Romans 1:18–4:25; Romans 9–11; Romans 14–15:13

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,1 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

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. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O manyou who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourselfthat you will escape the judgment of God? 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? 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.

nHe will render to each one according to his works: to those who oby patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking2 and pdo not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 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 regarded3 as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically4 uncircumcised but keeps the law qwill condemn you who have rthe written code5 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

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, xthe Jews were entrusted with ythe oracles of God. zWhat if some were unfaithful? aDoes their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! bLet God be true though cevery one were a liar, as it is written,

dThat you may be justified in your words,

and prevail when you eare judged.

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.) By no means! For then how could hGod judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, iwhy am I still being condemned as a sinner? 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

What then? Are we Jews6 any better off?7 No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both kJews and lGreeks, are munder sin, 10 as it is written:

nNone 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.

13  oTheir throat is pan open grave;

they use their tongues to deceive.

qThe venom of asps is under their lips.

14  rTheir mouth is full of curses and bitterness.

15  sTheir 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  uThere 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 being8 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 onewho 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

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, tour forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but unot before God. For what does the Scripture say? vAbraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Now wto the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but xbelieves in9 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

yBlessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,

and whose sins are covered;

blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not zcount his sin.

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 offspringnot 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, nI have made you the father of many nationsin 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, qSo 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 barrenness10 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.


God’s Sovereign Choice

aI am speaking the truth in ChristI am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For bI could wish that I myself were caccursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,1 my kinsmen daccording to the flesh. They are eIsraelites, and to them belong fthe adoption, gthe glory, hthe covenants, ithe giving of the law, jthe worship, and kthe promises. To them belong lthe patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, mwho is God over all, nblessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham obecause they are his offspring, but pThrough Isaac shall your offspring be named. This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but qthe children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: rAbout this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son. 10 And not only so, but salso when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or badin order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of thim who calls 12 she was told, uThe older will serve the younger. 13 As it is written, vJacob I loved, but Esau I hated.

14 What shall we say then? wIs there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, xI will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,2 but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, yFor this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, Why does he still find fault? For zwho can resist his will? 20 But who are you, O man, ato answer back to God? bWill what is molded say to its molder, Why have you made me like this? 21 cHas the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump done vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience evessels of wrath fprepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known gthe riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he hhas prepared beforehand for glory 24 even us whom he ihas called, jnot from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

kThose who were not my people I will call my people,

and her who was not beloved I will call beloved.

26  lAnd in the very place where it was said to them, You are not my people,

there they will be called msons of the living God.

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: nThough the number of the sons of Israel3 be as the sand of the sea, oonly a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay. 29 And as Isaiah predicted,

pqIf the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,

rwe would have been like Sodom

and become like Gomorrah.

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What shall we say, then? sThat Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, ta righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel uwho pursued a law that would lead to righteousness4 vdid not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the wstumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

xBehold, I am laying in Zion ya stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;

zand whoever believes in him will not be aput to shame.

10 Brothers,5 my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that bthey have a zeal for God, cbut not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of dthe righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For eChrist is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.6

The Message of Salvation to All

For fMoses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that gthe person who does the commandments shall live by them. But hthe righteousness based on faith says, iDo not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down) or Who will descend into the jabyss? (that is, kto bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? lThe word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if myou confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and nbelieve in your heart othat God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, pEveryone who believes in him will not be put to shame. 12 qFor there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; rfor the same Lord is Lord of all, sbestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For teveryone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him uof whom they have never heard?7 And how are they to hear vwithout someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, wHow beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! 16 But xthey have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, yLord, who has believed what he has heard from us? 17 So zfaith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

aTheir voice has gone out bto all the earth,

and their words to the ends of the world.

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

cI will dmake you jealous of those who are not a nation;

with a efoolish nation I will make you angry.

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

fI have been found by those who did not seek me;

I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.

21 But of Israel he says, gAll day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.

The Remnant of Israel

11 I ask, then, hhas God rejected his people? By no means! For iI myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,8 a member of the tribe of Benjamin. jGod has not rejected his people whom he kforeknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? lLord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life. But what is God’s reply to him? mI have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. So too at the present time there is na remnant, chosen by grace. oBut if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? pIsrael failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest qwere hardened, as it is written,

rGod gave them a spirit of stupor,

seyes that would not see

and ears that would not hear,

down to this very day.

And David says,

tLet their table become a snare and a trap,

a stumbling block and a retribution for them;

10  let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,

and bend their backs forever.

Gentiles Grafted In

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass usalvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion9 mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as vI am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and wthus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means xthe reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 yIf the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 But if zsome of the branches were broken off, and you, aalthough a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root10 of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you bstand fast through faith. So cdo not become proud, but dfear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, eprovided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise fyou too will be cut off. 23 And geven they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation

25 hLest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers:11 ia partial hardening has come upon Israel, juntil the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

kThe Deliverer will come lfrom Zion,

he will banish ungodliness from Jacob;

27  and this will be my mcovenant with them

nwhen I take away their sins.

28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are obeloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and pthe calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as qyou were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now12 receive mercy. 32 For God rhas consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and swisdom and knowledge of God! tHow unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34  For uwho has known the mind of the Lord,

or vwho has been his counselor?

35  Or wwho has given a gift to him

that he might be repaid?

36 For xfrom him and through him and to him are all things. yTo him be glory forever. Amen.


Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another

14 As for mthe one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. nOne person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and olet not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. pWho are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master1 that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

qOne person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. rEach one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since she gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For tnone of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, uwhether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ vdied and lived again, that he might be Lord both wof the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For wwe will all stand before xthe judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

yAs I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,

and every tongue shall confess2 to God.

12 So then zeach of us will give an account of himself to God.

Do Not Cause Another to Stumble

13 aTherefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide bnever to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus cthat nothing is unclean in itself, dbut it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, eyou are no longer walking in love. fBy what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 gSo do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 hFor the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but iof righteousness and jpeace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is kacceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us lpursue what makes for peace and for mmutual upbuilding.

20 nDo not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. oEverything is indeed clean, but pit is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 qIt is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.3 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. rBlessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.4

The Example of Christ

15 sWe who are strong thave an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. uLet each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For vChrist did not please himself, but as it is written, wThe reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me. For xwhatever was written in former days was written for our yinstruction, that through endurance and through zthe encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you ato live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify bthe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles

For I tell you that Christ cbecame a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order dto confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order ethat the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

fTherefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,

and sing to your name.

10 And again it is said,

gRejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.

11 And again,

hPraise the Lord, all you Gentiles,

and let all the peoples extol him.

12 And again Isaiah says,

ijThe root of Jesse will come,

even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;

kin him will the Gentiles hope.

13 May the God of hope fill you with all ljoy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.