Paul says ‘Hello’
1 This letter is from me, Paul. I am a servant of Christ Jesus. God chose me to be his apostle. He sent me to tell his good news to people. 2 God promised this good news long ago, before it became true. His prophets wrote about it in the Bible. 3-4 This good news is about God's Son, who is Jesus Christ, our Lord. Jesus was born as a human baby from King David's family. But after Jesus died on the cross, God's Holy Spirit raised him to make him alive again. In that way God showed clearly that Jesus was his powerful Son. 5 Because of Jesus Christ, God has been very kind to us. He has chosen me to serve him as an apostle. He sent me to tell his message to people from all countries. As a result they would know that Jesus Christ is great. They would trust him and obey him. 6 You Christians in Rome are also among those people! God has chosen you to belong to Jesus Christ.
1:3-4David was a great king of Israel, about 1000 years before Jesus lived on earth.
7 So, I am writing to all you Christians who are in Rome. God loves you and he has chosen you to be his own people.
I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds.
Paul wants to visit Rome
8 First, because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, I thank my God for all of you. Everywhere in the world, people are talking about how you trust in Jesus Christ. 9 God is the one that I serve with all my spirit. I tell people the message about his Son, which is good news. God himself knows that I pray for you all the time. 10 Every time that I pray for you, I ask God for a chance that I might visit you soon. I pray that he will make it possible if that is what he wants.
11 I want very much to come and see you. Then I can give some gift from God's Spirit to you. That will help you to be strong as you serve God. 12 We can help each other to be strong like that, because both you and I trust Christ. 13 My Christian friends, I want you to know that I have tried often to visit you. But until now, something has always stopped me. I want to help you to serve God well, in the way that I have already helped other Gentiles.
14 Because God has been kind to me, I must tell his message to all people. I must tell his good news to people who have learned many things, and to those who have never been to school. I must tell it to people who are wise as well as to those who are not very clever. 15 Because of that, I want very much to tell God's good news also to you people who live in Rome.
1:15At that time, many people who worked in businesses spoke the Greek language. Everyone thought that those people were clever and important. And they thought that other, foreign, people were not so clever or important. So, Paul is saying that he must tell the good news to all kinds of people.
16 I am not ashamed to tell people the good news. God uses that good news to show his great power. He uses it to save all people who believe in Jesus Christ. First, God saves all Jews who are believers. And he also saves all Gentiles who are believers. 17 The good news explains how God accepts people as right with himself. He does this when they believe in Christ. It is only because of their faith. Nothing else. This is what was written in the Bible long ago:
‘Everyone that God accepts as right with him will live, because they trust him.’
People are guilty
18 God in heaven shows that he is angry with people. He is angry because they do not respect him and they do bad things. Because they continue to do those bad things, they choose not to accept God's true message. 19 They should understand what God is like, because God himself has shown it to them clearly. 20 Ever since God made the world, he has been showing people clearly about himself. We cannot see God. But the things that he has made show us clearly what he is like. We can understand his great power that continues for ever. We can know that he is the true God. So there is no reason for anyone to say, ‘We could not know about God.’
21 Those people really knew about God. But they did not respect him as a great God, and they did not thank him. They did not even think clearly any more. Their minds became confused and they did not understand God's message. 22 They said that they were wise, but really they became fools. 23 They refused to worship the great God who can never die. Instead, they made false gods for themselves. They worshipped idols that were like human people, who must die. They made idols that looked like birds, animals and snakes, and they worshipped them.
24 So God let those people do all the bad things that they wanted to do. God let those dirty things rule their lives. As a result, they did bad things with each other's bodies. They did things that people should be ashamed to do. 25 They refused to believe the true things about God. Instead, they chose to believe lies. They worshipped things that God has made. They became servants of those things. But they refused to worship God himself. He is the one who made all those things! Everyone should praise him for ever! Amen. This is true.
26 Because those people turned against God, he let those bad things rule their lives. They strongly wanted to do things that they should be ashamed about. Even the women stopped having sex in a way which is proper. Instead, they began to have sex with other women, which is not proper. 27 Also, the men stopped having sex with women. Instead, they strongly wanted to have sex with other men. Men did bad things with other men that they should be ashamed about. Because they did such wrong things, they received in their own bodies the punishment that was right.
28 Those people decided that they did not need to understand God's message. So God let their minds become spoiled. As a result, they do bad things that people ought not to do. 29 They only think about wrong and bad things that they want to do. They want many things for themselves. They want to hurt other people. They are always jealous of other people. They kill people. They quarrel and fight with people. They are not honest or kind. They say silly things about other people. 30 They tell lies about people. They hate God. They insult other people. They are proud and they say how important they are. They think of many ways to do bad things. They do not obey their parents. 31 They do not understand what is right. They do not do what they have promised to do. They do not love anyone and they are not kind to anyone. 32 These people understand God's message about what is right. They know that people who do bad things like this ought to die. But they still continue to do those bad things. Also, they are even happy when other people do those bad things too.