ST. PAULíS EPISTLE to the ROMANS
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the Gospel of God, Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy Scriptures; Concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was of the seed of David according to the flesh but declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith in all nations for his name, among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that are in Rome, who are beloved of God, called and holy, Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God, through Jesus Christ, for you all, that your faith is spoken of through the whole world. For God whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of his Son, is my witness, how incessantly I make mention of you, Always requesting in my prayers to come unto you, if by any means now at length I may have a prosperous journey by the will of God. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, that ye may be established; That is, to be comforted together with you, by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that I have often purposed to come to you, (though I have been hindered hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to the Greeks and the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise. Therefore, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you also who are at Rome. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, both to the Jew and to the Gentile. For the righteousness of God is revealed therein from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who detain the truth in unrighteousness. For what is to be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it to them. For those things of him which are invisible, both his eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things which are made, so that they are without excuse: Because knowing God, they did not glorify him as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their reasonings, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image in the likeness of corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted creatures, and reptiles. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the desires of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature above the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. Therefore God gave them up to vile affections; for even their women changed the natural use to that which is against nature; And likewise also men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust toward each other, men with men working filthiness, and receiving in themselves the just recompense of their error. And as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an undiscerning mind, to do the things which were not expedient, Filled with all injustice, fornication, maliciousness, covetousness, wickedness: full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity: Whisperers, backbiters; haters of God, violent, proud: boasters, inventors of evil things: disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, Unmerciful. Who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that they who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in those that practice them.
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for in that thou judgest the other, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest practisest the same things. For we know that the judgment of God is according to truth, against them who practice such things. And thinkest thou this, man, who judgest them that practice such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up to thyself wrath in the day of wrath, and revelation, and righteous judgment of God? Who will render to every one according to his works: To them that by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life. But to them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be indignation, and wrath, tribulation and anguish, Even upon every soul of man who worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also the Gentile: But glory, and honor, and peace shall be to every one who worketh good, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile.
For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without the law, shall also perish without the law; and as many as have sinned under the law, shall be judged by the law. For not the hearers of the law are just with God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these not having the law, are a law to themselves; Who show the work of the law written upon their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts among themselves, accusing or even defending them, In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Christ Jesus, according to my Gospel.
But if thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and gloriest in God, And knowest his will, and discernest the things that differ, being instructed out of the law: And art confident that thyself art a guide to the blind, a light of them that are in darkness, An instructor of the ignorant, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law: Thou that teachest another, dost not teach thyself: thou that proclaimest, a man should not steal, dost steal: Thou that sayest, A man should not commit adultery, dost commit adultery: thou that abhorrest idols, committest sacrilege. Thou that gloriest in the law, by transgressing the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written, Circumcision indeed profiteth, if thou keepest the law; but if thou art a transgressor of the law, thy circumcision is become uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? Yea, the uncircumcision that is by nature, fulfilling the law, shall judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision transgressest the law. For he is not a Jew, who is an outward Jew, neither is that circumcision which is apparent in the flesh. But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter: whose praise is not from men, but from God.
What then is the advantage of the Jew, or what the profit of the circumcision? Much every way; chiefly in that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. For what if some believed not? Shall their unbelief disannul the faithfulness of God? God forbid: let God be true, and every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in the saying, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is not God unjust, who taketh vengeance? I speak as a man. God forbid, otherwise how should God judge the world? But if the truth of God hath abounded to his glory through my lie, why am I still judged as a sinner? And why may we not (as we are slandered, and as some affirm us to say) do evil, that good may come? whose condemnation is just.
What then? Are we better than they? In no wise: for we have before proved all, both Jews and Gentiles, to be under sin. As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God. They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are their ways, And they have not known the way of peace, The fear of God is not before their eyes. Now we know that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. Therefore no flesh shall be justified in his sight by the works of the law; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God is manifested without the law, being attested by the law and the prophets, Even the righteousness of God, by the faith of Jesus Christ, to all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and are fallen short of the glory of God, And are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth a propitiation, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness, by the remission of past sins through the forbearance of God: For a demonstration, I say, of his righteousness in this present time, that he might be just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of faith. We conclude then, that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law. Is God the God of the Jews only, and not also of the Gentiles? Surely of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through the same faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
What shall we say then, That our father Abraham hath found justification according to the flesh? If Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory: but he hath not in the sight of God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is imputed to him for righteousness. So David also affirmeth the happiness of the man to whom God imputeth righteousness without works: Happy are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Happy is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this happiness then on the circumcision only, or on the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was imputed to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then imputed? When he was in circumcision or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, which he had in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all who believe in uncircumcision, that righteousness may be imputed to them also. And the father of the circumcision to them, who not only are of the circumcision, but also walk in the footsteps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or his seed by the law, but by the righteousness of faith. For if they who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise of no effect. Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be of grace, that the promise might be firm to all the seed; not only to that also which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have appointed thee a father of many nations) before God in whom he believed, as quickening the dead, and calling the things that are not, as though they were: Who against hope believed in hope, that he should be the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And not being weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, being about a hundred years old, nor the deadness of Sarahís womb. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, And being fully assured, that what he had promised he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written an his account only, that it was imputed unto him, But on ours also, to whom it will be imputed, if we believe on him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised for our justification.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have had access through faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, And patience experience, and experience hope; And hope shameth us not, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Now one will scarce die far a just man; yet perhaps for the good man one would even dare to die. But God recommendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, being enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved through his life. And not only so, but we also glory in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Therefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, even so death passed upon all men, in that all sinned. For until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed, where there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adamís transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. Yet not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if by the offence of one many died, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, that of one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as the loss by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the sentence was by one offence to condemnation; but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if through one manís offense, death reigned by one they who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, shall much more reign in life by one, even Jesus Christ. As therefore by one offence the sentence of death came upon all men to condemnation, so also by one righteousness the free gift came upon all men to justification of life. For as by the disobedience of one man, many were constituted sinners, so by the obedience of one, many shall be constituted righteous. But the law came in between, that the offense might abound: yet where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin had reigned through death, so grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say, then? We will continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we who are dead to sin live any longer therein? Know ye not, that as many of us as have been baptized into Jesus Christ, have been baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him through baptism into death, that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we might no longer serve sin. For he that is dead is free from sin. And we believe, that if we are dead with Christ, we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him. For in that he died, he died to sin once far all; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. So reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore let not sin reign in your mortal body, to obey it in the desires thereof. Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members to God, as instruments of righteousness: For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey? Whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But thanks be to God, that whereas ye were the servants of sin, ye have now obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine into which ye have been delivered. Being then set free from sin, ye are become the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men, because of the weakness of your flesh. As ye have presented your members servants to uncleanness and iniquity unto iniquity, so now present your members servants of righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then from those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For death is the wages of sin; but eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth! For the married woman is bound to her husband while he is alive; but if her husband be dead, she is freed from the law of her husband. Therefore if she marry another man while her husband liveth, she will be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law, so as to be no adulteress, though she marry another man. Therefore ye also, my brethren, are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye might be married to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we may bring forth fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, wrought in our members, so as to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are freed from the law, being dead unto that whereby we were held, so that we serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
What shall we say then? That the law is sin? God forbid. Yea, I should not have known sin, but for the law. I had not known lust, unless the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of desire: for without the law sin was dead. And I was once alive without the law; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment which was intended for life, this I found unto death. For sin taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
Was then that which is good made death to me? God forbid. But sin; that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good: so that sin might by the commandment become exceeding sinful. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I approve not; for I do not practice what I would, but what I hate, that I do. If then I do what I would not, I consent to the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good, I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now, if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and captivating me to the law of sin, which is in my members. wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but with my flesh the law of sin.
Therefore there is now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath freed me from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God hath done: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, to be a sacrifice for sin, he hath condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. They that are after the flesh, mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Now to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace: Because to be carnally minded is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you. And if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Now if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, will also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ: if we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by him who subjected it, In hope that the creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth together and travaileth together until now. And not only they, but even we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, how does he yet hope for? But if we hope for what we see not, we patiently wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered. But he who searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit: for he maketh intercession for the saints according to God.
And we know, that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated, conformable to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we say then to these things? if God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Godís elect? It is God that justifieth, Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, who likewise maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall affliction, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) Nay, in all these things we more than conquer, through him who hath loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not; my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen after the flesh: Who are Israelites, whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the worship of God, and the promises: Whose are the fathers, and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Not as if the word of God had fallen to the ground; for all are not Israel, who are of Israel. Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children, but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called: That is, not the children of the flesh are the children of God, but the children of promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of the promise, At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, our father Isaac, The children being net yet born, neither having done any good or evil, (that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that called,) It was said to her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, I have loved Jacob, and hated Esau.
What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. It is not therefore of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. Moreover, the Scripture saith to Pharaoh, For this very thing have I raised thee up, that I may show my power in thee, and that my name may be declared through all the earth. So then he hath mercy on whom he willeth, and whom he willeth he hardeneth. But thou wilt say to me, Why doth he still find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay, but who art thou, man, that repliest against God! Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, out of the same mass to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor? What if God being willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, yet endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction? And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, whom he had before prepared far glory? Even us whom he hath called, not only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles: As he said also in Hosea, I will call them my people, who were not my people, and her beloved who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, in the place where it was said to them, Ye are not my people, there shall they be called the sons of the living God. But Isaiah crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant only shall be saved. For he is finishing and cutting short his account in righteousness; for the Lord will make a short account upon earth. And as Isaiah had said before, Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and had been made like Gomorrah. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles who followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith: But Israel, following after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? because they sought it not by faith but as it were by works; for they stumbled at the stumbling-stone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense: and every one that believeth shall not be ashamed.
Brethren, the desire of my heart, and my prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved. For I bear them record, that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is by the law, The man who doth these things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is by faith speaketh thus: Say not in thy heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down:) Or who shall descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ again from the dead.) But what saith he? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach: That if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
For the Scripture saith, Every one that believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord of all is rich to all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall he saved. But how shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? But how shall they preach, unless they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them who bring the good tidings of peace, who bring the glad tidings of good things!
But all have not obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes, verily; their voice is gone into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. But I say, Hath not Israel known? First, Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are not a nation; by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found by them that sought me not: I was made manifest to them that asked not after me. Whereas with regard to Israel he saith, All the day have I stretched forth my hands to an unbelieving and gainsaying people.
I say then, Hath God rejected his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Know ye not what the Scripture saith of Elijah? how he pleadeth with God against Israel: Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thy altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. And so likewise at the present time, there is a remnant, according to the election of grace. But if by grace, then it is no more of works: else grace is no longer grace. And if it be of works, then it is no more grace; else work is no longer work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh, but the election hath obtained, and the rest were blinded: According as it is written, God hath given them a spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day. And David saith, Let their table become a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a recompense to them. Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled so as to fall? God forbid. But by their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. But if their fall be the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness? For I speak to you Gentiles, as I am the apostle of the Gentiles. I magnify my office: If by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what will the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the first fruits be holy, so is the lump: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree, Boast not against the branches, but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Wilt thou say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in? Well; they were broken off for unbelief, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and the severity of God! Toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; else shalt thou also be cut off. And they, if they do not continue in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut off from the natural wild olive tree, and grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,) that hardness is in part happened to Israel, till the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and shall turn away iniquity from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins. With regard to the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake; but as for the election, they are beloved, for the sake of their fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. As then ye were once disobedient to God, but have now obtained mercy through their disobedience: So these also have now been disobedient, that through your mercy they may likewise find mercy. For God hath shut up all together in disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. the depth of the riches, and wisdom, and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past tracing out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Who hath first given to him, and it shall be repaid him again? For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to him be glory for ever! Amen.
I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the tender mercies of God, to present your bodies unto God, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. And I say, through the grace which is given to me, to every one that is among you, not to think of himself above what he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath distributed to every one the measure of faith. For as in one body we have many members, and all members have not the same office, So we being many are one body in Christ, and everyone members of each other. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given us, whether it be prophecy, let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith: Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation. He that imparteth, let him do it with simplicity; he that presideth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. In brotherly love be full of tender affection toward each other, in honor preferring one another: Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord: Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, continue instant in prayer. Communicate to the necessities of the saints, pursue hospitality. Bless them who persecute you; bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Agree in the same affection to word each other. Mind not high, but condescend to low, things. Be not wise in your own conceit. Render to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, revenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thy enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
Let every soul be subject to the supreme powers, for there is no power but from God; the powers that be are appointed by God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the appointment of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves condemnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Wouldst thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from it; For he is the servant of God to thee for good. But if thou dost that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the servant of God, an avenger for wrath against him that doth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause ye pay tribute also: for they are the ministers of God, attending continually on this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. Owe no man any thing, but love one another; for he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet, and if there he any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no evil to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
And do this, knowing the season, that it is high time now to awake out of sleep; for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far spent; the day is at hand; let us therefore put off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Let us walk decently as in the day; not in banqueting and drunken entertainments; not in uncleannesses and wantonness, not in strife and envy. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the desires thereof.
Him that is weak in the faith, receive; but not to doubtful disputatious. For one believeth that he may eat all things; another who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not: and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest anotherís servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be upheld; for God is able to uphold him. One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it to the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord; for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and none dieth to himself. But if we live, we live unto the Lord; and if we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether therefore we live or die, we are the Lordís. For to this end Christ both died and lived, that he might be the Lord both of the dead and of the living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou despise thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God. Let us therefore no longer judge one another; but judge this rather, not to lay a stumbling-block or a scandal before a brother. I know, and am assured by the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself; but to him that accounteth any thing to be unclean, it is unclean. But if thy brother is grieved by thy meat, thou no longer walkest charitably. Destroy not him by thy meat, for whom Christ died. Therefore let not your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And he that in these serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved by men. Let us therefore pursue the things that tend to peace, and to mutual edification. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil to that man who eateth with offense. It is good not to eat flesh, neither to drink wine, nor to do any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. But he that doubteth is condemned if he eat, because it is not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Therefore we who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor, for his good to edification. For Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell upon me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our instruction, that we, through patience and consolation of the Scriptures, may have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation give you to think the same thing, one with another, according to Christ Jesus, That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also hath received you, to the glory of God. Now I say, Christ Jesus was a servant of the circumcision, for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers. And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy, as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and laud him, all ye people. And again Isaiah saith, There shall be the root of Jesse, and he that ariseth to rule over the Gentiles: in him shall the Gentiles hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye likewise are full of goodness, being filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly to you in some respect, as putting you in mind, because of the grace which is given to me of God, That I should be the servant of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof to glory, through Jesus Christ, in the things pertaining to God. For I will not dare to speak of any thing which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ, from Jerusalem round about, as far as Illyricum: Striving so to preach the Gospel, not where Christ had been named, lest I should build upon another manís foundation. But as it is written, They to whom he was not spoken of, shall see; and they that have not heard shall understand. Therefore I was also long hindered from coming to you. But now, having no longer place in these countries, and having had a great desire for many years to come to you, Whenever I go unto Spain, I hope to see you as I pass by, and to be brought forward by you in my way thither, if first I may be somewhat satisfied with your company.
But I am now going to Jerusalem, serving the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a contribution for the poor of the saints that are in Jerusalem. It bath pleased them, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have partaken of their spiritual things, they ought to minister to them in carnal things. When therefore I have performed this, and sealed to them this fruit, I will go by you into Spain. And I know that when I come to you I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. Now I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me, in your prayers to God for me, That I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service at Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints: That I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. Now the God of peace be with you all.
I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea: That ye may receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and help her in whatsoever business she needeth you: for she hath been a helper of many, and of myself also. Salute Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow labourers in Christ Jesus: Who for my life have laid down their own necks; to whom not I alone owe my thanks, but likewise all the churches of the Gentiles. Salute also the church that is in their house. Salute my beloved Epenetus, who is the first fruits of Asia unto Christ. Salute Mary, who hath bestowed much labor on us. Salute Andronicus and Junius, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Salute Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbanus, our fellow labourer in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. Salute Apelles, approved in Christ. Salute those of the family of Aristobulus. Salute my kinsman Herodion. Salute those of the family of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, who hath labored much in the Lord. Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobus, Hermas, and the brethren who are with them. Salute Philologus and Julias, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints that are with them. Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them. For such serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the harmless. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I rejoice therefore on your behalf; but I would have you wise with regard to that which is good, and simple with regard to that which is evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Timotheus my fellow laborer, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater my kinsmen, salute you. I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle salute you in the Lord. Gaius, my host, and of the whole Church, saluteth you. Erastus, the chamberlain of the city, saluteth you, and Quartus, a brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Now to him who is able to establish you according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, (according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began, But now made manifest and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:) To the only wise God, to him be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen!