be the Lord of the dead and of the living. 10 Why do you criticize other followers of the Lord? Why do you look down on them? The day is coming when God will judge all of us. 11 In the Scriptures God says,
“I swear by my very life
that everyone will kneel down
and praise my name!”
12 And so, each of us must give an account to God for what we do.
Don’t Cause Problems for Others
13 We must stop judging others. We must also make up our minds not to upset anyone’s faith. 14 The Lord Jesus has made it clear to me that God considers all foods fit to eat. But if you think some foods are unfit to eat, then for you they are not fit.
15 If you are hurting others by the foods you eat, you are not guided by love. Don’t let your appetite destroy someone Christ died for. 16 Don’t let your right to eat bring shame to Christ. 17 God’s kingdom isn’t about eating and drinking. It is about pleasing God, about living in peace, and about true happiness. All this comes from the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be respected by people. 19 We should try[a] to live at peace and help each other have a strong faith.
20 Don’t let your appetite destroy what God has done. All foods are fit to eat, but it is wrong to cause problems for others by what you eat. 21 It is best not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that causes problems for other followers of the Lord. 22 What you believe about these things should be kept between you and God. You are fortunate, if your actions don’t make you have doubts. 23 But if you do have doubts about what you eat, you are going against your beliefs. And you know that is wrong, because anything you do against your beliefs is sin.
Please Others and Not Yourself
15 If our faith is strong, we should be patient with the Lord’s followers whose faith is weak. We should try to please them instead of ourselves. 2 We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them. 3 Even Christ did not try to please himself. But as the Scriptures say, “The people who insulted you also insulted me.” 4 And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope. 5 God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ. 6 Then all of you together will praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Good News Is for Jews and Gentiles
7 Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you. 8 I tell you that Christ came as a servant of the Jews to show that God has kept the promises he made to their famous ancestors. Christ also came, 9 so that the Gentiles would praise God for being kind to them. It is just as the Scriptures say,
“I will tell the nations
and I will sing praises
to your name.”
10 The Scriptures also say to the Gentiles, “Come and celebrate with God’s people.”
11 Again the Scriptures say,
“Praise the Lord,
all you Gentiles.
All you nations, come
and worship him.”
12 Isaiah says,
“Someone from David’s family
will come to power.
He will rule the nations,
and they will put their hope
13 I pray that God, who gives hope, will bless you with complete happiness and peace because of your faith. And may the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
Paul’s Work as a Missionary
14 My friends, I am sure that you are very good and that you have all the knowledge you need to teach each other. 15 But I have spoken to you plainly and have tried to remind you of some things. God was so kind to me! 16 He chose me to be a servant of Christ Jesus for the Gentiles and to do the work of a priest in the service of his good news. God did this so that the Holy Spirit could make the Gentiles into a holy offering, pleasing to him.
17 Because of Christ Jesus, I can take pride in my service for God. 18 In fact, all I will talk about is how Christ let me speak and work, so that the Gentiles would obey him. 19 Indeed, I will tell how Christ worked miracles and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. I have preached the good news about him all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum. 20 But I have always tried to preach where people have never heard about Christ. I am like a builder who doesn’t build on anyone else’s foundation. 21 It is just as the Scriptures say,
“All who haven’t been told
will see him,
and those who haven’t heard
Paul’s Plan To Visit Rome
22 My work has always kept me from coming to see you. 23 Now there is nothing left for me to do in this part of the world, and for years I have wanted to visit you. 24 So I plan to stop off on my way to Spain. Then after a short, but refreshing, visit with you, I hope you will quickly send me on.
25-26 I am now on my way to Jerusalem to deliver the money that the Lord’s followers in Macedonia and Achaia collected for God’s needy people. 27 This is something they really wanted to do. But sharing their money with the Jews was also like paying back a debt, because the Jews had already shared their spiritual blessings with the Gentiles. 28 After I have safely delivered this money, I will visit you and then go on to Spain. 29 And when I do arrive in Rome, I know it will be with the full blessings of Christ.
30 My friends, by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that comes from the Holy Spirit, I beg you to pray sincerely with me and for me. 31 Pray that God will protect me from the unbelievers in Judea, and that his people in Jerusalem will be pleased with what I am doing. 32 Ask God to let me come to you and have a pleasant and refreshing visit. 33 I pray that God, who gives peace, will be with all of you. Amen.
16 I have good things to say about Phoebe, who is a leader in the church at Cenchreae. 2 Welcome her in a way that is proper for someone who has faith in the Lord and is one of God’s own people. Help her in any way you can. After all, she has proved to be a respected leader for many others, including me.
3 Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila. They have not only served Christ Jesus together with me, 4 but they have even risked their lives for me. I am grateful for them and so are all the Gentile churches. 5 Greet the church that meets in their home.
Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first person in Asia to have faith in Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who has worked so hard for you.
8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend whose faith is in the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus, who serves Christ along with us.
Greet my dear friend Stachys.
10 Greet Apelles, a faithful servant of Christ.
Greet Aristobulus and his family.
11 Greet Herodion, who is a relative[d] of mine.
Greet Narcissus and the others in his family, who have faith in the Lord.
12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who work hard for the Lord.
Greet my dear friend Persis. She also works hard for the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus, that special servant of the Lord, and greet his mother, who has been like a mother to me.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, and Hermas, as well as our friends who are with them.
15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all of God’s people who are with them.
16 Be sure to give each other a warm greeting.
All of Christ’s churches greet you.
17 My friends, I beg you to watch out for anyone who causes trouble and divides the church by refusing to do what all of you were taught. Stay away from them! 18 They want to serve themselves and not Christ the Lord. Their flattery and fancy talk fool people who don’t know any better. 19 I am glad that everyone knows how well you obey the Lord. But still, I want you to understand what is good and not have anything to do with evil. 20 Then God, who gives peace, will soon crush Satan under your feet. I pray that our Lord Jesus will be kind to you.
21 Timothy, who works with me, sends his greetings, and so do my relatives,[e] Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater.
22 I, Tertius, also send my greetings. I am a follower of the Lord, and I wrote this letter.[f]
23-24 Gaius welcomes me and the whole church into his home, and he sends his greetings.
Erastus, the city treasurer, and our dear friend Quartus send their greetings too.[g]
Paul’s Closing Prayer
25 Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about[h] Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret, 26 but now at last it has been told. The eternal God commanded his prophets to write about the good news, so that all nations would obey and have faith. 27 And now, because of Jesus Christ, we can praise the only wise God forever! Amen.[i]
- 14.19 We should try: Some manuscripts have “We try.”
- 16.7, 11, 21 relatives: Or”Jewish friends.”
- 16.7 Junias: Or “Junia.” Some manuscripts have “Julia.”
- 16.11, 21 relative(s): See the note at verse 7.
- 16.11,21 relative(s): See the note at verse 7.
- 16.22 I wrote this letter: Paul probably dictated this letter to Tertius.
- 16.23,24 send their greetings too: Some manuscripts add, “I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will always be kind to you. Amen.”
- 16.25 about: Or “from.”
- 16.27 Amen: Some manuscripts have verses 25-27 after 14.23. Others have the verses here and after 14.23, and one manuscript has them after 15.33.