Alive to God

An EasyEnglish Version with Notes (1200 word vocabulary) of Paul’s Letter to the Romans

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Words in boxes are comments on the verses.

The translated text has been through Advanced Checking.

A word list at the end explains words with a star * by them.

  

About this book

The writer

Paul wrote this letter when he was staying at the city called Corinth. Corinth was in the south part of the country that we call Greece now.

The date

Paul wrote this letter about the year 57 AD. That was about 30 years after Jesus died.

The people that Paul was writing to

Paul wrote this letter to the Christians who were living at the city called Rome. Rome is the capital of the country that we call Italy now. At the time when he wrote this letter, Paul himself had never visited Rome. But he was hoping to visit it soon. Nobody knows how the church (group of Christians) at Rome started. Perhaps people who had travelled from Rome heard the good news about Jesus at Jerusalem city, the capital of Israel. (See Acts 2:10.) Then maybe they went home to Rome and they told the good news to people there.

Paul’s message

Some of the Christians at Rome were Jews. That means that they belonged to Israel’s people. Some of the Christians there were not Jews. These people were called Gentiles (1:13). There may have been problems between the Christian Jews and the Christian Gentiles because they thought about things differently. They may have been meeting in separate groups, in different places. So, Paul knew that he had to explain his message to both these groups of Christians.

Paul himself was a Jew. Many years before, God had given special rules to Israel’s people by Moses. God gave those rules to them because he wanted them to be his own special people. He wanted them to obey him. God had not given those rules to the Gentiles. But some Christian Jews thought that Christian Gentiles should still obey those rules.

So, in this letter, Paul writes about the purpose of the rules that God gave to Moses. Those rules were very good and very important. They helped Israel’s people to obey God. But Paul explains why those rules could not really save people.

In chapters 1-8, Paul explains that all people, both Jews and Gentiles, are born *sinful. Our *spirits are dead to God, and so we cannot really make him happy. All people need to become right with God. All of us need God to save us. But God accepts us as right with himself if we believe him. We must believe that Christ died on our behalf. And then, by God’s powerful Spirit, we can become united with Christ. So, we can die to our old lives. And we can become new people, who can be God’s friends.

In chapters 9-11, Paul writes about Israel’s people. They are the people that God chose. Many of them have refused to believe Christ, but God has not turned away from them completely. And Paul knows that God will save them in the end.

The last part of Romans (chapters 12-16) describes how Christians should live their lives in this world. It is most important that Christians love each other, and other people. We should try always to help other people and to be kind to them.

Chapter 1

Paul and his message

v1 This letter is from me, Paul. I am a servant of Christ Jesus. God chose me to be a special worker and teacher on his behalf. He sent me to tell his good news to people. v2 God promised this good news before by his *prophets. They wrote about it in the *Old Testament. v3-4 This good news is about God’s Son, who is Jesus Christ, our *Lord. He was born in the human way from David’s family. But God showed clearly, by his completely good Spirit, that Jesus was his powerful Son. God showed that when he raised Jesus. God raised him, so that Jesus became alive again after his death. v5 It is because of Jesus Christ that God so kindly chose me to be a special worker on his behalf. God sent me so that people from all countries would believe and obey Christ. And I do this work to show how great Christ is. v6 And you people also are among those people that God has chosen to belong to Jesus Christ.

Verse 3 David was a great king of Israel, about 1000 years before Jesus lived on earth.

v7 I am writing to all you Christians who are at 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 be very kind to you. I pray that they will cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves.

Paul wants to visit Rome

v8 First, I thank my God, by Jesus Christ, because of all of you. Everywhere in the world, people are talking about how you believe Christ. v9 I obey God with my *spirit while I tell people the good news about his Son. And God himself knows that I never stop praying on your behalf. v10 Every time that I pray, I remember you. I ask God that, after all this time, he will make it possible for me to visit you soon. That will happen if God wants it.

v11 I want very much to visit you so that I can give some gift from God’s Spirit to you. That will help you to believe Christ more strongly. v12 I mean that I want both you and I to help each other. You believe Christ, and I believe Christ. So we can help each other to believe Christ more strongly. v13 I want you to know, my friends, that I have tried often to visit you. But until now, something has always stopped me. I want to do good work among you that will have good results. I want to work like that, as I have done among other *Gentiles.

v14 I must tell the good news about Christ to people, whether they speak the Greek language or not. I must tell it to people, whether they have studied much or not. v15 So then, I want very much to tell the good news also to you people who live at Rome.

Verse 14 At 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.

The good news is powerful

v16 I am not ashamed about the good news, because it is powerful. By the good news, God powerfully saves everyone who believes it. First, God saves the *Jews who believe it. Then he saves the *Gentiles who believe it. v17 The good news explains how God makes people right with himself. God accepts people as right with himself only when they believe Christ. It is as the *Old Testament says:

                        ‘The person that I have accepted will live.

                                    Those people will live because they believe me.’

                                                                                                [Habakkuk 2:4]

Verse 17 These words from Habakkuk are also in Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. It is very important to believe God. See also Hebrews 11:6.

God is angry with all people because they have not obeyed him

v18 God is showing clearly, from *heaven, that he is angry with people. He is angry with people who do not obey him. He is angry against all the wrong things that those people do. The wrong things that those people do stop other people from knowing the true things about God. v19 Everyone can know something clearly about God, because God himself has shown it to everyone. v20 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 what he is like. They show us that he will always be completely powerful. And they show us that only he is God. So nobody can say: ‘We never knew about God.’

v21 People knew what God is like. But they did not remember how great he is. They did not think that it was important to obey him. Nor did they thank him. Instead, they began to think silly thoughts. And they became unable to understand the things that God wanted them to know. v22 They said that they themselves were clever. They said that they understood many things. But really, they became fools. v23 They refused to *worship the great and good God who can never die. Instead, they made and *worshipped false gods. Their false gods were like human people, who must die. Also, their false gods were like birds, animals and snakes.

v24 So God let those people become like slaves to bad, dirty things. They became unable to stop doing the dirty things that they wanted so much to do. And, as a result, they do bad, dirty things with each other’s bodies. They do things that people should be ashamed to do. v25 They refused to believe the true things about God. Instead, they chose to believe something that is not true. They *worshipped things that God has made. They became servants of those things. But they refused to *worship God, who made all things. He is the God that everyone ought to *worship. Everyone should say how very great he is always! This is true.

v26 So, God let those people become like slaves to the bad things that they wanted very much to do. But people should be ashamed about those things. Even their women stopped having sex with their husbands, which is proper. And instead, they began to have sex with other women, which is not proper. v27 Also, the men stopped having sex with women. Instead, they wanted very, very much to have sex with other men. Men did very wrong things with other men. They did things that people should be ashamed about. As a result, God has *punished those men themselves, as he ought to *punish them. He ought to *punish them because of the wrong things that they have done.

v28 Those people decided that God was not worth anything to them. They thought that it was not important to know God. So God let them become unable to think right and proper thoughts. And, as a result, they do things that people ought not to do. v29 They are always wanting very much to do all kinds of wrong and bad things. They want things that belong to other people. They want to do bad things to other people. They *hate people because they themselves want to be like those people. They kill people. They quarrel and fight with people. They are not honest or kind. They talk about people when they should not talk about them. v30 They say bad things against people. They *hate God. They are not polite to other people. They think that they themselves are very important. They say how important and clever they themselves are. They think of new ways to do bad things. They do not obey their parents.

v31 They do not understand the difference between what is right or wrong. They do not do what they have promised to do. They do not even want to be kind to anyone. They do not want to help anyone. v32 These people know what God has said. People who do bad things like this ought to die. God has said that clearly. But still these people continue to do these kinds of bad things. Also, they are even happy when other people do these bad things.

Chapter 2

How and why God decides about *Jews who do wrong things

v1 So each one of you who decides about other people must be careful. You say that other people have done wrong things. You say that God should *punish those people. But God will not excuse you yourself, because you do the same things too. So really you are saying that God should *punish you also. v2 God is right and fair when he decides to *punish people. We know that. He is right to *punish people who do those kind of things.

v3 You say that God should *punish other people because of wrong things. But you yourself do the same things. So certainly, you should not think that you will get away from God. Certainly, he will *punish you also. v4 God is very, very kind and patient with us. He waits a very long time before he *punishes us. You should not forget how very kind he is. You should understand why he is being so kind to you. He is giving you a chance to change, so that you turn away from wrong things.

v5 But you refuse to change. You refuse to be sorry about the wrong things that you have done. So, you are causing God to become even angrier with you. And he will *punish you even more on that great day. On that day, he will show how angry he is. He will show what he has decided about each person. He decides fairly about all people. He decides what should happen to them. v6 God will give to each person what they ought to have. That will be because of the things that they have done.

v7 Some people continue patiently to do good things, because they are thinking about God. They are wanting to live always with God, who is so great and so good. And God will cause those people to live with him always. v8 But other people think only about themselves. They refuse to obey the things that are true. Instead, they do things that are wrong. So, God will be very angry with those people and he will *punish them. v9 God will cause very much trouble and pain for every person who does bad things. He will do that first to the *Jews, and he will do it also to the *Gentiles. v10 But God will be very good to every person who does good things. He will cause those people to live with him and he will make them great. He will do that first to the *Jews, and he will do it also to the *Gentiles. v11 God is always fair when he decides about people. He is never kinder to one person than he is to another person.

v12 The *Gentiles do not know Moses’ rules (the rules that God gave to the *Jews by Moses). If *Gentiles do wrong things, they must be separate from God for always. But God will not use Moses’ rules when he decides about the *Gentiles. The *Jews do know Moses’ rules. So, if *Jews do wrong things, God will use those rules to decide about them. v13 God does not accept people as right with himself because they know Moses’ rules. No! God accepts only those people who obey those rules.

Verse 12 Exodus chapters 19-31 and 34 describe the time when God gave his rules to Moses.

v14 The *Gentiles do not know Moses’ rules. But they can still do the right things that those rules say. They do right things because of what they themselves think. So, they are showing that they themselves know certain rules. They do not know Moses’ rules, but they do know some good rules in themselves. v15 The *Gentiles know deep inside themselves the things that are right. The things that they do show this. And those are the same things that Moses’ rules say. Also, each person is able to know the difference between what is right or wrong. Sometimes their thoughts say: ‘You did what is wrong.’ And sometimes their thoughts say: ‘You did what is right.’

v16 This is what will happen on that day. On that day, God will show what he has decided about people. He decides what should happen to them. And he will decide, by Christ Jesus, as a result of what people think secretly. This is part of the good news that I tell people.

The *Jews and God’s rules

v17 Now I want to say this to each of you *Jews. You say about yourself: ‘I am a *Jew.’ You know the rules that God gave by Moses. And, as a result, you believe that God will be good to you. You say that you belong to God’s own, special people. So you think that you are very important. v18 You know what God wants people to do. You are able to know which things are good. You know that because you have learned Moses’ rules. v19 You are sure that you yourself can show the true things about God to other people. You can show the right way to people who cannot see. You can be like a light to people who are in the dark. v20 You are sure that you can teach fools. You can teach people who still need to learn very much. You are sure that, because of Moses’ rules, you know everything completely. You know everything that is true. That is what you think.

v21 You teach other people, but you ought also to teach yourself. You tell other people: ‘Do not rob anyone.’ So, you yourself should never rob anyone. v22 You say: ‘People should not have sex with anyone who is not their own wife or husband.’ So, you yourself should never have sex with anyone who is not your wife or husband. You say: ‘I *hate false gods. People should not *worship false gods.’ So, you yourself should never rob places where people *worship false gods. v23 You know the rules that God gave by Moses. So, you say that you are very important. But you do not obey those rules. And, as a result, you cause other people to speak against God. v24 As it says in the *Old Testament: ‘Because of you *Jews, the *Gentiles say bad things about God.’ [Isaiah 52:5] [Ezekiel 36:22]

God does not accept people only because of a mark on their bodies

v25 You, who are a *Jew, should obey Moses’ rules. Then it is good that someone has *circumcised you. But if you do not obey those rules, then it is worth nothing. Then it is worth nothing that someone has *circumcised you. To God, you become like someone that nobody has ever *circumcised. v26 But a *Gentile, that nobody has ever *circumcised, may obey what Moses’ rules say. So then, to God, that *Gentile will become like a person that someone has *circumcised.

Verses 25-29 To ‘*circumcise’ means to cut off the skin that covers the end of a boy’s or man’s sex part. God told Abraham to do this. (See Genesis 17:9-14.) Israel’s people (the *Jews) *circumcised men and boys like this to show that they belonged to God. It was like a picture, to show that they were separate from bad things.

v27 Nobody has *circumcised the *Gentiles. But if they obey God’s rules, the *Gentiles are showing something clearly about you *Jews. They are showing that you are wrong. You *Jews know Moses’ rules because your people have written them down. Also, someone has *circumcised you. But if you do not obey Moses’ rules, God is still right to *punish you. v28 Not everyone who seems to be a *Jew is really a *Jew. God does not accept a man because someone has *circumcised that man’s body. v29 No! A true *Jew is someone who is a *Jew inside himself. A true *Jew is a person that God has *circumcised deep inside, in their *spirit. God’s Spirit does that work in a person. Rules that people have written down cannot do that work in a person. Other people may not think that this kind of person is great or special. But God is very happy about a person that his Spirit has *circumcised.

Chapter 3

v1 So someone may ask: ‘Does it help a person if they are a *Jew rather than a *Gentile?’ Or: ‘Does it help a person if someone has *circumcised them?’ v2 Yes, certainly it helps very much. The most important reason is that God chose to give his messages to the *Jews. He wanted the *Jews to believe and to obey his messages. v3 Some of the *Jews did not believe or obey God’s messages. They did not do what they had promised to do. That is true. So, you may ask: ‘Will that stop God from doing what he promised to do?’ v4 No, certainly it will not stop God! God always says what is true. Every person in this world may say things that are not true. But God will always do what he has promised to do. As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Everything that you (God) say will show people about you.

                                    Certainly, your words will show everyone that you are right.

                        People may say that you are wrong.

                                    But you will win against what they say.

                                    It will be clear that you are right.’

                                                                                                [Psalm 51:4]

v5 Maybe some people will say this: ‘The wrong things that we do help to show something about God. They help to show more clearly to people how good and right God is. So, perhaps we could say that God is wrong to *punish us.’ v6 No, certainly he is not wrong! God always decides what is right and fair. That is why he will decide about all the people in the world. He will decide what should happen to them.

v7 Someone might say: ‘I do not always do the things that I have promised to do. But because I am like that, it shows something about God. God always does what he has promised to do. It shows that more clearly to people. And, as a result, people will say even more how great and good God is. So, God should not still decide to *punish me. He should not *punish me because of the wrong things that I do.’ v8 It would be the same to say: ‘We should do bad things so that they may cause this kind of good result.’ Some people say that I teach this. So, they are saying things about me that are not true. And it is right that God should *punish those people.

Nobody is right with God

v9 So then, we cannot say that we *Jews are any better than other people. No, certainly we cannot say that! I have said already that nobody, neither *Jews nor *Gentiles, can stop themselves being *sinful. All of them are completely unable to stop being *sinful. v10 As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘There is nobody who is right with God.

                                      There is not even one person who is like that.

                        v11 There is nobody who understands.

                                      There is nobody who wants to know God.

                        v12 All people have turned away from God.

                                      All people have become completely bad.

                        Nobody does what is good.

                                      There is not even one person who is like that.

                                                                              [Psalm 14:1-3] [Psalm 53:1-3] [Ecclesiastes 7:20]

                        v13 They say very bad things, that cause death.

                        They say things that are not true.

                                     And they cause other people to believe those things.

                                                                                                            [Psalm 5:9]

                        The things that they say are like snakes’ poison.

                                                                                                [Psalm 140:3]

                        v14 They are always saying bad things

                                   because they want to cause trouble for people.

                                      They say bad things against people because they *hate people.

                                                                                                [Psalm 10:7]

                        v15 They hurry to kill people.

                        v16 Everywhere they go, they destroy things.

                                      Everywhere they go, they make people very sad.

                        v17 They have never known how to be friends with God or with other people.

                                                                                                [Isaiah 59:7-8]

                        v18 They are never afraid because of how great and powerful God is.

                                      They never think that it is important to obey God.’

                                                                                                [Psalm 36:1]

v19 God told the *Jews to obey everything that his rules said. We know that. So nobody, neither *Jew nor *Gentile, can say: ‘There is a good reason why God should not *punish me.’ God has decided that he ought to *punish everyone in the world. v20 Nobody can become completely right with God because they have obeyed Moses’ rules. Those rules only cause people to know clearly how *sinful they themselves are.

How God accepts people as right with himself

v21 But now God has shown the way that he will accept people as right with himself. This way does not need Moses’ rules. But Moses’ rules, and the *prophets’ messages, told us about this new way. v22 God accepts people as right with himself because they believe Jesus Christ. God does this for every person who believes Christ. There is no difference between people. v23 All people are the same because all of them are *sinful. They are not good and great, as God wanted them to be.

v24 But because God is so very kind, he accepts people as right with himself. That is God’s gift, which people do not have to pay for. God accepts us as right with himself by Christ Jesus, who bought us, to make us free. v25 God chose to offer Christ as a *sacrifice so that he could *forgive *sinful people. God sent Christ to bleed and to die. And, as a result, God *forgives people who believe Christ. God did this to show clearly that he is always completely right and fair. In past times, God did not *punish people who were doing wrong things. v26 He did not *punish them because he is so patient. But now God has given Christ, to show, at this time, that he is completely right and fair. God did this to show that he accepts people as right with himself. If any person believes Jesus, God accepts that person as right.

v27 So then, nobody has any reason to say that they themselves are good enough to make God happy. Nobody becomes right with God because they have obeyed rules. No! God accepts a person only if that person believes Christ. v28 So, this is what we are saying. A person becomes right with God if that person believes Christ. God does not accept anyone because they obey Moses’ rules.

v29 God is not only the *Jews’ God. No! Certainly, he is the God of all other people also. v30 There is only one God. He will accept Jews as right with himself if they believe Christ. And he will accept other people as right with himself if they believe Christ.

v31 So, people can only become right with God if they believe Christ. But we do not mean that Moses’ rules have no purpose. No, we do not mean that! Instead, we are showing the true purpose of those rules.

Chapter 4

God accepted Abraham because Abraham believed him

v1 Abraham was the grandfather of all of us who are *Jews. Think about what Abraham discovered. v2 God did not accept Abraham because Abraham had done good things. If God had done that, then Abraham would have been able to say great things about himself. He would have been able to say how good he himself was. But Abraham had no reason to say that to God. v3 Remember what the *Old Testament says. It says: ‘Abraham believed God and, as a result, God accepted Abraham as right with himself.’ [Genesis 15:6]

Verses 1-3 Genesis chapters 12-22 tell us about how Abraham believed God.

v4 When a person works to get money, he ought to receive his money. Nobody thinks that the money is a gift. It is what that person ought to receive as a result of his work. v5 But nobody can do any work that will make himself right with God. Instead, he must believe God, who accepts bad people as right with himself. And because a person believes God, then God will accept that person as right. v6 David also wrote about the same thing. He described how happy God can cause people to be. God will accept people as right with himself even when they have not done good things. v7 David says:

                        ‘Those people that God has *forgiven are really happy.

                        They have not always obeyed God, but he has *forgiven them.

                                    God has taken away the wrong things that those people have done.

                        v8 A person is really happy when the *Lord accepts him.

Because the *Lord will not continue to remember the wrong things that the person has done.

                                                                        [Psalm 32:1-2]

v9 All people can be really happy like this, whether they are *Jews or not. God told only the *Jews to *circumcise each other. He did not tell the people who are not *Jews to *circumcise each other. But God will accept any person. God accepted Abraham as right with him because Abraham believed God. That is what we have been saying.

v10 Think about the time when God accepted Abraham as right with him. It did not happen after someone had *circumcised Abraham. No! God accepted Abraham before anyone had *circumcised him. v11 At the time when nobody had *circumcised Abraham, God accepted Abraham as right with him. God accepted Abraham because Abraham believed him. Then later, God told Abraham that someone should *circumcise him. That was a mark, to show certainly that God had accepted Abraham as right with him. As a result, Abraham became the father of all people who believe God. God accepts all those people as right with him, even when nobody has *circumcised them. v12 Also, Abraham is the father of all *Jews who, like Abraham, believe God. Someone has *circumcised those *Jews, but they are also copying Abraham’s example. They are believing God, as Abraham believed before anyone had *circumcised him.

Verses 10-11 See Genesis 17:1-14.

v13 God promised to Abraham, and to all his children and grandchildren, that the world would be theirs. God did not promise that because Abraham obeyed rules. Instead, God promised it because Abraham believed him. And so, God accepted Abraham.

Verse 13 Genesis 22:17-18 shows us what God promised to Abraham.

v14 People cannot get what God promised because they obey rules. If they could get it like that, then it would be worth nothing to believe God. And what God promised would be worth nothing. v15 Moses’ rules say that God will *punish people. He will *punish people who do not obey those rules. But without any rules, there is nothing to say which things are wrong.

v16 So, people must believe God. Then they can receive what God has promised. God gives us what he has promised as a gift. He gives it because he is so very kind. He gives that gift to all of Abraham’s people. God does not give it only to people who obey Moses’ rules. Instead, God gives it to all people who believe him, as Abraham believed. Abraham is the father of all of us who believe God. v17 The *Old Testament says that God spoke to Abraham. ‘I have chosen that you will become the father of people from many countries’, God said. [Genesis 17:5] God himself promised this to Abraham, who believed him. Abraham believed God, who causes dead people to become alive again. God speaks, and he causes things to be. He causes things to be that were not there before.

v18 Abraham continued to believe God. He continued to hope for what God had promised. He continued to hope even when he had no good reason to hope. That is why he became the father of people from many countries. It happened as God had said. ‘You will have many, many grandchildren,’ God had said. [Genesis 15:5]

v19 Abraham was about 100 years old. His body was already so old that it was nearly dead. Abraham knew that. Also, he knew that Sarah could not have children. But still Abraham did not stop believing God. v20 Abraham never stopped believing what God had promised. Instead, he believed God strongly. And he thanked God because of what God would do. v21 Abraham was completely sure about what God had promised. God is able to do what he has promised to do. Abraham was sure about that. v22 So, because Abraham believed God like this, ‘God accepted Abraham as right with him.’ [Genesis 15:6]

v23 These words in the *Old Testament, ‘God accepted him as right’ are not only speaking about Abraham. v24 They are speaking also about us. If we believe God, he will accept us as right with him. We must believe that God raised our *Lord Jesus. God raised Jesus, so that he became alive again after his death. v25 God sent Jesus to die because of the wrong things that we have done. And God raised Jesus so that we could become right with God.

Chapter 5

We have become God’s friends because of Jesus Christ

v1 So now God has accepted us as right because we believe him. And, as a result, we are friends with God because of our *Lord Jesus Christ. v2 Also, Jesus Christ has caused us to know how very good and kind God is. He has done that because we believe him. And we know that God is continuing to be very kind to us. Also, we are hoping certainly to live always with God, who is so very great and good. We are sure that we will live with him always. So, we are very happy.

v3 Also, we are happy even when we have troubles and pain. Because we know that troubles and pain help us to become patient and brave. v4 And when we are patient and brave, we become stronger inside ourselves. We learn to know better what is the right thing to do. And so, God is happy about us. When we make God happy like this, it causes us to hope certainly. We hope for what God has promised. v5 And if we hope like this, we will never be sorry. God has given his Spirit to us. And God’s Spirit has caused us to know, deep inside ourselves, how very much God loves us. So, we will never be sorry about what we hoped for.

v6 While we were unable to help ourselves, Christ died on behalf of us. At the right time, Christ died on behalf of people who did not know God. v7 It is not often that someone will die on behalf of another person. Even if that other person always did right things, very few people would die on behalf of that person. Maybe someone might be brave enough to die on behalf of a person who is very good and kind. v8 But Christ died on behalf of us while we were still *sinful. In that way, God has shown us how much he loves us.

v9 So now, because Christ died, God accepts us as right with himself. And even more certainly, Christ will save us so that God will not *punish us for always. v10 While we were still God’s enemies, God’s Son died. He died so that we could become God’s friends. So, even more certainly, now that we are God’s friends, his Son will save us. Christ will save us because he is alive. v11 But that is not everything! Also, we are very happy because of what God has done on our behalf by our *Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Christ that we have now become God’s friends.

Adam and Christ

v12 It was because of one man, Adam, that *sin came into the world. And because Adam did not obey God, he died. So, as a result, all people died, because all of them failed to obey God. v13 Before God gave his rules to Moses, the people in the world were *sinful. But at that time, there were no rules from God to say that certain things were right or wrong. So, God did not continue to remember the wrong things that people did during that time. v14 But still, from the time when Adam lived until the time when Moses lived, all people were dead to God. Adam died because he chose not to obey God’s rule. Other people may have failed to obey God in different ways from Adam, but even those people died.

Verses 12-14 ‘Die’ here means that Adam, and all people, died in their *spirits. They became dead to God. They could not really know God. They could not be God’s friends.

Adam was like a picture of that person who would come at a future time. Adam shows us something like the person who would come. v15 But God’s free gift is not like the wrong thing that Adam did. Many people died because that one man did not obey God. But what God has done is much greater and more powerful than that! God has caused many people to know how very, very good and kind he is to them. Many people have received God’s gift because of one man, Jesus Christ, who is so very kind.

v16 Also, the result of God’s gift is different from the result of the wrong thing that Adam did. Adam chose not to obey God once and, as a result, all people became *sinful. So, God decided that he ought to *punish all people. But the result of God’s gift is that he accepts people as right with him. People have done many wrong things, not only one wrong thing, but still God accepts them as right with him. v17 One man did not obey God. And so, all people died because of that one man. But what that other man, Jesus Christ, did is much, much greater! Because of him, people can become right with God. They receive that great gift from God because he is so very, very good and kind. And, as a result, those people will live always and they will rule with Christ.

v18 So, that wrong thing that one man, Adam, did caused all people to become *sinful. And, as a result, God decided that he ought to *punish all people. But that right thing that one man, Christ, did makes people free. It makes all those people who believe him free. People can become right with God, and so those people can really live. v19 One man did not obey God and, as a result, many people became *sinful. But, because one man obeyed God, many people will become right with God.

v20 As a result of Moses’ rules, people saw that they were doing wrong things. But while people did more and more wrong things, God continued to be even kinder. v21 So then, all people became *sinful and, as a result, they died. But all people can become right with God because he is so very kind. And, as a result, they will live always with God, because of our *Lord Jesus Christ.

Chapter 6

We have died and become alive again with Christ

v1 Someone might say: ‘Perhaps we should continue to do wrong things. So then, God can continue to be even kinder to us.’ v2 No! Certainly we should not do that! We have died to our old, *sinful lives. So it is not right that we continue to do wrong things. v3 When God baptised us, to make us united with Christ Jesus, he baptised us into Christ’s death. Certainly, you should know this. v4 So, because God baptised us into Christ’s death, he buried us with Christ. And God, the Father, will also raise us, as he raised Christ. The Father is so great and powerful that he raised Christ, to make him alive again after his death. And he raises us too, so that we can live a new life.

Verses 3-4 To baptise means ‘to put a person or a thing completely into something else (for example, into water)’. When God ‘baptises’ us into Christ, he ‘puts us into’ Christ. He makes us completely united with Christ in our *spirits. So, in our *spirits, we die with Christ and then we rise again, to live with him. So, we have a new nature, a new life, because of Christ. (See also, for example, Colossians 2:12.)

Christian baptism is like a picture of this. They put a believer into water or they put water on a Christian. It is like a picture of what God does in our *spirits.

v5 We have become united with Christ in his death. So certainly, we will also become united with him in his new life. We will rise, to become alive again, as Christ rose. v6 We know that God has caused our old lives to die with Christ on the cross. This happened so that God could destroy our *sinful nature, that caused us not to obey him. So, as a result, we are not like slaves, who cannot stop doing wrong things, any more. v7 *Sin has no authority over someone who has died. So, that person has become free.

v8 So, we have died with Christ. And, as a result, we believe that we will live with him also. v9 God raised Christ, so that he became alive again after his death. And he will never die again. We know that. Death has no authority over him any more. v10 When he died, he became dead to *sin for always. And now that he is alive again, he lives only to make God happy. v11 So, you also should think about yourselves as people who are dead. You are dead to *sin. And you live now to make God happy, because you are united with Christ Jesus.

v12 So, do not let yourselves do wrong things. Do not let those things rule your bodies, which must certainly die. Do not obey the wrong things that your bodies may want to do. v13 Do not let any part of yourselves do wrong things. Do not use any part of yourselves for bad purposes. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, because you are alive to him. You were dead, but now you are alive. Give every part of yourselves to God, so that you can do right things. v14 *Sin has no authority over you any more. You are not trying any more to obey rules so that God will accept you. Instead, God has made you free to live for him, because he is so very good and kind.

God’s people should be slaves to good things

v15 But someone might say: ‘We do not have to obey Moses’ rules any more. Instead, God is saving us because he is so very kind. So, perhaps it does not matter if we do wrong things.’ No! Certainly, that is not true! v16 When you give yourselves completely to someone as slaves, to obey him, then you will really become that person’s slaves. You should know that. You are either slaves to *sin, and, as a result, you will die. Or you are God’s slaves, who obey him. And, as a result, God will accept you as right with him. v17 Before, you were slaves to *sin. But then you really obeyed the true things about Christ that people taught you. So, we should thank God because of that! v18 God has made you free from *sin. And you have become his slaves, who do right things.

v19 It is difficult for people to understand these things. So, I am speaking about slaves to help you to understand. Before, you gave every part of yourselves completely to do wrong and dirty things. You were like slaves, who continued to do more and more wrong things. So now, you should give every part of yourselves to do right things. Then you will live only for God, as his own special people.

v20 Before, you were slaves to *sin. And you did not even think that you had to do right things. v21 You did things that you are ashamed about now. But those things did not help you. The result of those things will be that you must die. v22 But now God has made you free from *sin. You have become God’s slaves. That is helping you because God is making you completely good and clean. And the result will be that you will live with him always.

v23 People who work receive money as a result of their work. In the same way, people who do not obey God have to die as a result. But those people who are united with Christ Jesus, our *Lord have God’s gift. God’s gift to them is that he causes them to live with him always.

Verse 21 Again, ‘you must die’ means that you must be separate from God for always. (See 5:12-14.)

Chapter 7

Christians are free from Moses’ rules

v1 My friends, you are people who know about governments’ rules. So certainly, you should understand what I am going to say. Rules have authority over a person only while that person is alive. v2 For example, a woman who has married a husband must obey certain rules. That woman must continue to be her husband’s wife while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she becomes free from that rule about her husband. v3 So, that woman must not give herself to another man while her husband is still alive. She must not have sex with a man who is not her husband. If she does that, then people will call her a bad woman. But if her husband dies, she becomes free from that rule. So, as a result, if she marries another man then, she will not be doing anything wrong.

v4 My friends, it is like that for you also. Moses’ rules do not have authority over you any more, because you have become dead to them. You have died with Christ’s body. Now you are free to belong to someone else. You belong to Christ, whom God raised, to make him alive again after his death. And so, as a result, we can do good things that will make God happy. v5 When our *sinful human nature was ruling us, we were wanting very much to do wrong things. Moses’ rules said that certain things were wrong. But, in our bodies, we wanted to do those wrong things. And, as a result, we did bad things that lead to death. v6 But now we have become free from the rules that God gave to Moses. We have died to those rules, which were making us like people in prison. So now we are not still trying to obey rules that someone has written down. We are not trying to be God’s servants in the old way like that. Instead, we are God’s servants in a new way, because we obey his Spirit.

Moses’ rules show us that we are *sinful

v7 Maybe someone might say: ‘The rules that God gave to Moses are themselves bad.’ No! Certainly, they are not bad! Without those rules, I would not have known which things were wrong. Moses’ rules say: ‘You must not want things that are other people’s.’ Without that rule, I would not have known that it is wrong to want other people’s things. v8 But, because I was *sinful, that rule gave me the chance to start wanting all kinds of wrong things. Rules tell us which things are wrong. So, without any rules, nobody can do anything wrong.

Verse 7 See Exodus 20:14–17 and Deuteronomy 5:18–21.

v9 There was a time when I did not know Moses’ rules. During that time, I was living without any rules. But later, I learned what Moses’ rules said. And, as a result, I began to want wrong things. v10 And so I died. God gave his rules so that people could live. But instead, those rules caused me to die. v11 Because I was *sinful, Moses’ rules gave me the chance to do something wrong. I died as a result of Moses’ rules because I was *sinful.

v12 So then, the rules that God gave to Moses are completely good. Every rule that God gave is completely good and right. He gave every rule to help people. v13 So, maybe someone will say: ‘This means that something good caused you to die.’ No! Certainly, it did not do that! I died as a result of Moses’ rules because I was *sinful. I did not die because of those rules themselves. God’s rules are good. They only showed what it is really like to be *sinful. God’s rules help to show clearly how very, very bad it is to be *sinful.

We cannot obey God’s rules

v14 The rules that God gave to Moses are *spiritual. We know that. But I am human. I am like a slave because *sin has authority over me. v15 I do not understand what I do. I do not do the things that I want to do. Instead, I do the things that I *hate. v16 I do not want to do the wrong things that I do. So, this shows something about me. I am agreeing that God’s rules are good. It shows that. v17 So, it is not really I myself who am doing these wrong things. Instead, it is *sin that lives in me. *Sin makes me do wrong things.

v18 There is nothing good in me, in the human person that I am. I know that. I want to do what is good. But I am unable to do it. v19 I do not do the good things that I want to do. Instead, I continue to do the bad things that I do not want to do. v20 I do not want to do the things that I do. So this shows something about me. It is not really I myself who am doing these bad things. Instead, it is *sin that lives in me. *Sin makes me do bad things.

v21 So, it is clear that what always happens is this. When I want to do good things, I am able only to do bad things. v22 Deep inside myself, I really love God’s rules and I want to obey them. v23 So, my mind tells me to obey God’s rules. But I know also that something else always happens in me. Something in every part of me fights against what my mind tells me. It rules what my body does. It makes me like a slave, because I cannot stop being *sinful. v24 This makes me so very sad! I need someone to make me free from this body, which is causing me to die. v25 I thank God that, because of Jesus Christ, our *Lord, I can be free!

So then, with my mind I myself want to obey God’s rules. But, at the same time, the human person that I am cannot stop being *sinful.

Chapter 8

We can live by God’s Spirit

v1 So now God will never decide that Christ’s people are not good enough. God will never say that about people who are united with Christ Jesus. He will never decide that he should *punish them for always. v2 The reason is that God’s Spirit has made me free. God’s Spirit, who causes us to live because of Christ Jesus, has made me free. God’s Spirit makes me free so that I can stop being *sinful. He makes me free from the power of death.

v3 The rules that God gave to Moses could not make us free like this. Those rules could not make us free because we human people were too weak to obey them. But God has done what those rules could not do. God sent his own Son as a human person like us. God sent his Son to be a *sacrifice on behalf of us *sinful people. God *punished his Son instead of us, so that we do not have to be *sinful any more. v4 God did this so that we could be right with him. The purpose of Moses’ rules was that we should be right with God. And now we can be right, if we obey God’s Spirit. We must live by the *power that God’s Spirit gives to us. We must not live by our own human *power.

v5 People who live by their own human *power are always thinking about human things. They are always thinking about what they themselves understand. But people who obey God’s Spirit are always thinking about God. They want to do the things that God’s Spirit wants. v6 People who let their human thoughts rule them will die. But people who think about what God’s Spirit wants will live. They will live because they are God’s friends. And they will be without trouble inside themselves. v7 A person who always lets his own human thoughts rule him will be God’s enemy. A person like that does not obey what God has said. A person who thinks like that is not even able to obey God. v8 People who live by their own human *power cannot make God happy.

v9 But you are not living by your own human *power. Instead, you are obeying God’s Spirit, if his Spirit is really living in you. If anyone does not have Christ’s Spirit in them, that person does not belong to Christ. v10 But, if Christ is in you, your *spirit is alive. Your *spirit is alive because Christ has made you right with God. But your body must still die because you have been *sinful. v11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus, to make him alive again after his death, lives in you. So God, who raised Christ from death, will also cause your human bodies to live. God will cause your bodies to live by his Spirit, who lives in you.

v12 So, my friends, there is something that we have to do. We must be careful not to live by our own human *power. v13 If you live by your own human *power, you will die. Instead, you should live by the *power of God’s Spirit. Then you will continue to stop doing the wrong things that your bodies want to do. And, as a result, you will live.

v14 All those people who let God’s Spirit lead them are God’s sons. v15 Because the Spirit that God has given to you does not make you like slaves again. He does not make you slaves who cannot stop being afraid. Instead, the Spirit that God has given to you causes you to become God’s children. He makes us able to shout to God: ‘You are my Father.’ v16 God’s Spirit himself causes us to know certainly what we know by our own *spirits. We know that we are God’s children. v17 And because we are God’s children, we will also receive good things from him. We will receive the things that God has prepared for his children. Also, together with Christ, we will receive the things that God has kept for him. We will receive these things if we agree to have troubles and pain, as Christ did. So then, as a result, we will also live always with God, who is so great and so good.

God has prepared great things for his people

v18 During this time now, we have troubles and pain. But I am sure that these troubles are not really very important. They are not really important because God has prepared much, much better things for us. He is keeping these great and good things for us. And when we think about these great things, our troubles now do not seem important. v19 All things that God has made are waiting for a future time. They want that time to come very much. At that time, God will show them who his sons really are.

v20 God has caused the things that he made to become without real purpose. Those things are unable really to have any purpose. They did not choose to become like that. It was God who caused them to become like that. God did that because he was thinking about that future, better time. v21 At that time, God will also cause the things that he has made to become free. They will be free from the power that causes them to become old and to finish. They will be free to enjoy great things from God, as God’s children are free.

v22 All the things that God has made have been waiting until now. We know that. They have been waiting like a woman who is ready to have a baby. She cries because of her pain before she has her baby. v23 And it is not only those other things in the world that are waiting like that. But we ourselves, who have received God’s Spirit as the first of his gifts to us, are also crying. We are crying deep inside ourselves, while we wait for God to finish making us his own children. We are waiting for God to make our bodies free.

v24 Ever since God saved us, we have continued to hope certainly for this. One day, we will see what we have hoped for. And then we will not need to hope for it any more. Nobody continues to hope for something that he has already. v25 But we continue to hope for what we do not have yet. And so, we wait for it patiently.

v26 God’s Spirit also helps us, because we are weak. We do not know how we ought to pray. But God’s Spirit himself prays on our behalf. He cries to God on our behalf in a way that nobody could say with words. v27 And God, who sees deep inside us, understands the Spirit. God sees completely what we are really like. And he understands what his Spirit is thinking. The Spirit prays on behalf of God’s people as God wants him to pray.

v28 God has good purposes for those people who love him. We know that. He uses everything that happens to them to bring good results on their behalf. He does this for those people that he has chosen. He has chosen his people to be what he wants them to be. v29 God had already chosen those people from the beginning. And he had decided that they should become like his Son. So then, as a result, his Son would be the first among many brothers. v30 God decided that those people would be like his Son. Also, he asked them to come to him. And after he had asked them to come to him, he made them right with himself. And when he had made them right with himself, he also caused them to become great. He made them great and good, in the same way that he himself is great and good.

Nothing can stop God and Christ from loving us

v31 So, because of all these things, we can say this. If God is working on our behalf, nobody can really do anything against us, to beat us. v32 God did not even refuse to send his own Son. Instead, he gave his Son to die on behalf of all of us. So certainly, God will also be happy to give all things to us with his Son. v33 We are the people that God has chosen. Nobody can say that God’s people have done anything wrong. God himself has said that we are right with him. v34 So, nobody can say that God should still *punish us. Nobody can say that, because Christ Jesus himself died on our behalf. Also, God raised Christ so that he became alive again after his death. And now Christ is sitting at God’s right side, and he himself is praying to God on our behalf.

Verse 34 Jesus sits ‘at the right side of God’. The right side (or right hand) is like a picture of the most important place. This means that Jesus rules with the same power and authority as God himself.

v35 Nothing can make us separate from Christ, who loves us. We may have troubles. Things may happen to us that cause us to be very sad or afraid. Enemies may do bad things to us and hurt us. We may have no food or no clothes. There may be danger, or people may try to kill us. But none of these things can stop Christ from loving us. v36 As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Because we are your people, (God),

                                    other people try to kill us all the time.

                        They think that we are worth no more than sheep.

                                    Sheep that should go to the butcher so that he can kill them.’

                                                                                    [Psalm 44:22]

v37 But even if these troubles happen to us, we will always beat them completely. Christ has shown how much he loves us. And he makes us winners over every kind of trouble or problem. v38 Nothing can make us separate from God, who loves us. I am completely sure about that. Whether we are alive or dead, it does not matter. Neither *angels nor bad *spirits nor any other powerful *spirits can stop God from loving us. Neither things that are now, nor future things, can stop him loving us. v39 Neither anything that is above the world, nor anything below the world, can stop him. There is nothing else in the whole world that can stop God from loving us. Christ Jesus, our *Lord, causes us to know how much God loves us.

Chapter 9

Paul is sad because Israel’s people have not believed Christ

v1 What I am telling you now is true. I speak as someone who belongs to Christ. I am saying only what is true. I know the difference between what is right or wrong. And what I am saying is true. I know that. Also, God’s Spirit is agreeing that these things are true. v2 I tell you that I am very, very sad deep inside myself. I am like someone who has a lot of pain all the time. v3 I am sad because of all those people who, like me, belong to Israel’s people. They are my own people. They belong to the same big human family as I do. If it would help them, I would ask God to make me myself separate from Christ.

v4 They are Israel’s people, that God chose. He chose them to be his own children. He wanted to make them great, as his people should be. He made his *agreements with them and he gave his rules to them. He showed them how they should *worship him. He promised many good things to them. v5 It was their grandfathers that God chose to make great many years ago. And Christ himself, as a human person, belonged to Israel’s people. Christ is God over all things. Everyone should say always how very great he is! This is true!

Verse 5 The grandfathers of Israel’s people were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. See Genesis chapters 12-49.

v6 God promised good things to Israel’s people. But I am not saying that God has not done those things. No, because it is clear that not all of Israel’s people are really God’s people. v7 Neither are all of Abraham’s children the people that God calls Abraham’s children. No, because God told Abraham: ‘Only Isaac’s children and grandchildren will be the people that I call your children.’ [Genesis 21:12]

v8 This means that not all of Abraham’s human children are really God’s children. Instead, it is only those children who were born as a result of God’s promise. Only they are the people that God calls Abraham’s children. v9 God promised this to Abraham: ‘At the right time I will come back, and Sarah, your wife, will have a son.’

Verse 9 See Genesis 17:21 and Genesis 18:10, 14.

v10 And that is not everything. Later, Rebecca gave birth to two sons at the same time. Those children had the same father, who was our grandfather, Isaac. v11-12 And God spoke to Rebecca before her sons were born. God spoke before the boys had done anything either good or bad. God did this to show that he himself was choosing one child. He was choosing whoever he wanted to choose. God was not choosing someone because of what that person had done. God said to Rebecca: ‘The older son will be a servant of the younger son.’ [Genesis 25:23] v13 As the *Old Testament says: ‘I loved Jacob, but I *hated Esau.’ [Malachi 1:2-3]

v14 So, perhaps we could say that God is not right and fair. No! Certainly, we should never say that! v15 God said to Moses: ‘I will be kind to whoever I choose to be kind to. I will feel sorry for whoever I choose to feel sorry for.’ [Exodus 33:19] v16 So then, God does not choose people because they want him to choose them. Nor does God choose people because they try very much to make him happy. Instead, God chooses people only because he himself wants to be kind.

v17 The *Old Testament says that God told Pharaoh (the king of Egypt): ‘This is why I caused you to be king. It was so that I might use you to show how powerful I am. It was so that all people everywhere might know about me.’ [Exodus 9:16] v18 So then, God is kind to whoever he chooses to be kind to. But he causes some people to refuse to listen to him. And he does that also to whoever he chooses.

God himself decides when he will be angry or kind

v19 One of you may say to me: ‘God always does what he wants to do. Nobody can change that. Nobody can refuse to do what God has caused them to do. So, God should not still say that people have done wrong things.’ v20 But you are only a human person. You have no authority to say things like that about what God does. God has made you. And when somebody has made something, that thing has no authority over its maker. It has no authority to ask: ‘Why did you make me like this?’ v21 Somebody who makes pots has authority to make any kind of pots. He can make whatever kind of pots he chooses to make. He can use the same piece of clay to make different pots. He can make one pot for special, important purposes. And he can make another pot to use every day.

Verse 21 Clay is sticky material from the ground.

v22 What God has done is like this also. God wants to show how angry he can be with people. And he wants people to know how powerful he is. But he was very, very patient, for a long time, with those people who caused him to be angry. Those are the people that God was ready to destroy. v23 God waited patiently so that he could show how very, very great and good he is. He wanted to show that to those people that he has chosen to be kind to. God has already prepared those people to live with him in that beautiful place where he lives. v24 We are the people that God has chosen to be his people. It is not only *Jews that he has chosen. He has also chosen people who are not *Jews. v25 As God says in the book of Hosea:

                        ‘I will say to the people who were not mine:

                                    “You are my people.”

                        I will say to the people that I did not love:

                                    “I love you.” ’

                                                                                    [Hosea 2:23]

v26 And:

                        ‘In the same place where I said to them:

                                    “You are not my people”, it will happen like this.

                        In that same place, people will say:

                                    “You are sons of God, who is alive.” ’

                                                                                    [Hosea 1:10]

v27 Also, Isaiah shouted this about Israel’s people:

                        ‘There are so many ofIsrael’s people,

                                    that they are like the bits of sand at the edge of the sea.

                        But God will save only a few of them.

                        v28 The *Lord will not waste time

                                    when he decides about the people on the earth.

                        He will finish that work quickly.

                                    And he will *punish people completely.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 10:22-23]

v29 It is as Isaiah said before:

                        ‘The *Lord, who has authority over everything,

                                    has let some of our children live.

                        If he had not done that,

                                    then we would have become like the people inSodom and Gomorrah.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 1:9]

Verse 29 See Genesis 19:1-29. Sodom and Gomorrah were small towns. The people who lived there completely refused to obey God. So, in the end, God destroyed those towns.

v30 So, we must think about what all this means. The *Gentiles were not trying to become right with God. But they have become right with God. God has accepted them as right with himself, because they have believed Christ. v31 But Israel’s people were trying to become right with God. They were trying to obey God’s rules. But they failed to become right with God. v32 They failed because they refused to believe Christ. Instead, they were trying to do certain things so that God would accept them. They fell down because of that ‘stone which causes people to fall’. v33 As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Look, I am putting a stone inZion.

                        This stone will cause people to knock their feet against it,

                                    so that they fall.

                                    It is a rock that will make them fall down.

                        But any person who believes him will never be ashamed.

                                    That person will never be sorry that they believed him.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 8:14] [Isaiah 28:16]

Verse 33 See also 1 Peter 2:6-8. ‘Rock’ is one of God’s names for Jesus. God knew that some people would love Jesus. He knew that other people would be against Jesus.

Zion is another name for Jerusalem city, either on earth or in *heaven. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was the place where Israel’s people built God’s house.

Chapter 10

v1 My Christian friends, I want God to save Israel’s people, who are my own people. I want that very, very much. I pray to God that he will save them. v2 I can say this about them, which is true. They really want to be God’s servants. But they do not understand the correct way to make him happy. v3 They did not want to know the way that God accepts people as right with himself. But instead, they tried to make their own way to become right with God. And so they refused to obey God’s way that would have made them right with him. v4 God gave his rules to Israel’s people for a purpose. But Christ has finished that purpose. He has caused those rules to come to an end. So now, every person who believes Christ becomes right with God.

God wants to save everyone

v5 Moses wrote about how God’s rules could help people to be right with God. ‘If a person obeys all those rules then, as a result, he will live’, Moses said. [Leviticus 18:5] v6 But the *Old Testament speaks also about how to become right with God because you believe him. It says: ‘Do not say to yourself, “Someone will have to go up into *heaven.” ’[Deuteronomy 30:12] (That means: “Someone will have to bring Christ down.”) v7 ‘Do not say to yourself either, “Someone will have to go down into the world below.” [Deuteronomy 30:13] (That means: “Someone will have to bring Christ up from the place where dead people are.”) v8 But instead, the *Old Testament says: ‘God’s message is near you. You can speak about it. You can think about it and you can believe it.’ [Deuteronomy 30:14] The message is this – that people must believe Christ. And it is this message that we are teaching to people.

v9 This message explains how God will save you. It explains what you must do. You yourself must say very seriously to people: ‘Jesus is *Lord.’ Also, you must believe deep inside yourself that God raised him, to make him alive again after his death. v10 We must believe this deep inside ourselves, and as a result, God will accept us as right with himself. We must tell people: ‘Jesus is *Lord’, and as a result, God will save us. v11 It says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Any person who believes him will never be ashamed.

                                    That person will never be sorry that they believed him.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 28:16]

v12 These words include everyone. There is no difference between *Jews and people who are not *Jews. The same *Lord is the *Lord of all of them. And he is very, very good to all people who ask him to help them. v13 As it says in the *Old Testament: ‘The *Lord will save everyone who asks him to help them.’ [Joel 2:32]

v14 But certainly, people cannot ask Christ to help them if they have not believed him. Certainly, they cannot believe him if they have not known about him. Certainly, they cannot know about him unless somebody goes to tell the message to them. v15 And certainly, nobody can go to tell the message to people unless God sends them. As it says in the *Old Testament: ‘When people arrive to tell good news, it is beautiful.’ [Isaiah 52:7]

v16 But not every person who hears the good news obeys it. As Isaiah said: ‘*Lord, it seems that nobody has believed our message.’ [Isaiah 53:1] v17 So then, people must hear the message before they can believe it. And someone must tell the message about Christ to people before they can hear it.

v18 But I say this: ‘Certainly, Israel’s people have heard that message.’ As the *Old Testament says:

                        ‘Their sound has reached to all the earth.

                                    People have heard their message in every part of the world.’

                                                                                    [Psalm 19:4]

v19 Also, I say this: ‘Certainly, Israel’s people did understand the message.’ First, Moses wrote that God said this to them:

                        ‘I will be good to people who are nothing,

                                    so that you want very much to be like them.

                        I will make you angry because of people who know nothing.’

                                                                                    [Deuteronomy 32:21]

v20 Also, Isaiah is braver when he says:

                        ‘God says: Those people who were not looking for me have found me.

                                    I showed myself to people who were not asking, “Where is God?” ’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 65:1]

Verse 20 Isaiah is speaking about the *Gentiles. They were not waiting for Christ, nor did they know anything about him. But God, because he is kind, sent his good news to them.

v21 But Isaiah says this about Israel’s people:

                        ‘God says: For a very long time,

                                    I have been asking my people to return to me.

                        But they refused to obey me.

                                    They continued to do the things that I had told them not to do.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 65:2]

Verse 21 The *Jews were waiting for Christ. The *Old Testament told them that he would come. But when he came, they did not know him. See, for example, John 1:11.

Chapter 11

There are still some of Israel’s people who have obeyed God’s message

v1 So, I ask this: ‘Has God turned away completely from his people? Has he stopped wanting them to be his people?’ No, certainly, he has not done that! I myself belong to Israel’s people. I am a grandchild of Abraham and I belong to Benjamin’s family group. v2 God has not stopped wanting his people, that he chose from the beginning. Remember what the *Old Testament says about Elijah. He was telling God how bad Israel’s people were. Elijah said: v3 ‘*Lord, they have killed your *prophets. They have destroyed the places where people offered *sacrifices to you. I am the only person alive who still believes you. And they are trying to kill me.’ [1 Kings 19:10, 14] v4 Remember that God answered him like this: ‘I have kept 7000 men for myself. Those men have not *worshipped the false god Baal.’ [1 Kings 19:18]

v5 It is the same at this time also. There is a small number of Israel’s people that God has chosen. He has chosen them because he is so very kind. v6 He has chosen them only because he himself is so very kind. He has not chosen them because of any good things that they have done. God does not choose people because of good things that they do. If he did, then the reason would not really be only because God is so very kind.

v7 So, we can say this: Israel’s people did not get what they were looking for. Instead, only those few people that God had chosen got it. And God caused all the other people of Israel to become unable to understand what he was saying. v8 As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘God caused them to be like people who are sleeping.

                        Even until this day, their eyes cannot really see,

                                    and their ears cannot really hear.’

                                                                                    [Deuteronomy 29:4] [Isaiah 29:10]

v9 And David says:

                        ‘I pray to God that he may catch those people at their meals together.

                                    I pray that they will be like people who fall down.

                        I want God to *punish them because of what they have done.

                        v10 I want their eyes to become dark so that they cannot see.

                        I want them to have many bad troubles always.

So then they will be like slaves who carry heavy things on their backs always.’

                                                                                    [Psalm 69:22-23]

v11 So, I ask this: ‘When Israel’s people failed to believe Christ, did they make themselves separate from God for always? No, certainly that did not happen! Instead, because they failed to believe, God is saving *Gentiles. God began to save *Gentiles so that Israel’s people would want him to save them too. v12 Israel’s people failed to believe Christ. So, as a result, God began to do very, very good things for the other people who live in the world. Israel’s people failed to receive what God wanted to give them. So, as a result, the *Gentiles received good things from God and they became rich. That was the result when Israel’s people failed to obey God. And so, when enough of Israel’s people do obey God completely, how much better the result will be!

Verse 12 ‘Rich’ in this verse, does not mean rich with money or valuable things. It means to know God and to be friends with him.

Paul speaks to the *Gentiles

v13 Now I am speaking to you *Gentiles. God has sent me to be a special worker and teacher on Christ’s behalf. He has sent me to teach the good news about Christ to you *Gentiles. And I thank him that he has given this important work to me. v14 I hope that maybe my work among you *Gentiles will have good results also among my own people. Perhaps it will cause my own people to want God to save them too. So then, as a result, God will save some of them. v15 When God turned away from Israel’s people, then he brought other people in the world back to himself. He caused those other people to become friends with him. So, when God does accept Israel’s people, the result will be even better! It will be like he is causing dead people to become alive again!

v16 If someone offers the first piece of bread to God, then, as a result, all the bread will be God’s. If the *roots of a tree belong to God, then, as a result, the branches are his also. v17 Israel’s people are like a farmer’s good olive tree. But God has broken off some of that tree’s branches. Instead, he has taken a branch from a wild olive tree. And he has put that wild branch into the good tree, to become part of that tree. You *Gentiles are like that wild branch. And now you receive good things from the good tree’s *root, to make you well and strong. v18 Israel’s people are like the branches that God broke off. But you must not think that you are better than those proper branches. If you do begin to think like that, then you should remember something. Remember that you are only a branch. You do not hold the *root up and you do not make it strong. No, instead the *root holds you up and it makes you strong.

Verses 17-18 Olives are small fruits. People make oil from them, which they use to cook food.

Roots are the parts of a tree that grow under the ground.

v19 One of you might say: ‘God broke off the branches so that he could make me part of the tree.’ v20 That is true. God broke them off because they did not believe Christ. And you continue to be part of the good tree because you do believe Christ. So, do not think that you yourself are more important than anyone else. Instead, be afraid. v21 God was not sorry for the proper branches and he did not let them stay in the tree. So, do not think that he will let you stay either. He will not be sorry for you if you stop believing him.

v22 So, you should understand this about God. He can be kind, but he can be quick to *punish people also. He has *punished Israel’s people, who failed to believe Christ. But he is kind to you, if you continue to believe him. If you do not continue to believe him, then he will cut you off from his tree. v23 And if Israel’s people will believe Christ, then God will accept them back again. God will put them back into the tree, because he is able to do that. v24 God cut you *Gentiles from an olive tree that was wild. And he put you into the good olive tree, even when you did not belong to that tree before. So certainly, God will be even more ready to accept Israel’s people back. He will put them back into that tree, where they did belong before.

Verses 17-24 God put the ‘*root’ there when he told Abraham to believe and obey him. From Abraham there came people who loved God and people who did not love God. Some *Jews really loved God. They are the good ‘olive tree’ that Paul is talking about. The wild olive tree is like the *Gentiles.

God will save Israel’s people

v25 My Christian friends, I do not want you to think that you yourselves know everything. Instead, I want you to understand this secret that God has shown to us. Many of Israel’s people have refused to believe Christ. And they will continue to refuse him until God has finished saving *Gentiles. God will save the whole number of *Gentiles who will believe him. v26 Then God will save all Israel’s people. He will save them as it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘The one who makes his people free will come fromZion.

                        He will cause Jacob’s people to obey God.

                     v27 And I will make this *agreement with them.

                                  I will take away all the wrong things that they have done.’

                                                                                  [Isaiah 59:20-21] [Isaiah 27:9]

Verse 26 Zion is another name for Jerusalem, God’s city, on earth or in *heaven. (See, for example, Revelation 21:2.) ‘Jacob’s people’ means Israel’s people (the *Jews). Jacob was Abraham’s grandson.

v28 Israel’s people have become God’s enemies because they have refused to believe the good news about Christ. But, as a result, this has helped you *Gentiles. It has given you the chance for God to save you. But God did choose Israel’s people. And he still loves them because of what he promised to their grandfathers. v29 God chose to give good things to Israel’s people. He chose them to be his own people. And when God chooses people, that fact will not change. The fact that he has chosen them will never change.

v30 In past times, you *Gentiles did not obey God. But now, because Israel’s people refused to obey him, God has been very kind to you. v31 Israel’s people are not obeying God now, because God wanted to be very kind to you. But God will be very kind to them also. v32 God has caused all people to be like those who are in prison. They are in prison because they are not free to obey God. And, as a result, God will be very kind to all people.

v33 How very great and rich God is! He knows and understands all things! The things that God decides are very great. They are greater than anyone can explain. No human person can understand how God does things. v34 As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Nobody knows what the *Lord thinks.

                                    Nobody is able to tell him what he should do.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 40:13]

                        v35 ‘Nobody has ever given anything to him first,

                                    so that he had a debt to pay to them.’

                                                                                    [Job 41:11]

v36 It is God who made all things. It is God who causes all things to continue. And the purpose of all things is to show how great God is. Everyone should say how very great God is always! This is true!

Chapter 12

We should live only to make God happy

v1 My Christian friends, God has been so very good and kind to us. That is the reason why I am asking you very strongly to offer your bodies to him. Bring your bodies to him, as a *sacrifice that is still alive. Give yourselves to him completely, so that he may be happy because of you. That is how you can really *worship God. v2 Do not let yourselves be like the people who belong to this world. But instead, let God change how you think. Then you will become new people. You will be able to understand what God wants you to do. You will understand what is good. You will understand what makes God happy. And you will understand how to live completely as God wants you to live.

v3 God has given authority to me because he is so very kind. So, as a result, I say this to every one of you. Do not think that you yourself are better or more important than you really are. But instead, think about yourself properly, as you ought to think. Remember that God has caused each of you to believe him. And he has made each of you able to do certain things well, because you believe him. v4 Each of us has one body, but that body has many different parts. And all those parts do different things to help the body. v5 In the same way, we are many people but we are united to Christ like one body. And we belong to each other, like the different parts of one body belong to each other.

v6 God has given different gifts to each of us because he is so very kind to us. God gives a gift to some people so that they are able to speak his messages. So, those people should believe God when they speak his messages. And they should speak the messages that God has told to them. v7 God makes some people able to be like servants, who work for other people. So, those people should do that work. God makes another person able to teach. So, that person should teach.

v8 Another person may be able to help other people to be brave and strong. So, that person should help people like that. Another person may be able to give gifts to people. So, that person should be happy to give what he is able to give. God may have given authority to another person so that he can be a leader. So, that leader should be careful to do his work well. Another person may be able to be kind to people who need help. So, that person should be happy to be kind to people.

Really love people and help them

v9 You must not only seem to love people, but instead you should really love them. *Hate anything that is bad. Continue to do only the things that are good. v10 Love each other like brothers and sisters who belong to the same family. Each of you should think about the other Christians as more important than you yourself are. v11 Do not be lazy, but instead want very much to work on the *Lord’s behalf. Continue to work on his behalf, as his servants, because you want very much to make him happy. v12 Be happy, because you can hope certainly for good things from God. Be patient when you have troubles. Whatever things may happen, always continue to pray. v13 If any of God’s people need anything, then help them. Give to them what you can give. Be ready to say ‘welcome’ to visitors and be happy to let them stay in your home.

v14 Ask God to be kind to people who cause trouble and pain for you. Yes, ask him to be kind; do not ask God to do bad things to those people. v15 If someone is happy, you be happy also. If someone is sad, you be sad also. v16 Be kind to each other, and try always to agree and to be friends with each other. Do not think that you yourselves are better or more important than other people. Instead, be happy to be friends with people who are not great or important. Do not think that you yourselves know everything.

v17 If someone has done bad things to you, do not do bad things back to them. Try to do always what is good. So then all people will know that you do good things. v18 If it is possible, try always to be friends with other people. Try very much not to quarrel with other people. v19 My friends, if someone has done bad things to you, do not try to *punish them yourselves. Instead, let God *punish them, because it says in the *Old Testament: ‘ “I am the one who will *punish people. I will *punish people who do bad things to you”, the *Lord says.’ [Deuteronomy 32:35] v20 But you should do this:

                        ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him.

                                    If he needs to drink, give him something to drink.

                        If you do these things, your enemy will become ashamed.

                                    He will become sorry because of what he did to you.’

                                                                                    [Proverbs 25:21-22]

v21 Other people may do bad things, but do not let those bad things beat you. Instead, do good things. So then, as a result, you will be the winner over those bad things.

Chapter 13

Obey the government

v1 Everyone must obey the government. Nobody has authority to rule unless God has given it to them. It is God who has given authority to those people to rule now. v2 God has chosen to give authority to the government. So, if a person refuses to obey the government, he is also refusing to obey God. And anyone who does that will cause God to *punish them.

v3 People who do good things do not need to be afraid of the rulers. Only people who do bad things are afraid of the rulers. So, if you do not want to be afraid of a ruler, you must do good things. And then, as a result, the ruler will say that you are good. v4 Rulers are God’s servants, who work to help you. But if you do bad things, then you should be afraid of them. You should be afraid because they really do have authority to *punish people. They are God’s servants, who *punish people on God’s behalf. They *punish people who do bad things. v5 So, you must obey those people who rule. You must obey them not only so that they do not *punish you. But you must obey them also because it is right to obey them. And you yourselves know that it is right.

v6 This is also the reason why you should pay money to the government. You should pay because the rulers are God’s servants. And they continue to do the duties that God has given to them. v7 So, you must pay to each person what you ought to pay. If you should pay money to the government for any reason, pay it. Always do what is proper to those people who have authority. Remember that they are important.

Christians have a duty always to love people

v8 Always pay your debts to people. You should have one debt only, which is this. You must always love each other. Anyone who loves other people has obeyed all of God’s rules.

v9 God’s rules say this: ‘Do not have sex with anyone who is not your own wife or your own husband. Do not kill anyone. Do not rob anyone. Do not want things that are other people’s.’ [Exodus 20:13-17] [Deuteronomy 5:17-21] All these rules, and all the other rules, are really only one rule. That one rule is: ‘Love every other person the same as you love yourself.’ [Leviticus 19:18] v10 If you love other people, you will never do anything bad to them. So, anyone who loves other people has obeyed all God’s rules.

v11 Do these things that I have just told you. Do them, because you know about this time now. It is time now that you should stop being asleep. It is time to wake up. The time when God will finish saving us is near. That time is nearer than when we first believed him. v12 The night has nearly finished and the day is almost here. So, we must stop doing the things that belong to the dark. Instead, we must prepare ourselves like soldiers who are ready to fight in the light.

v13 We must do what is right and good and honest. People who belong to the light ought to do those things. We must not go to bad parties and we must not be drunks. We must not have sex with anyone who is not our own wife or husband. We must not do wrong things with our bodies. We must not quarrel. We must not want to be like other people so much that we *hate them. v14 But instead, you should put on the *Lord Jesus Christ. And stop thinking about any wrong things that, as a human person, you may want to do sometimes.

Verse 14 Christians need to ‘put off’ wrong things, like a person takes off dirty clothes. They need to ‘put on’ Jesus Christ, as someone puts on clean clothes. See, for example, Galatians 3:27.

Chapter 14

Do not think bad things about other Christians who are different from you

v1 Some Christians may not be completely sure whether it is right for them to do certain things. You should still be happy to have people like that among you. But do not argue with them about what they ought to do. v2 Some people believe that they may eat all kinds of food. But other people, who are not so sure, may eat vegetables only. v3 People who eat all kinds of food must not think that they are better. They must not think bad things about people who do not eat all kinds of food. Also, people who do not eat all foods must not decide that other people are wrong. They must not decide like that about people who do eat all foods. Nobody should think bad things like that about other people, because God himself has accepted both kinds of people.

v4 Nobody has any authority to decide about someone else’s servants. Nobody should decide that someone else’s servants are wrong. Only those servants’ own master has authority to decide whether his servants are right or wrong. But the *Lord will continue to accept his servants, because he is able to help them. The *Lord can make them strong, so that they continue to believe him.

v5 Some people think that certain days are special and more important than other days. Other people think that all days are the same. Each person should be completely sure himself about what seems right to him. v6 A person who makes a certain day special does that as the *Lord’s servant. That person chooses that day to show how great the *Lord is. A person who eats all kinds of food also does that as the *Lord’s servant. He is thanking God for that food. A person who refuses to eat certain foods does that as the *Lord’s servant. And he is thanking God also.

v7 None of us lives only to make himself happy. And none of us dies only to make himself happy. v8 While we live, our purpose is to make the *Lord happy. And when we die, our purpose is to make the *Lord happy. So, if we live, we are the *Lord’s. And if we die, we are the *Lord’s. v9 Christ died and then he rose, to become alive again, for this purpose. He did it so that he could be the *Lord of all people. Whether people are dead or alive, Christ is their *Lord.

v10 So then, other Christians may not do the same things as you yourself do. But none of you should think that other Christians are wrong because of that. None of you should think that you are better than other Christians. No, because all of us will have to stand in front of God. And God will show what he has decided about us. God decides whether each of us has done what is right or wrong. v11 As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘ “As certainly as the fact that I am alive,

                                    this will happen”, the *Lord says.

                        “It will happen that every person will bend their knees in front of me.

                                    And every person will say that I am God.” ’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 49:18] [Isaiah 45:23]

v12 So, each one of us will have to explain to God about the things that we have done.

Do not cause other Christians to do anything wrong

v13 So, we should stop deciding that other Christians are wrong. Instead, you should decide never to do anything that might stop another Christian from obeying God. Never do anything that might cause someone else to do something wrong. v14 There is no kind of food that is itself wrong for a person to eat. I know that. I am completely sure about it, as someone who is united with the *Lord Jesus. But a person may believe that it is wrong to eat certain food. And so, for that person, it would be wrong if he did eat that food.

v15 You should not cause another Christian to be sad because of what you eat. If you do make him sad, then you are not really loving him. Do not let your food be a problem for another Christian, so that as a result he stops believing Christ. Remember that Christ died on behalf of that person. v16 You may think that something is good. But still you should not do it if it will cause people to say bad things about you. v17 We belong to God’s people, the people that he rules over. But it does not really matter what we eat. Neither does it matter what we drink. Instead, these are the things that really matter to God’s people. We should do what is right. We should be friends with God and with other people, and we should not cause trouble for other people. And we should be happy. God’s Spirit makes us able to do these things. v18 Anyone who does these things is Christ’s servant. And God will be happy with that person. Also, other people will say good things about that person.

v19 So then, we should try always to do those things that will help people to agree and to be friends. We should try to help each other so that we become stronger as God’s people. v20 Do not destroy what God has done, only because of your food. God lets us eat all kinds of food. But it is wrong to eat anything that will cause a problem for someone else. Do not cause anyone to do something that they believe to be wrong. v21 It is good not to do anything that might cause another person to become weaker as a Christian. If it does, it is good that you do not eat meat. And it is good that you do not drink wine.

Verse 21 Wine is a drink that contains alcohol. People make it from small, sweet fruits called grapes.

v22 What you believe about these things should be a secret between yourself and God. A person may know what is the right thing for him to do. Then, if he does it, he is happy as a result. He does not need to ask whether it is right. v23 But someone else may not be sure whether it is right to eat certain food. If that person does eat that food, then he is doing something wrong. He is not sure that it is right for him to eat it. Whatever things we do, we must be sure about them. We must be sure that they are right. If we are not sure about something, then it is wrong for us to do it.

Chapter 15

Stronger Christians should be patient and kind to weaker Christians

v1 We who are sure and strong ought to help other people. We ought to help those people who are not strong. We ought to be patient with them, because they are not so sure. We should not do only those things that we ourselves would choose to do. v2 Instead, each of us should do the things that will help other Christians. We should try to help other Christians so that they believe God more strongly. v3 Even Christ did not do the things that he himself might have chosen to do. Instead, as it says in the *Old Testament: ‘People were angry with you (God), and they said bad things about you. But it was like they were also saying angry, bad things about me too.’ [Psalm 69:9]

v4 Everything that people wrote in the *Old Testament in past times is there to teach us. Those words help us to continue being patient, brave and strong. So then, as a result, we can hope certainly for what God has promised to us.

v5 It is God himself who makes us able to be patient, brave and strong. And I pray that God will help you to agree with each other and to be friends. That is how Christ Jesus wants you to live. v6 So then, all of you together will be united. You will think and say the same things. You will say how very great and good God, the Father of our *Lord Jesus Christ, is.

Christ came to save both *Jews and *Gentiles

v7 Christ has accepted you, so you must accept each other. So then, as a result, people will say how great God is. v8 I say to you that Christ became a servant of Israel’s people. He came to show that God promises true things. God promised certain things to the grandfathers of Israel’s people. And Christ caused those things to happen. v9 Also, Christ came so that the *Gentiles could thank God. They could say how great and good God is. They could thank God because he has been so very kind to them. As it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘For this reason I will say to everyone that you are God.

                                  I will say that when I am among the *Gentiles.

                     And I will sing to you, to show how great you are.’

                                                                                  [Psalm 18:49]

v10 It says also in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Be happy, you *Gentiles, together with God’s people.’

                                                                                    [Deuteronomy 32:43]

v11 Again, it says also in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘Say how great the *Lord is, all you *Gentiles.

                                    All people, from every country, should say how great he is.’

                                                                                    [Psalm 117:1]

v12 Again, Isaiah says this:

                        ‘The *root of Jesse will come.

                                    He will come, to rule the *Gentiles.

                        And the *Gentiles will hope certainly because of him.

                                    They will wait for him to do what he has promised to do.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 11:1] [Isaiah 11:10]

Verse 12 Jesse was King David’s father (see I Samuel 16:1). Jesus was born as a baby many years after Jesse and David lived on the earth. The ‘root of Jesse’ means that Jesus belonged to Jesse and David’s family. (See, for example, Matthew 1:1-16.) But it means also that Jesse and David come from Jesus. Jesus caused them to be alive, as a plant grows up from its root. The root is the part of the plant that is under the ground. Jesus is God. He has always been alive in God’s home beyond the earth. He made everything and everyone else.

v13 God is the one who causes us to hope certainly for good things. I pray that God will fill you. I pray that he will cause you to be completely happy and without trouble deep inside yourselves. He will do this because you believe him. Then, as a result, God’s powerful Spirit will cause you to hope more and more certainly.

Paul speaks about the work that God has sent him to do

v14 My Christian friends, I myself am quite sure that you are always good. You know completely all the things that God wants you to know. And you are able to teach each other when someone is wrong. I am quite sure about this. v15 But I have written to you strongly about certain things, so that you would remember those things. I have been brave enough to write like this because God has so kindly chosen me. v16 God has chosen me to work on behalf of Christ Jesus among the *Gentiles. I tell God’s good news to them. I work like a priest so that God will accept the *Gentiles. He will accept them like a *sacrifice, because God’s Spirit has made them clean and ready for God.

Verse 16 A priest was a special servant of God, who offered *sacrifices to him on behalf of Israel’s people. Only certain men, from Aaron’s family, could become priests. See, for example, Exodus 28:1 and 29:9.

v17 So, because I am united with Christ Jesus, I can be happy about my work. I can be happy because of the things that I have done on God’s behalf. v18 I will be brave enough to speak only about the work that Christ has made me able to do. He has made me able to lead the *Gentiles to obey God. They have obeyed God as a result of what I have said. They have obeyed him as a result also of what I have done. v19 God’s powerful Spirit caused many great and powerful things to happen, that surprised people very much. So, as a result, I have told the whole good news about Christ to people. I have told it while I travelled all the way from Jerusalem city to Illyricum.

Verse 19 Illyricum was a place by the Adriatic Sea, north and west from Greece. It was about where the north part of the country called Albania is now.

v20 I always want very much to go to places where nobody has ever told the people about Christ before. I want to tell the good news to the people in those places. Then I will not be continuing someone else’s work for God, that they have started. I will not be continuing to build a house in a place where someone else has already begun to build. v21 Instead, I obey what it says in the *Old Testament:

                        ‘People that nobody ever told about Christ will see.

                                    Those people who never heard the message about him will understand.’

                                                                                    [Isaiah 52:15]

Paul hopes to visit Rome soon

v22 That is why, many times, something has stopped me from visiting you. v23 But now I have finished my work in these places here. And for several years, I have been wanting to visit you. v24 I hope to visit you while I am travelling to Spain. I will stay with you for a short time and I will enjoy being with you. And I hope that you will help me on my journey.

v25 But now, I am ready to go to Jerusalem so that I can help God’s people there. v26 Some of God’s people at Jerusalem are poor. And the Christians in Macedonia and Achaia wanted to help those people. So, they got some money to send to those poor people. v27 The Christians in Macedonia and Achaia were happy to do this. But really, they have a duty to help Christians who belong to Israel’s people. It is because of Israel’s people that the *Gentiles have received good things from God. The *Gentiles have received the *spiritual good things that God promised to Israel's people. So, the *Gentiles ought to help Israel’s people with the things that they need in this world.

Verses 26-27 Macedonia included the north part of the country that we call Greece. It also included the south part of the country that we call Yugoslavia. Achaia was the south part of Greece.

v28 So, I must finish this job at Jerusalem. The *Gentiles have given all this money to help the poor Christians there. And I must certainly take this money safely to those people. After that, I will leave Jerusalem. And I will visit you before I continue travelling to Spain. v29 When I visit you, Christ will be very, very good to us. I know that.

v30 My Christian friends, I ask you very much to help me in my work. I ask you to pray to God on my behalf. Pray very strongly, together with me. I ask this because we belong to our *Lord Jesus Christ. I ask it because God’s Spirit causes us to love each other. v31 Pray that God will keep me safe. So then those people in Judea who refuse to believe Christ will not do anything to hurt me. Pray also that God’s people at Jerusalem will accept this money. I want them to be happy because of this gift that I will bring to them.

v32 After that, I will come to visit you, if God wants me to do that. I will be very happy when I come. And I will enjoy resting while I stay there with you. v33 God causes us to be without trouble inside ourselves. And I pray that he will be with all of you. This is what I pray.

Verse 31 Judea was the south part of Israel. Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, was in Judea.

Chapter 16

Paul says ‘hello’ to people at Rome

v1 I want to tell you that Phoebe is a good person. She is like our sister because she belongs to Christ. And she is a special helper among the group of Christians at Cenchrea. v2 I want you to be kind to her because she is the *Lord’s. God’s people ought to be kind to each other like that. Give to her whatever things she needs. Please help her, because she has helped many people. She has helped me myself also.

Verse 1 We think that Phoebe took Paul’s letter to Rome. Cenchrea was a port in the south part of the country that we call Greece now. It was about 8 miles (13 kilometres) south and east from Corinth city.

v3 Say ‘hello’ on my behalf to Priscilla and Aquila, who worked together with me on behalf of Christ Jesus. v4 They were ready to die so that I could continue living. It is not only I myself who thank them. No! All the groups of Christian *Gentiles thank them also. v5 Say ‘hello’ also to the group of Christians who meet in Priscilla and Aquila’s house.

Say ‘hello’ to my friend Epaenetus, that I love. He was the first person in Asia who believed Christ.

Verse 5 Asia was the west part of the country called Turkey now.

v6 Say ‘hello’ to Mary, who worked very much on your behalf. v7 Say ‘hello’ to Andronicus and Junias. Like me, they belong to Israel’s people. Also, they were in a prison together with me. God sent them to be special workers and teachers on Christ’s behalf, and they do that work very, very well. They became Christians before I did.

v8 Say ‘hello’ to Ampliatus on my behalf. I love him as someone who, like me, is the *Lord’s. v9 Say ‘hello’ to Urbanus, who works with us on Christ’s behalf. And say ‘hello’ to my friend Stachys, that I love. v10 Say ‘hello’ to Apelles. He has shown certainly how he really does believe Christ. Say ‘hello’ to those people who belong to Aristobulus’s family. v11 Say ‘hello’ to Herodion, who, like me, belongs to Israel’s people. Say ‘hello’ to those people in Narcissus’ family who are the *Lord’s.

v12 Say ‘hello’ to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who work very much on the *Lord’s behalf. Say ‘hello’ to my friend Persis, that I love. She has worked very much on the *Lord’s behalf. v13 Say ‘hello’ to Rufus, who is clearly the *Lord’s very good servant. Say ‘hello’ also to his mother, who has been like a mother to me, too.

v14 Say ‘hello’ to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas and Hermas. Say ‘hello’ also to all our Christian friends who are there with them. v15 Say ‘hello’ to Philologus and Julia, to Nereus and his sister, and to Olympas. Say ‘hello’ also to all God’s people who are there with them.

v16 When you meet each other, kiss each other as Christian brothers and sisters. All the groups of Christians here say ‘hello’ to you.

Paul tells the Christians at Rome to be careful about false teachers

v17 My Christian friends, now I want to tell you something very strongly. Be very careful about those people who cause you to quarrel with each other. Be careful about people who cause other people to turn away from God. They teach things that are different from God’s true message. But you have learned the true message, and you must stay away from those people. v18 People who are like that are not servants of our *Lord Christ. Instead, they are doing only the things that they themselves want to do. They say things that seem good and nice. But, as a result, they cause other people to believe false things. Those other people do not understand the difference between what is true or false.

v19 Christians everywhere know how you obey God. So, for this reason, I am very happy because of you. But I want you always to understand clearly what things are good. And I want you never to do what is bad. v20 Then God, who causes us to be without trouble inside ourselves, will make you winners over *Satan soon. God will beat *Satan so that he lies under your feet. I pray that our *Lord Jesus will continue to be very kind to you.

Verse 20 ‘under your feet’ This is how Paul says that they will have *power and authority over him.

Paul finishes his letter

v21 Timothy, who is working together with me, says ‘hello’ to you. Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, who, like me, belong to Israel’s people, say ‘hello’ to you also.

v22 I am Tertius, and I have written down this letter. I say ‘hello’ to you as someone who, like you, is the *Lord’s.

Verse 22 Tertius wrote this letter down on Paul’s behalf. Paul told him what to write.

v23 Gaius says ‘hello’ to you also. He is letting me, Paul, stay in his house. The group of Christians here meet together in his house also. Erastus, who keeps this city’s money, says ‘hello’ to you. Our Christian friend Quartus says ‘hello’ to you too.

[v24 I pray that our *Lord Jesus Christ will continue to be very kind to all of you. This is what I pray.]

Verse 24 We are not sure whether this verse is really part of Paul’s letter. Many Bibles do not include it.

v25 We should say how very great God is! He is able to make you strong, as I have told you. I told you when I taught the good news about Jesus Christ to you. That good news is the true message that God kept secret for a long, long time. But now he has shown this message to us. v26 Now all people can know this true message. We have told people what the *prophets wrote about Christ. God, who lives always, has told us to tell it to people. God wants people from all countries to know this message. So then, as a result, they can believe God and they can obey him.

v27 God is the only God. Only he himself knows and understands all things. Everyone should say always how very great he is! Everyone should say that always, because of Jesus Christ! This is true.

Word List

agreement ~ when two or more people, or God and people, agree about something.

angel ~ *spirit being (a being is a person or animal that is alive). Good angels come from God’s home beyond the earth. They are God’s servants and they bring messages from God to people. A bad angel was good but now works for God’s enemy, *Satan.

circumcise ~ to cut off the skin that covers the end of a boy’s or a man’s sex part. It was a mark to show that Israel’s people had agreed to obey God.

forgive ~ when God (or another person) chooses to forget completely the wrong things that we do.

Gentile ~ a person who does not belong to Israel’s people.

hate ~ to strongly or completely not like something or someone. To hate is the opposite of when you love something or someone.

heaven ~ the place beyond the earth where God lives.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children (Israel’s people).

Lord ~ master. Another name for God. It means that he is greater than everyone else.

Old Testament ~ The first part of the Bible, that describes events before Jesus’ life on earth.

power ~ what someone is able to do. Human power includes everything that we can think or do by ourselves, without God’s help.

prophet ~ someone who speaks messages (from God), sometimes about future events. Some prophets who lived many years ago wrote some of the books in the *Old Testament.

punish ~ to hurt someone, or to cause trouble for them, because they have done wrong things.

root ~ the part of a plant or tree that grows under the ground. It helps to feed the plant, and to hold it up.

sacrifice ~ a gift to God to ask him to *forgive wrong things that we have done. Or it may be a gift to thank him for something. God told Israel’s people to offer animals to him as sacrifices. These showed that they were sorry. They were sorry that they had done wrong things. Jesus gave himself to die as a *sacrifice on our behalf.

Satan ~ the name for God’s enemy - the worst of the bad *spirits that are against God. He has another name - the Devil.

sin ~ what makes us *sinful. Sin has authority over every person who is born into this world. When we come to Christ, he stops sin’s authority over us.

sinful ~ when a person does not love or obey God. All people are born sinful, with their *spirits dead to God. As a result, they cannot really know God or be friends with him. Sinful things (sins) are the wrong things that sinful people do.

spirit ~ a being (person) that is always alive, even without a body. A person’s spirit is the part of them that will always be alive. It will be alive even after their body is dead. Our spirit is the part of us that receives God’s Spirit. There are good spirits, like God’s Spirit and his *angels. And there are bad spirits, like the Devil (God’s enemy) and his *angels.

spiritual ~ has to do with the *spirit.

worship ~ to love and thank someone (God) more than anyone else.

Book List

Robert Lee ~ The Outlined Romans ~ Pickering and Inglis

Harold J Brokke ~ Saved By His Life ~ Bethany Fellowship

J. Calvin ~ Calvin's Commentaries ~ Calvin Translation Society

A. Marshall ~ The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

Nigeria Bible Translation Trust ~ A Translator’s Display of Romans

E. W. Deibler ~ A Semantic and Structural Analysis of Romans ~ SIL

Various Bible versions

 

© 1997-2005, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

January 2005

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info