Paul on Malta
28 After we were brought safely through, lwe then learned that mthe island was called Malta. 2 nThe native people1 showed us unusual okindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold. 3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4 When pthe native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, q“No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, rJustice2 has not allowed him to live.” 5 He, however, sshook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6 They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, tthey changed their minds and usaid that he was a god.
7 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and vprayed, and wputting his hands on him, healed him. 9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10 They also honored us greatly,3 and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.
Paul Arrives at Rome
11 After three months we set sail in xa ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods4 as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found ybrothers5 and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And ythe brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, zPaul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, aPaul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.
Paul in Rome
17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, bthough I had done nothing against our people or cthe customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they had examined me, they dwished to set me at liberty, ebecause there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled fto appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against gmy nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is hbecause of ithe hope of Israel that I am wearing jthis kchain.” 21 And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of lthe brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this msect we know that everywhere nit is spoken against.”
23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening ohe expounded to them, testifying to pthe kingdom of God and qtrying to convince them about Jesus rboth from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And ssome were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: t“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 u“‘Go to this people, and say,
v“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
27 wFor this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and xturn, and I would heal them.’
30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense,7 and cwelcomed all who came to him, 31 dproclaiming ethe kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ fwith all boldness and gwithout hindrance.
1 Paul, aa servant1 of Christ Jesus, bcalled to be an apostle, cset apart for the gospel of God, 2 which dhe promised beforehand ethrough his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, fwho was descended from David2 gaccording to the flesh 4 and hwas declared to be the Son of God iin power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom jwe have received grace and kapostleship lto bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name mamong all the nations, 6 including you who are ncalled to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
oGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Longing to Go to Rome
8 First, pI thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, qbecause your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 rFor God is my witness, swhom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, tthat without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow uby God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For vI long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged wby each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,3 that xI have often intended to come to you (but ythus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some zharvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 aI am under obligation both to Greeks and to bbarbarians,4 both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
16 For dI am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is ethe power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew ffirst and also to gthe Greek. 17 For in it hthe righteousness of God is revealed ifrom faith for faith,5 jas it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”6
God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For kthe wrath of God lis revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be mknown about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, nhave been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they obecame futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 pClaiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and qexchanged the glory of rthe immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore sGod gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to tthe dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for ua lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, vwho is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason wGod gave them up to xdishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, ymen committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, zGod gave them up to aa debased mind to do bwhat ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know cGod’s righteous decree that those who practice such things ddeserve to die, they not only do them but egive approval to those who practice them.
God’s Righteous Judgment
2 Therefore you have fno excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For gin passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on hthe riches of his kindness and iforbearance and jpatience, knot knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are lstoring up mwrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 nHe will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who oby patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking1 and pdo not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress qfor every human being who does evil, the Jew rfirst and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and speace for everyone who does good, tthe Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For uGod shows no partiality.
God’s Judgment and the Law
12 For all who have sinned vwithout the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For wit is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, xby nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is ywritten on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 zon that day when, aaccording to my gospel, God judges bthe secrets of men cby Christ Jesus.
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and drely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are ea guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law fthe embodiment of gknowledge and truth— 21 hyou then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you irob temples? 23 You who jboast in the law kdishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, las it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed mamong the Gentiles because of you.”
25 For circumcision indeed is of value nif you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if oa man who is uncircumcised keeps pthe precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded2 as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically3 uncircumcised but keeps the law qwill condemn you who have rthe written code4 and circumcision but break the law. 28 For sno one is a Jew twho is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one uinwardly, and vcircumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. wHis praise is not from man but from God.
God’s Righteousness Upheld
3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, xthe Jews were entrusted with ythe oracles of God. 3 zWhat if some were unfaithful? aDoes their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! bLet God be true though cevery one were a liar, as it is written,
d“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you eare judged.”
5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict fwrath on us? (gI speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could hGod judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, iwhy am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not jdo evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
No One Is Righteous
n“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
they use their tongues to deceive.”
q“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 r“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 s“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and tthe way of peace they have not known.”
18 u“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever vthe law says it speaks to those who are under the law, wso that every mouth may be stopped, and xthe whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For yby works of the law no human being3 will be justified in his sight, since zthrough the law comes knowledge of sin.
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
21 But now athe righteousness of God bhas been manifested apart from the law, although cthe Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God dthrough faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. eFor there is no distinction: 23 for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 gand are justified hby his grace as a gift, ithrough the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God jput forward as ka propitiation lby his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in mhis divine forbearance he had passed over nformer sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 oThen what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith papart from works of the law. 29 Or qis God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since rGod is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and sthe uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Abraham Justified by Faith
4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, tour forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but unot before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? v“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now wto the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but xbelieves in1 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 y“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not zcount his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for athe circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? bFor we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 cHe received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was dto make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
The Promise Realized Through Faith
13 For ethe promise to Abraham and his offspring fthat he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 gFor if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For hthe law brings wrath, but iwhere there is no law jthere is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, kin order that the promise may rest on grace and lbe guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, mwho is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, n“I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, owho gives life to the dead and calls into existence pthe things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, q“So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was ras good as dead (ssince he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered tthe barrenness2 of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that uGod was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But vthe words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us wwho believe in xhim who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 ywho was delivered up for our trespasses and raised zfor our justification.