The Book of Romans

An EasyEnglish Semantically Analysed Text (2800 word vocabulary) on the Book of Romans

(A semantically analysed text makes implicit information explicit.)

www.easyenglish.info

Leslie Pride

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

Words in italics are not in the Greek text. We believe that they are implicit.

 

(This translation is for someone who translates the Bible into his own language. People may be able to use this to make translations into their national languages. And then, you can use such translations to translate into your own language.

This translation is clear and it explains itself fully. We have added some words to make the meaning clear. We write these words in italic[1] writing. You may not need to translate all the words that are in italics. But some people may not know much about the Bible. Or there may not yet be Christian churches in their area. Then the italic words could help such people to understand the full meaning of a sentence. In any particular language, you may need to use the right words to connect sentences.)

Romans 1:1-7 Why Paul wrote this letter

Chapter 1 v1 I, Paul, am writing this letter. I work for *Christ Jesus. God chose me to be an *apostle for him. The good *Message about Jesus started with God. And God appointed me as an *apostle so that I should publicly announce that good *Message.

v2 Long ago, God promised to send us this good *Message. He promised that, even before Jesus came to this world. And his *prophets wrote about it in the holy *Scriptures. v3 This good *Message is about the person whom we know as God’s *Son. This Jesus was both human and God. As a human person, he was born in the family that King David started long ago. v4 As God, God showed us in a powerful way that Jesus is his own *Son. God showed us this when Jesus *Christ our *Lord died. God himself caused Jesus to become alive again.

v5 And this Jesus *Christ kindly appointed me to be an *apostle. He made me an *apostle so that many among the *non-Jews would give honour to *Christ. They would believe the *Message about *Christ and they would obey him. v6 And God has also chosen you who believe him in *Rome city. He has also chosen you to belong to Jesus *Christ.

v7 I am writing this letter to all of you. God loves you and God has chosen you as his people. I pray that God our *Father and Jesus *Christ our *Lord will continue to be kind to you. And I pray that they will continue to make you calm inside yourselves.

Romans 1:8-15 Paul wants to help the *believers in *Rome city

v8 As I begin this letter, I thank my God for all you *Roman *believers. I am able to thank him because of what Jesus *Christ has done for us. People all over the *Roman *Empire are talking about how much you believe in Jesus *Christ. v9 I am truly working for God as I announce publicly the good *Message about his *Son. And God knows that I am telling you the truth. v10 I always speak about you whenever I pray to God. I especially ask God that somehow I will still be able to visit you. But I will only come if God wants me to come.

v11 I say this because I really want to visit you. I want to help you to know God better. Then you will become stronger in your belief. v12 I want to visit you so that we can encourage each other. We can talk about how each of us trusts in Jesus. v13 My *brother *believers, I want to tell you this. I have tried to visit you many times. But each time something has stopped me from coming. And I have not been able to visit you. I wanted to help many of you to know *Christ better. Already I have helped many *non-Jewish people to know *Christ better. So, I also want to help you.

v14 *Christ obliges me to announce publicly the good *Message to all *non-Jewish people. I have to announce this *Message to people who know the Greek language and culture. And I must announce it to people who do not speak Greek also. I have to speak to people who have been to school. And I have to speak to people who have not been to school as well. v15 So I eagerly want to announce this good *Message to you in *Rome city also.

Romans 1:16-17 God’s good *Message is wonderful

v16 Because of this, I can say that I am very confident about the good *Message about *Christ. This good *Message shows us how powerful God is. By this *Message, God rescues people from *sin. He rescues everyone who believes in *Christ. God rescues *Jews who give attention to the good *Message. And he also rescues *non-Jews.

v17 By this good *Message, God shows us how he accepts people. He takes away the record of people’s *sins and he gives them new lives instead. He does this entirely because they trust *Christ. A *prophet long ago wrote that God said this: ‘Those people whose record of *sin I have taken away shall never die. That is because they trust me.’

Romans 1:18-32 God is very angry with *sinful people

v18 God is in *heaven from where he rules this world. And God is very angry with evil people who refuse to recognise him as God. They do many kinds of wrong things. And in this way, they completely hide the truth that they know about God. Those people deserve that God should punish them.

v19 Everyone can clearly know God’s character. God himself has shown his character to everyone, v20 although we cannot see him. We may not be able to see the power that God has always had. But he clearly shows us his own nature. He has done this ever since he created the world. The things that God has created show him to us. They show us what he is. Therefore, no one has any reason to say, ‘We never knew about God.’

v21 Many people know about God, but they do not give him honour as God. They do not thank him for what he has done. But instead, all the things that they think about are nonsense. They are not able to understand what they should know about God. v22 They say that they are wise. But they have become stupid. v23 And they do not *worship our wonderful God who can never die. Instead, they make images like people, so that they can *worship these images. These images are like people who will some day die. Also, they make images like birds and images like animals with four feet. And they make images like animals that crawl, too.

v24 Therefore, God lets those evil people do what they want to do. They do whatever wrong things they want to do with their own bodies. They should be ashamed of these things. v25 Those people turn away from God’s truth, and they choose to *worship false gods. They *worship things that God created. They no longer *worship the one God who created everything. But God deserves that we people should never stop praising him. Amen (We want it to be so).

v26 So therefore, God lets those evil people do wrong things with their bodies. But they ought to be ashamed of these wrong things. As a result, many of these women stop having natural sex relations with their husbands. Instead, they begin to have sex relations with other women.

v27 In the same way, many of these men stop having natural sex relations with women. Instead, they strongly desire to have sex with other men. They have sex with other men, and they should be ashamed. As a result, God punishes them with illnesses in their bodies. They deserve this because they do such evil things.

v28 More than that, God allows evil people’s own stupid thoughts to completely control them. As a result, they do evil things that God says are wrong. To know God is not worthwhile. That is what they have decided. v29 They strongly want to do all kinds of wrong things. They want to possess things that belong to other people. They really want to hurt other people in various ways. They are jealous of other people. They murder people. They cause fights between people and they tell lies to other people. They spread hate toward other people when they speak about them behind their backs. They hear lies about other people, and they pass on those lies. v30 They say false things about other people. In particular, they hate God. They insult other people, and they act towards them with dislike. They tell other people how great they themselves are. They invent new ways to do evil things.

Many people who do not respect God also do not obey their parents either. v31 And they act in other morally foolish ways. They do not do what they promise to other people. Many do not even love their own family members. And many are never kind to other people. v32 They know what God has said about such evil things. So, people who act like that deserve to die. But they continue to do those kinds of evil things. And they even approve when other people do such evil things.

Romans 2:1-16 God’s judgement is always fair

v1 Some of you accuse other people. You say that they do wrong things. But you also do these same wrong things. You know that these things are wrong. So, there is no reason that God should excuse you. You also are guilty. You also do not obey God when you do these same wrong things. v2 We know very well that God’s judgement is always fair. He must say that all such evil things are wrong. v3 But you now, you say that other people are *sinners. But you do the same wrong things yourselves. You certainly will not be able to avoid God’s judgement. He will have to punish you.

v4 God is certainly very patient with you and he allows you much freedom. You should not think badly about God because he does this. You should recognise that God is being very kind to you. He is encouraging you to turn back to himself. v5 But you always refuse to turn back to God. So, he will have to punish you more severely. He will punish all evil people on the final day of this world. At that time, God will show everyone how fair all his judgements are.

v6 God will give to each person a fair reward. This reward will depend on what each person has done. v7 Perhaps some people never get tired from doing good things. They work hard for God to give them honour. They want to receive a *life that will not end as their reward. And God will let such people have such a *life. v8 But other people act in a selfish way. They refuse to believe that God speaks the truth. And they do the things that God says are wrong. God has to punish them very severely.

v9 God will severely punish every person who constantly does evil things. They will suffer much trouble. This certainly will affect the *Jews, and it will affect the *non-Jews equally. v10 But God will greatly reward every person who constantly does good things. This will affect the *Jews, and it will affect the *non-Jews also. v11 God will certainly do this. God is no more favourable to one person than he is to another.

v12 *Non-Jews do not have to obey the *Law that God gave to *Moses. But God will punish any of them who do wrong things. God does not consider whether they knew *Moses’ *Law. And God will punish all the *Jews who do wrong things also. They know the *Law that God gave to *Moses. And God will use that *Law when he makes a fair judgement about them.

v13 It is right for God to do that. He does not accept only those people who know God’s *Law as good people. Rather, God accepts those people who actually obey all of that *Law. God will accept such people as good people. v14 *Non-Jews do not know the *Law that God gave to *Moses. But often they naturally do what that *Law says. That proves that they have a law in their own minds. Such *non-Jews may not have the *Law that God gave to *Moses. But they still do what that *Law says. v15 They know in their own minds what God commands in his *Law. This is why each person’s conscience accuses him or her at various times. It also helps to defend them. v16 God will appoint a certain day when Jesus *Christ will be the judge for everyone. And *Christ will consider everything that people have thought, even in their secret thoughts. The good *Message that I tell people talks about that.

Romans 2:17-3.8 We must obey God in our minds to be real *Jews

v17 Now I am writing this part to any one of you who is a *Jew. You probably say about yourself, ‘I am a *Jew.’ You trust God to rescue you from this evil world. You possess the *Law that God gave to *Moses. You are very proud that you belong to God. v18 You know what God wants you to do. You are able to decide which things are right. And you have learnt a lot from the *Scriptures. v19 A light can show the way to those who are walking in the dark. In the same way, you *Jews are certain that your words can show other people God’s way. v20 God’s *Law helps you to know many things. And God’s *Law helps you to know what is true. So, you think that you can persuade foolish people about God. And you are sure that you can teach young people about God.

v21 You have all these advantages because you are *Jews. So, you teach other people to obey the *Law. Then you do not obey the *Law that you teach. You say that people should not steal things. So, it disgusts God when you yourselves steal things. v22 You order people to be loyal to their life partner. So, it disgusts God when you are not loyal to your own partner. You say that God hates false gods. So, it disgusts God when you rob valuable things from those gods’ holy places.

v23 You say proudly, ‘I possess God’s *Law.’ So, it disgusts God when you do not obey that same *Law. It is the one, true God whom you are insulting. v24 The *Scriptures are true when they speak about you. This word from *Scripture says, ‘You *Jews say that you believe in God. But *non-Jews are saying evil things about God because of what you do.’

v25 When you men were *Jewish children, someone *circumcised you. This meant that you belong to God. But this can only benefit you if you obey God’s *Law. Someone may have*circumcised you. But if you do not obey God’s *Law, God will not accept you as one of his own people. God cannot accept you, so you will be just like the *non-Jews.

v26 In the same way, God will certainly accept *non-Jews, although nobody *circumcises them. If some *non-Jews obey God’s *Law, then God will accept them as his own people. v27 No one has ever *circumcised them, but they obey God’s *Law. And such *non-Jewish people will show that God is fair. You *Jews certainly have the *Scriptures, and someone certainly *circumcised you. But God will still punish any one of you who does not obey his *Law.

v28 True *Jews do not just perform ceremonies that people can see. God does not accept you just because someone *circumcised your body. v29 Rather, when God has changed you from the inside, then you are a true *Jew. When God’s *Spirit changes you from the inside, then God accepts you as one of his own people. Then, even if other people will not praise you, God will praise you. But he does not accept you just because of ceremonies that people can see.

Chapter 3 v1 So, there seems to be no advantage from being a *Jew. It seems that it is not very useful. Someone *circumcises us to make us *Jews. But that is not how God will accept us as his people. v2 However, there are many advantages for us from being *Jews. First, God gave his words to our *ancestors, and those words contained God’s promises. v3 Yes, many *Jews do not believe about *Christ. They do not obey what God said to them. But that does not mean that God will not keep his promises to the rest of us *Jews. v4 God always keeps his promise, although people may lie to God. Such people certainly do not do all that they promised God. But God always tells the truth.

These words that King David said to God in the *Scriptures support this:

‘So people will declare that you are completely right.

You are right in all that you say.

And you will win when people accuse you in the court.’

v5 We *Jews do many wrong things. And God is completely right if he does not do good things to us. It is right for God to be angry with us *Jews. It is right for him to punish us. We would be foolish to say that God should not punish us. v6 We certainly could not say that. God is a fair judge for us *Jews. Otherwise, he could not be judge for anyone else in the world!

v7 When you lie, you contrast yourself with God. You are actually showing how true God is. And that gives great honour to God. So, maybe you think that God should be happy with you. And he should not still say that you are a *sinner. v8 Or you could say: ‘Let us do something wrong. And perhaps something good may happen as a result!’ Some people think that we *apostles are actually speaking like that. But that is not true. God is fair. He will be the judge of all the people who say such things about us.

Romans 3:9-20 No one is really good

v9 This does not mean that God will act better towards us *Jews. And it does not mean that God will act less well towards the *non-Jews. We can certainly not say that! I have already proved to you that *sin controls all people. It does not matter whether we are *Jews or *non-Jews. v10 The *Scriptures say this about people:

‘No person is really good. There is nobody that God can accept absolutely!

v11 Nobody understands God’s truth. Nobody wants to know God!

v12 Absolutely everyone has stopped obeying God. Nobody is worth anything to God.

Not even one person acts as God wants them to act.

v13 What people say is bad. It is as bad as the smell when people open a grave.

People use their tongues to tell wicked lies to other people.

They hurt people with their words, just as snake poison hurts people.

v14 They are always cursing people and they say cruel things about them.

v15 They are very quick to murder other people.

v16 Wherever they go, they ruin everything. They make people miserable.

v17 They have never known how to live peacefully with other people.

v18 They are not afraid even of God!’

v19 Every part of the *Law that people wrote in the *Scriptures is for *Jewish people. They live completely under the *Law’s control. God wants to stop people from making excuses. And he wants everyone in the world to know. They should know that each person is guilty. That is why the *Law was written. v20 Some people want God to accept them as his people. But they just want God to do that because they obey every detail of God’s *Law. However, the *Law does not let them do that. God’s *Law just tells us clearly that we have *sinned.

Romans 3:21-31 There is a way by which God can accept us

v21 God now shows us how he can accept us as his people. *Moses and the *prophets wrote about this in the books of *Scripture that they wrote. But God cannot accept us just because we obey all *Moses’ *Laws. v22 We must trust Jesus *Christ and all that he has done for us. Then God removes the record of our *sin. God does this for every person who believes in *Christ. God does not see any difference between *Jews and *non-Jews. v23 All people have done wrong things. And all people have failed to achieve the standards that our wonderful God sets up for us. v24 We do not deserve God’s great kindness. He sent Jesus *Christ to die on the *cross on our behalf. Then God removed the record of our *sin. And then he accepted us as his own people.

v25 God sent *Christ as the *sacrifice to take away our *sin. It was as if Jesus’ blood fell on us when he died. Then God could forgive us because we believe in *Christ. God himself did this. He showed that he was completely fair in the past. God did not punish people for their *sins during that time, v26 because he is very patient. God also showed that even now he is completely fair. He removes the record of everyone’s *sin if they believe in Jesus.

v27 So then, we have nothing left to praise ourselves for. God removes the record of people’s *sin. But this is not because people obey every detail of the *Law. God only removes people’s *sin because they believe in *Christ. v28 We cannot praise ourselves for that. God removes the record of our *sin because we believe in *Christ. It is not because we obey the *Law.

v29 The one, true God is not only the *Jewish people’s God. He is also the God of people who are not *Jews. That is, he will accept *non-Jews also as his people. v30 There is only one true God. And he can remove the record of *Jewish people’s *sins, if they believe in *Christ. God can also remove the record of the *sins of *non-Jews, if they believe in *Christ. v31 So, we are not destroying the *Law that God gave to *Moses. We do not forget the *Law when we trust *Christ. Rather, we make *Moses’ *Law stronger when we believe in *Christ.

Romans 4:1-12 God accepted Abraham because he believed in him

Chapter 4 v1 We can learn something from our *ancestor, Abraham, because we really respect him. v2 Abraham could not say to people that he himself had done good things. He could not say that God had accepted him as one of his people just because of his good work. He certainly could not tell God to accept him because of his good actions. v3 Remember what someone once wrote in the *Scriptures: ‘Abraham believed God’s promise. And because Abraham believed, God accepted Abraham as one of his people’, they wrote.

v4 People pay wages to men who work for them. The workers do not think that these wages are gifts. The wages are what they have rightly earned. v5 But you cannot earn God’s kindness by work that you do. God will not accept you just because you do good things. God accepts *sinners as his people only because they believe him. They believe that *Christ died for them. When God accepts us, this is God’s kind gift to us. We cannot earn this.

v6 Long ago, David wrote the same thing in the Book called *Psalms. He wrote about how God accepts people as his own people. And David said how good God is to them. But such people have not done any work that would deserve God’s kindness. v7 This is what David says:

‘God is very good to people whose *sins he has forgiven.

He has decided to forget the wrong things that they did.

v8 The *Lord cancels such people’s *sins in his records.

And he is very good to those people.’

v9 God is not only good to us *Jews whom someone has *circumcised. God is also very good to all the other people (the *non-Jews) whom nobody has *circumcised. Now, the *Scriptures say, ‘Abraham believed God. And because Abraham believed, God accepted him as one of his people.’

v10 Think about this for a moment: God accepted Abraham before anyone had *circumcised him. God did not just accept him after *circumcision. Abraham was still, really, a *non-Jew when God accepted him. v11 Later, God gave the command that someone should *circumcise Abraham. Then people could see that sign. And then they would know that God had already accepted Abraham. God accepted him, because he believed God.

Later still, many other people are believing in God although no one has *circumcised them. And God accepts them too. So these people are in Abraham’s family too, as if he is their father, but without *circumcision. v12 And so, Abraham is father of all the *Jews who believe God. Someone *circumcised them, but they have also believed God like our *ancestor Abraham. And remember this: He had believed God even before someone *circumcised him.

Romans 4:13-25 Abraham believed that God would give a son to him

v13 God made a promise to Abraham and to the people who were born after him. God promised that Abraham would receive many good things. And God also promised to be good to people all over the world because of Abraham.

But *Moses wrote down God’s *Law many years later. So, Abraham could not possibly have obeyed that *Law. Abraham just believed that God would complete his promise. So, God accepted Abraham as one of his own people because Abraham believed him. He did not accept him because he obeyed the *Law.

v14 God does not accept people just because they obey God’s *Law. God did not make the promise just to such people. Otherwise, there would be no need for anyone to believe God. And there would be no need for God to make a promise. v15 God does become angry when people do not obey his *Law. But people do not have to obey a law if no law exists.

v16 Therefore, it is very important that people trust in God. Then, they will receive God’s promise, because of his great kindness. *Jews who were born after Abraham do have God’s *Law. But God’s promise is not just for them. It is also for those *non-Jews who believe in God. Abraham believed God first. And so, Abraham is like a father for everyone who believes God. v17 Remember what *Moses wrote in the *Scriptures. He wrote that God made this promise to Abraham: ‘I have appointed you so that you can be the father to many different nations in the world.’

Abraham confidently believed God. God had promised that there would be very many people in Abraham’s future family. And Abraham believed that God would do that. It is God who causes dead people to live again. And God commands things to happen that do not yet exist. v18 Abraham believed God, even if it seemed impossible to him.

Both Abraham and his wife were much too old to have children. But Abraham believed that he would become the father to many different nations in the world. That is what God had said to him. The *Scriptures tell us: ‘There will be as many people in your family as there are stars in the sky’, God said. v19 And Abraham did not doubt that God would complete his promise. But Abraham was sure that he and Sarah already were not able to have children. Abraham was about a hundred years old, and he was almost dead. And he realised that Sarah could not have a child either.

v20 However, Abraham did not doubt in any way that God would complete his promise. Instead, Abraham trusted in God more strongly. He praised God. And he thanked him for what God would do. v21 He was very sure that God could complete his promise. v22 And because Abraham believed this, God accepted him as one of his own people.

v23 *Moses wrote: ‘God accepted Abraham as one of his own people.’ But these words were not only about Abraham. v24 *Moses also wrote them for us whom God would accept at a later time. *Moses wrote them for the benefit of all who would believe in God later. And later, this God caused our *Lord Jesus to become alive again. v25 Evil people killed Jesus because of our *sins, and God caused him to become alive again. This is what we believe. God accepted Jesus’ death as the reason for which he would accept us as his people.

Romans 5:1-11 *Christ died so that God would accept us

v1 So, God has accepted us as his people because we trust in *Christ. Now, we live at peace with God because our *Lord Jesus *Christ did this for us. v2 *Christ showed us that God is very kind to us. We can always trust his kindness. Therefore, we are very happy. And we confidently expect that God will show his magnificent character to us.

v3 We are happy even when people make us suffer because of *Christ. We know what happens to us when we suffer. We learn to last patiently through our trouble. v4 And we know what happens then. We know that God approves of us. And we know what happens when God approves of us. Then we can be sure that God will show us his whole, magnificent character. v5 And he will not disappoint us if we wait for that. God has told us many times that he loves us. God’s *Holy Spirit, who lives deep inside us, reminds us all the time.

v6 We were not able to rescue ourselves from our *sin. But, God chose the right time and *Christ died on behalf of us *sinful people. v7 Almost nobody would die on behalf of another person. That other person might be a person without blame, but nobody would die in his place. Perhaps someone might have enough courage to die for a really good person. v8 But *Christ died on our behalf. We were still God’s enemies, but he died for us. In this way, God showed us that he loves us. v9 So, *Christ died on the *cross and his blood poured out. That was how *Christ managed to rescue us from our *sin. And God has accepted us as his own people because of what *Christ did. *Christ will also certainly rescue us when God is very angry because of our *sin.

v10 Before that, we were acting as God’s enemies. Then God brought us back to himself because his *Son died for us. And now, *Christ will be able to rescue us because he is alive again. So God will not punish us, because he has brought us back to himself. v11 In addition, we can also shout aloud with joy about those things that God has done for us. God sent our *Lord Jesus *Christ to die on our behalf and to bring us back to God.

Romans 5:12-21 Adam and *Christ

v12 All *sin started because one man, Adam, did not obey God at the beginning. Adam died because he had *sinned. Now, everyone in the world has done things that God does not like. We have all *sinned and all of us must die.

v13 People in the world did *sin before God gave his *Law to *Moses. But God did not keep an account of people’s *sins at that time. There was no *Law yet. So nobody knew that certain things were wrong. v14 Hundreds of years passed after Adam died. Then *Moses was born. *Sin affected all the people who lived during the time between Adam and *Moses. And they died as a result of their *sin. Not all those people were like Adam. God did not give a direct command to each one of them that they did not obey. But they all died as a result of their *sin.

Adam and *Christ were two separate persons. But they both had something to give to us. v15 God showed us his great kindness, which we do not deserve. He gave this special gift to us. But Adam, as one person, gave to us the desire to *sin. And *sin was to bring death to very many people. However, the person of Jesus *Christ himself brought God’s gift to very many people, and that is so much greater. And God gives this to us because of his own very great kindness.

v16 Adam’s gift to us and God’s gift to us are very different. Adam was the first person who *sinned. And God had to punish him because he was guilty. He had to punish all of us because of that *sin. But, because of Jesus *Christ, God accepted us as his own people. God accepted us, although we had *sinned many times.

v17 We have to die because of the wrong thing that that one person, Adam, did at the beginning. But what the one person, Jesus *Christ, has done is so very much greater. Because of Jesus, God has been so kind to us. He has accepted us as his people, although we do not deserve his kindness. And now, God’s kindness and goodness control our lives.

v18 Adam did not obey God when he did that one wrong thing. Because of that, we deserved that God should punish us. But *Christ did one very good thing, which made God accept us as his own people. And because God has accepted us, our *Life will never end. v19 One person, Adam, did not obey God, and he caused many people to become *sinners. But one person, Jesus, obeyed God. And he has caused God to accept very many people.

v20 God gave the *Law to *Moses. Because of the *Law, people could realise how greatly they had *sinned. However, God continued to act with even more kindness. But people did not deserve such kindness because they continued to *sin. v21 People everywhere die, and they die because of *sin. But God acted so that people everywhere might know his very great kindness. God accepts people now, because of what Jesus *Christ our *Lord has done for them. And God gives them the *Life that will never end.

Romans 6:1-14 *Sin does not need to affect our lives now

Chapter 6 v1 So, God acted towards us with great kindness, although we *sinned. Then, perhaps we can continue to *sin! Perhaps God will continue to be even more kind to us! Surely, he will continue to forgive us! v2 No, we must not do that. We certainly should not continue to *sin! We do not need to allow *sin to affect our lives any more.

v3 When we first believed in Jesus *Christ, someone *baptised us. That *baptism gave us a share in what Jesus *Christ did on the *cross. Jesus made *sin end at that time. So, we also share with Jesus. He makes our *sin end. v4 This is what our *baptism means: It is the same as if we buried our old lives with Jesus. This means that our *sinful desires do not need to affect our lives any more. Then also, God caused *Christ to live again in a new way. God his *Father did this by his own magnificent power. And our *baptism means that we too live our lives in a new way.

v5 So, someone *baptised us. This shows that we share in Jesus’ death. But God made *Christ become alive again. So now, he will certainly help us to live in a new way. v6 When *Christ died on the *cross, he also made our former *sinful nature end. We must continue to remember that. It happened like that so that we would not continue to do *sinful things. Our old nature still wants to do such bad things. But *Christ does not want us to *sin any longer. Our evil desires can no longer make us their *slaves. v7 Anyone who has died is free. No evil desire controls him. So, we are free, and those *sinful desires no longer control us. v8 We share in *Christ’s death. And also, we believe that we will share in *Christ’s new *Life. v9 We know that *Christ did die once. And God made him become alive again. He will never die again. Death can never control him again. v10 He died just once for people who had *sinned. And he will never do it again. But now he is alive again. And he lives now only to serve God.

v11 In the same way, remember that you do not need to do those *sinful things any more. You are like a dead person. So *sin cannot control you any more now. Also, remember that *Christ Jesus has given *Life to you. So, now you ought to live for God. v12 Therefore, do not let *sin rule your body. Your body will die; so do not obey its evil desires. v13 Do not let any part of you *sin. Your body must not make you do wrong things. Once you were like a completely dead person toward God. But God made you become alive again. So now you can live for him.

So, each of you should give all of yourself to God. Use every part of yourself in God’s service, as if you were his *slave. That would really please God. v14 You must not let those *sinful desires control you. God’s kindness controls you now, although you do not deserve it. The *Laws that *Moses wrote down do not control you any longer.

Romans 6:15-23 *Slaves who work for God

v15 So, God’s wonderful kindness has rescued us from *sin now. We do not have to obey the *Law that God gave *Moses any more. The *Law did not rescue us. So now, perhaps God permits us to *sin. No, we certainly should not *sin just because we are free. v16 I want you to remember this: *Slaves have to obey everything that their masters demand. *Sin can be your master. And if you *sin, the *devil will be your master. And you will die like that. But if you obey God, you will be God’s *slaves. You will be able to live as he wants you to live. And you will not die.

v17 You were once like the *devil’s *slaves. You did whatever *sinful things you wanted to do. But I thank God that you changed. You began to obey sincerely the things that I taught you. v18 I also thank God that he has freed you from *sin. *Sin used to control you. But now, you have become God’s *slaves. And you do the right things that God wants.

v19 I use these examples from ordinary life, because of your weak human nature. That weak nature may not let you understand my words easily. In the past, you did many wrong things. Your evil minds forced the different parts of your bodies to do these bad things. You were *slaves because your minds forced you to do evil things. But now, you must let God change your minds. Then your minds can force all the parts of your bodies to do right things. You will do the things that God wants. Then, you will be God’s people completely.

v20 Before, you were *slaves to the *sinful things that you wanted. You did not need to do the right things that God wants. v21 And you gained absolutely nothing when you did those *sinful things. Now you are ashamed that you did those things. The result was that *sin separated you from God completely.

v22 But God has freed you from the *sin that used to control you. And now you have become as if you were God’s *slaves. So now, God has completely accepted you as his own people. As a result, you will have the *Life that never ends. v23 When *sin is your master, the wage that it pays is death. That means that *sin separates you from God for all time. But, because of Jesus *Christ, God freely gives the *Life that never ends to us.

Romans 7:1-25 *Christ helps us to win our struggle against *sin

v1 My *brother *believers, you know about laws, and you certainly know this one: A person has to obey laws only while that person is alive. v2 For example, a woman must be loyal to her husband as long as he is alive. But if her husband dies, she no longer has to obey that law. She is free then v3 and she may marry another man. But while her first husband is alive, she cannot live with another man. Otherwise, people will say that that woman is cheating her husband. She is not cheating her first husband if she marries again after his death.

v4 So, my *brother *believers, God has freed you and me from *sin’s control. We belong now to *Christ and we are his people. God made *Christ become alive again, so that we can serve him. We do not just obey *Moses’ *Law to be free. v5 Our own selfish thoughts used to control us. And those selfish desires caused us to *sin. *Moses gave God’s *Law to us. But the *Law just seemed to make those desires become stronger. And those desires controlled every part of our bodies, so that we separated ourselves from God.

v6 But *Moses’ *Law no longer controls us. We are like dead people with regard to *sin. So *sinful desires are not able to control us now, and we serve God in a new way. God’s *Spirit helps us to serve him, and we do not have to serve God in the old way. The *Law forced us to live in that old way.

v7 God gave the *Law to *Moses. And the *Law may start our *sinful desires to work in us. But the *Law itself certainly is not evil. I think about my own experience. I read what *Moses wrote in the *Law. Only then, I realised that I was doing wrong things. For example, *Moses wrote in the *Law about strong desires for things: ‘You must not strongly want another person’s things’, he wrote. Then I realised that to be strongly want another person’s things is *sin. v8 Because that law said not to do this, I wanted to have many other things. But these were other people’s things. And I realised that such desire was wrong. It was *sinful.

We do not want to *sin when there is no law against it. v9 In the past, I used to live without a worry. I did not know what the *Law required. Then I became aware of what God had said: ‘You must not strongly want another person’s things’, God said. So I suddenly realised that I was *sinning. v10 And I realised that I had separated myself from God. I would have *Life for all time if I completely obeyed the *Law. That is what I thought. But the *Law affected me differently. It made me realise that I had separated myself from God. v11 My *sinful desire found a way to cheat me. And it used the *Law as an excuse.

v12 However, the *Law that God gave to *Moses is very right. And what God said is right too. God said that we should not strongly want another person’s things. And in the *Law, God gave many other commands to us. And all these commands are fair and good.

v13 I am certainly not saying that the *Law is evil. It is a very good thing. It certainly did not cause me to separate myself from God. It was *sin that caused me to do that. The *Law just told me that I had separated myself from God by my *sin. And so, we now know how terrible our *sinful desires really are.

v14 We know that God’s *Spirit gave the *Law to *Moses. But my own selfish and *sinful nature controls me. My desire to *sin comes from this evil nature, which has made me its *slave. v15 I often do not understand the things that I do. Sometimes I do not practise the good things that I want to do. At other times, I do the evil things that I really hate to do.

v16 I do not want to do such evil things. And I have to agree that God’s *Law is right. v17 So it is not really I who do those evil things. It is my *sinful desire which causes me to do those things. v18 I know that my selfish nature will not let me do any good things. And this is how I know that: I want to do good things. But I just do not do things that are good. v19 I do not do the good things that I want to do. Instead, I do the evil things that I do not want to do. v20 But it is not really I who do those evil things. It is my *sinful desire which causes me to do them.

v21 This then is what the *Law shows me. There is an evil desire present inside me that keeps me away from the good things. v22 With my new inner nature I like God’s *Law very much. v23 But I realise that something else is operating in my body. That evil desire opposes all the good things that I really want to do. And I cannot escape from those *sinful desires that I have.

v24 I am not a very happy person when I think about all this. I need someone to rescue me. I do not want my body’s evil desires to control me. I do not want to separate myself from God. v25 So, I thank God that we can be free. Jesus *Christ our *Lord has rescued us. Our bodies’ evil desires do not have to control us. So, two things are happening to us at the same time. In our minds, we really want to obey God’s *Law. But our selfish human natures allow our *sinful desires to control us.

Romans 8:1-17 God’s *Spirit gives us the power to live for *Christ

v1 But now, we have a relationship with *Christ Jesus. Now, God will not punish us in any way for our past *sin. v2 God’s *Spirit causes us to live in a new way. And that is how we know this. It is because of what *Christ Jesus did for us. God’s *Spirit does not allow *sin to control us now. And so, *sin no longer separates us from God.

v3 We could not be free from *sin just by obeying *Moses’ *Law. Our selfish nature is too weak to obey the *Law properly. But God sent his own *Son into the world so that he could bring us back to himself. *Christ had a human body just like we *sinful people have. And he was the *sacrifice that frees us from our *sin. When God sent his *Son in this way, he punished his *Son instead of us.

v4 So, we can now do all that God’s *Law requires. We do not do this by living the way our *sinful human nature desires. Instead, we live as the *Spirit wants us to live. v5 Some people live as their selfish human nature desires. They think only about their own selfish wishes. That is all that they care about. But we live as the *Spirit wants us to live. We think about what the *Spirit wants. That is what we care about. v6 Those people who only follow their own selfish nature have separated themselves from God. But those people who follow the *Spirit will live for all time. And they will be calm in their minds also.

v7 People’s selfish natures want the opposite of what God wants. Such people do not obey God’s *Law. In fact, they are not even able to obey his *Law. v8 And if our selfish nature controls us, we cannot do what God likes. v9 But we must not let our selfish natures control us any more. Instead, the *Spirit should control us, since God’s *Spirit lives in us. People do not belong to *Christ if *Christ’s *Spirit does not live in them. v10 But if *Christ is living in us by his *Spirit, then we are alive. Our bodies will certainly die because we *sin. But we are alive because God has accepted us as his people. v11 Jesus died, but God’s *Spirit caused him to live again. We shall die. But God’s *Spirit now lives in us. So God will also make our bodies become alive again by his *Spirit.

v12 So then, my *brother *believers, we must live as the *Spirit directs us. v13 We must not live the way that our selfish human nature directs. If we do that, we will surely separate ourselves from God for all time. Our bodies want to do *sinful things. But God’s *Spirit will help us so that we can stop living like that. And we will live with God for all time.

v14 We are God’s children only if we let God’s *Spirit guide us. v15 God did not give his *Spirit to us so that we would be afraid of him. We are not *slaves that would be afraid of their masters. God gave his *Spirit to us so that he could make us his children. This same *Spirit helps us to cry out to God, ‘You are my *Father!’ v16 And the *Spirit himself makes us sure that we are God’s children.

v17 So, we are God’s children. And some day we will live there with *Christ in *heaven. Then God will give us those good things that he has been keeping for us. But first, in this world people will make us suffer because we do well. They also made *Christ suffer because of this. But afterwards, God will let us share with *Christ. We will share some of the same honour that God gives to *Christ.

Romans 8:18-30 We look forward eagerly to what God will give to us later

v18 This is what I, Paul, think about the present time. We do not need to worry too much when we suffer. The magnificent things that God will show to us are so much greater! v19 Everything that God has created is looking forward very eagerly to God’s time. Then God will show everyone who his true sons are.

v20 Just now, God has allowed everything in the world to become confused. Nothing in the world wanted God to confuse it all. But God had a different purpose when he made everything that way. He wants people to have confidence in him always. v21 He wants to free all the things that he has created from their certain death. And he will free them, so that he can give them honour. This is the same honour that his children will have.

v22 But now, everything that God has created is very sad. We know that the whole world is sighing all the time. It is like a woman who is giving birth to a baby. She desperately wants her baby to be born. And she cries out aloud because of the pain. So, everything that God created is also desperately sad. v23 But not all those things are alone as they sigh sadly. We ourselves also sigh deep inside ourselves, although we have received God’s first gift to us, God’s *Holy Spirit. And he gives us confidence about what more God will do for us later. But we still sigh deep inside ourselves while we wait eagerly for God’s time. At that time, God will give all our rights to us as the children that he has adopted. He will free our bodies from everything that holds us back in this world.

v24 Ever since God rescued us from *sin, we have had this confidence in him. No one has to continue to wait for something that they have already received. When they have seen it, they do not continue to wait for it. v25 But we continue to wait eagerly for what God will give to us. We do not see it yet, but we keep waiting patiently for it, with hope.

v26 In some ways we are weak. But the *Spirit helps us when our spirits feel weak. We do not know what things we ought to pray for. But the *Spirit knows, and he prays for us in a special way. We cannot express his prayers in words. v27 But God knows all that we think about. The *Spirit prays for all God’s people as God wants. And God understands what the *Spirit says to him on our behalf.

v28 Always, God is working for everyone’s benefit who loves him. God has chosen such people to complete his particular purposes. v29 He has always known who would believe his *Message. And God decided earlier that we would have characters like his *Son’s character. So, *Christ would become the most important among God’s many sons. And *Christ’s people in this world are like *Christ’s many younger brothers. v30 After God had decided to choose us as his people, then he also accepted us. And he will certainly share his own magnificent character with us because he has accepted us as his people.

Romans 8:31-39 Nothing can stop God from loving us

v31 Therefore, we can be very certain about God, because of all these things that he does for us. Since God is acting on our behalf, no one can overcome us. v32 God did not keep back even his own *Son. Instead, he gave him to other people and they killed him cruelly. God did that, so that all we *believers could benefit from his *Son’s death. Also, because he did that, we know God’s plan for us. He wants us to live for *Christ. And God will freely give to us everything that we need to do that.

v33 God has chosen us, and God has accepted us as his people. So, no one who accuses us in front of God can win against us. v34 *Christ died for us. But God caused him to be alive again. So *Christ will not accuse us. Now he is ruling with God at the place of honour. And no one can say that we are still guilty because of our *sin. *Christ Jesus himself talks to God on our behalf.

v35 No one and nothing can stop *Christ from loving us. Someone may cause us to suffer. But *Christ will still love us. Perhaps we may starve, or we might not have clothes to wear. Perhaps we may be in a dangerous situation, or someone may kill us. But *Christ will not stop loving us.

v36 Such bad things may happen to us. Long ago, David wrote down what he said to God once:

‘Because we are your people, other people try to kill us frequently.

To them, we are just people for them to kill.

We are like sheep in a butcher’s hands.

We are just like meat for him to cut up.’

v37 But although all these bad things may happen to us, with *Christ we can overcome these things completely. He loves us and he helps us.

v38 I am very certain that nothing can stop God from loving us. It does not matter whether people may kill us. Or perhaps we are alive but we have big problems. Neither *angels nor *demons can stop God. Nothing that happens in the present time can stop him. And nothing that happens in the future can stop him. v39 There are no powerful forces above the horizon that can stop God. And there are no powerful forces below the horizon that can stop him. Nothing else of all that God has created can stop him. Absolutely nothing can stop God from loving us. And Jesus *Christ our *Lord showed us best how God loves us.

Romans 9:1-18 Most of my *brother *Jews have refused to believe in *Christ

v1 I belong to *Christ. And what I will now tell you is completely true. The *Holy Spirit controls my conscience and my words are true. v2 I am very sad and I am deeply sorry for my *brother *Jewish people. v3 The *Jewish people are my natural family. And I would do anything to help them. I want them to believe in *Christ. I, personally, would be willing for God to send me to an evil fate. I would even let God separate me from *Christ. I would be willing for that, if I could help the *Jewish people.

v4 We *Jews are old man *Israel’s family as it developed in later centuries. God has always chosen us as his children. Several times, God showed our *ancestors his magnificent character while they were in the desert, long ago. God made several firm agreements with them. God gave them his *Law at Sinai mountain. And God showed them how they should *worship him in the *Temple. God promised many things[2] to them. v5 God chose our *ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (also called *Israel), to establish our nation. And the most important thing was that the *Messiah received his human nature from them. However, most of my *brother *Jews have refused to accept *Christ as God’s *Messiah. It is God who manages all things. So people everywhere should praise God always. This is very true!

v6 God made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and *Israel. He talked about the people who would come into the world after them. Those people would all receive the good things that God has been keeping for them. And God has not failed to do the things that he promised to do. v7 All *Jews say that they belong to *Israel’s family. Therefore, they are truly God’s people, they say. But that is not really true. They are not all God’s people just because Abraham was their *ancestor. God told Abraham: ‘Isaac, and not any of your other sons, will be your people’s true father.’

v8 Many of Abraham’s people were born in later years. But God will not accept them his children just because they are from Abraham’s family. Instead, God will only accept those people about whom he had made his promise, as his children. v9 This is what God promised to Abraham: ‘I will come back again at this same time next year. And by then, your wife, Sarah, will have given birth to a son.’

v10 And then, we must think about Abraham’s son, Isaac, and his children. Isaac and his wife, Rebecca, had two sons born at the same time. v11-12 God told Rebecca something even before she gave birth to the boys, Jacob and Esau. The two boys were still inside her, so neither boy had done anything good or bad yet. ‘The older boy will be the younger boy’s servant’, God said to her. God wants to show us that he makes his own choices. People cannot make God accept them by any good thing that they do. God only accepts people that he chooses. v13 And so, one of God’s *prophets wrote this: ‘I approved of Jacob, the younger son. I did not approve of Esau, the older son’, God said.

v14 God is always fair when he chooses some people rather than other people. He always is fair! v15 God told *Moses a long time ago: ‘I will pity anyone whom I choose. I will help them!’ v16 Therefore, God does not choose people just because they want God to choose them. He does not choose people just because of the good things that they do. Instead, he chooses people because he himself wants to help them. v17 *Moses recorded what God told Pharaoh, Egypt’s king: ‘This is why I gave authority to you: I want to show you that I am extremely powerful. And I want all people everywhere to hear about me.’ v18 And so, we can say that it all depends on God’s own decision. His kindness never fails. And God can help whomever he wishes to help. But also, he can make other people like Pharaoh, so that nobody can reason with them.

Romans 9:19-29 God is very kind to the people whom he chooses

v19 One of you may say this to me, ‘Then God makes us do everything that we do. No one can stop what God has decided to do. Therefore, God should not still say that we are guilty because of our *sin.’ v20 This is how I would reply to you: Since you are just a human person, you should not argue with God in any way. You should not argue with God because God created you.

Someone makes each pot that we use. And a pot certainly cannot argue with the person who made it. It cannot ask that person, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ v21 That person can make whatever kind of pot they want to make. They can make a very valuable pot from one lump of pot earth. Or, they can take another lump of the same earth and make an ordinary pot.

In just the same way, God has the right to do anything. He can do what he wants to do for each person. v22 God wanted people to know that he is angry about *sin. And God can powerfully punish people who have *sinned. They have made him angry and he should really destroy them. But instead, God has been very patient with bad people. v23 He had a purpose, so he was patient. He intended to show people how very wonderfully he would act toward them. He had already prepared such people to live with him in *heaven. And he intended to show how completely he would forgive them. v24 That means us whom he chose. And he did not choose only us *Jews, but he also chose *non-Jews.

v25 Hosea wrote on God’s behalf. These were his words about the *non-Jews: ‘I shall declare as my people those who are not my people now. I shall declare that I love the people that I did not love before’, God said.

v26 And another *prophet said this: ‘God told the people in some places, “You are not my people.” But in those same places, people will now say that they are God’s children. God is alive, and they are his children.’

v27 And Isaiah said this about the *Jews: ‘There are so many *Jews that no one can count them. They are like tiny bits of sand at the edge of the great sea. No one can count them. But God will rescue only a few of all the *Jewish people. v28 The *Lord has said already that he will punish the people in the world. He will punish them quickly and completely.’

v29 The *prophet Isaiah had said that this would happen: ‘The *Lord controls everything in *heaven and in the world, and he would have destroyed us all. Then we would have become like the people in Sodom city. We would have become like those people in Gomorrah city, because God destroyed them completely. But the *Lord did allow some of our people to live.’

Romans 9:30-10:4 The *Jews have a big problem with Jesus *Christ

v30 This means that God did accept many *non-Jews as his people. He did not accept them because they did good things. Rather, he accepted them because they trusted *Christ. They trusted *Christ alone to rescue them. v31 But God did not accept many *Jewish people. They could not obey completely the *Law which God gave to *Moses. v32 Those *Jews did not succeed because they did not trust *Christ. They wanted to trust their good actions instead. It is as if they tripped over a stone. And for them, *Christ is like that stone.

v33 Isaiah said that it would happen like this. Isaiah wrote down what God said about the *Messiah: ‘Listen to me! I am placing someone special in *Israel. He will be like a stone, but people will trip over that stone. He will offend many people by what he does. But he will not disappoint any of those people who believe in him.’

Chapter 10 v1 My *brother *believers in *Rome: The greatest thing that I pray to God about is this: I really want God to rescue my own people, the *Jews, from their *sin. v2 I know that they are very sincere when they *worship God. But they do not understand what God wants. v3 They do not want to know how God accepts people as his own people. They have decided to live in their own way. They have refused to trust God and they refuse to live in God’s way. v4 They wanted God to accept them as his people just because they would obey his *Laws. However, *Christ has ended the *Law, so God no longer accepts people because of the *Law. God accepts everyone who believes in *Christ. God’s own people trust *Christ alone to rescue them.

Romans 10:5-21 *Christ can rescue from their *sin anyone who believes

v5 *Moses wrote about how God would accept people as his people. ‘Such people must obey God’s *Law absolutely so that God will accept them’, *Moses said. ‘They must be people who do the whole of the *Law perfectly. Then they will gain the *life that never ends’, *Moses said.

v6 But God accepts people because they believe in *Christ. And such people never say: ‘Someone must go up and enter *heaven! They must go up and bring *Christ down to us!’ v7 Also, such people never say: ‘Someone must go down to the place where the dead persons’ souls live! They must go down and bring *Christ up from there.’ v8 But instead, *believers say the same as *Moses wrote in another place: ‘God’s *Message is very available to you. You can speak about it and you can think deeply about it.’

This is the *Message that we *apostles teach in public. We tell this to everyone: ‘You must believe in *Christ. v9 You must declare publicly that Jesus is the *Lord. And you must believe in your minds that Jesus is alive. God caused him to become alive again after he had died. If you believe this, God will rescue you from your *sin.’ v10 A person believes that in their mind. Then that person declares in public that Jesus is the *Lord. Then God will accept such people as his own people, and God will rescue them from their *sin.

v11 Isaiah wrote in the *Scriptures about *Christ: ‘He will not disappoint anyone who believes in him.’ v12 God acts toward both the *Jews and the *non-Jews in the same way. All people who believe in *Christ have the same *Lord. And this *Lord is extremely good to everyone who needs his help. v13 This agrees with what the *prophet Joel wrote: ‘The *Lord God will rescue everyone who asks him to rescue them.’

v14 *Christ cannot rescue people from their *sin, if those people have not first believed in him. People certainly cannot believe in *Christ if they have not yet heard about him. People certainly cannot hear about *Christ if someone does not talk to them about him. v15 And people cannot talk to other people about *Christ if God does not first send them to those people. Someone wrote this in the *Scriptures: ‘It is wonderful when someone comes to talk to us about the good *Message!’ v16 But not all the *Jewish people have taken notice of the good *Message! The *prophet Isaiah was desperate when he said this: ‘*Lord, almost nobody has believed what we told them!’

v17 So then, people are believing in *Christ because they heard the *Message about him. And people are hearing the *Message because someone told them about *Christ! v18 But someone may say that the *Jewish people have not heard the *Message about *Christ. They certainly have heard it! Someone wrote this *psalm and it says: ‘People have told God’s *Message to other people who live everywhere in the world. The *Message about God has reached people who live in the most distant places!’

v19 Maybe the *Jewish people did not understand the good news from God. But *Moses proved that even this idea was wrong. He wrote what God said to the *Jewish people long ago: ‘You say the *non-Jews are not nations in any way. But I will make you want to be like many of them. I will make you angry with people whom you *Jews think are foolish.’

v20 And Isaiah, too, wrote very boldly what God said: ‘*non-Jews will accept me, although they were not looking for me! I will clearly show myself to those who were not asking about me!’

v21 Isaiah also tells us what the *Lord said about the *Jewish people: ‘Those people have not obeyed me, and they have been fighting against me. For a long time I have opened my arms to them. I am inviting them to come back to me.’

Romans 11:1-10 God has not turned his back to the people that he chose first

Chapter 11 v1 God certainly has not turned his back to his people, the *Jews. He has not done that in any way. Remember that I also belong to the *Jewish people. I, Paul, am one of Abraham’s son *Israel’s people who was born in the world much later. I belong to the family of Benjamin, who was one of *Israel’s sons. And God has not turned his back to me!

v2 No, God has not refused to accept the people whom he chose long ago as his people. Remember what someone wrote about Elijah in the *Scriptures. The *prophet Elijah complained to God about the *Jewish people. v3 ‘*Lord, those people have killed the rest of your *prophets’, Elijah said, ‘and they have destroyed your holy places. I am the only one of your *prophets who is still alive. And now they are trying to kill me!’

v4 And God answered him: ‘You are not the only *believer still to be alive!’ God said to Elijah. ‘I still have 7000 men who are loyal to me. They have not *worshipped that false god called Baal. They still believe in me. And they do what I want.’

v5 It is the same now. God has acted toward the *Jewish people in a way that they do not deserve. And a small group of us *Jews have believed in *Christ. v6 God was kind to the *Jewish people only because he had chosen them. They did not deserve that he should be kind to them. But he was very kind. God did not choose the *Jewish people because they had done good things. Otherwise, God would not have had to be kind to them in a way that they do not deserve.

v7 God chose only some of the *Jewish people. They were looking desperately for a way by which God would accept them. But most of them did not find that way. Only the *Jews whom God had chosen found that way. But God made the rest of the *Jews unwilling to listen. v8 Someone wrote in the *Scriptures: ‘God has made their minds stupid. They are people who cannot see properly. They are people who cannot hear properly. And they are still the same, until this day.’

v9 Also, King David talked to God about the evil people who were fighting against him. ‘God, those people feel safe because of the things that they most enjoy’, David said. ‘But I want those same things to surprise them. And I want those things to destroy them. That is what those people deserve. v10 Do not let those people understand what they hear. Make their evil actions be like heavy loads. They must carry those heavy loads all the time, and I want nobody to take the loads off their backs.’

Romans 11:11-24 God will rescue many *non-Jewish people

v11 The *Jews *sinned because they did not believe about *Christ. But that did not make them separate themselves from God permanently. No, they have certainly not separated themselves from God permanently! But, because they *sinned, God is now rescuing *non-Jews from their *sin. God wants to make the *Jews jealous of the *non-Jews. Because the *Jews will see the good things that he has done for the *non-Jews. Then, perhaps the *Jews will ask *Christ to rescue them too. v12 At first the *Jews refused to accept *Christ. Then God was able to bring many good things to other peoples in the world. But even more good things will happen when all the *Jews turn back to God again.

v13 So, now it is my responsibility to speak to the *non-Jewish people. I am an *apostle to *non-Jews. God appointed me to do this work. And I think that this is very important work. v14 But I hope that I will make my own people jealous by my hard work. Then perhaps God will rescue some of them from their *sin. v15 God turned away from most of the people in my country. But he attracted many other people in the world to himself. However, he will accept my people again when they trust in *Christ! The result will be as if they had been dead. And now God is making them alive again!

v16 *Jews offer the first bread that comes out of an oven to God. And so, that whole lot of bread belongs to God. So, the *Jews also will belong to God because their *ancestors used to belong to him. Or, think about a tree’s branches. If the root belongs to God, then the branches belong to God too.

v17 God has turned his back to many of the *Jews. One can compare the *Jewish nation to an olive[3] tree. God acted as if he was breaking off branches from an olive tree that he cultivated, *Israel. And each of you *non-Jews whom God has accepted is like a branch of a wild olive tree. God has joined this wild branch into the branches that he left on his own olive tree. Such wild branches that he joined to his own olive tree benefit from the juice of that tree.

God gave many good things to the *Jewish people’s *ancestors. And now, God has given the same good things to you *non-Jews because he has accepted you. v18 However, you *non-Jews must not speak badly about the *Jews whom God refused to accept. It is true that they are like the original branches. God broke them off his own tree, and he threw them out! But you must not praise yourselves more than them. You must remember that a branch of a tree does not feed the root! It is the root that feeds the branch.

v19 Perhaps one of you may then say this: ‘God cut the *Jews off from being his people. Then he put us *non-Jews in their place.’ v20 Yes, that is true. However, God refused to accept the *Jews, because they did not believe in *Christ. But you only stand firm because you believe in *Christ! So, none of you should just praise yourselves. Instead, be aware that God controls everyone! v21 God did not keep the *Jews, who are like his tree’s natural branches. So also, he will not keep any of you if you too turn away from him!

v22 Notice this then: God acts kindly but also he can act severely. He has acted severely toward the *Jews who would not believe in him. On the other hand, he acts kindly toward each of you *non-Jews. But God will only be kind to you if you continue to trust his kind love to you. Otherwise, he will have to cut your branches off his tree if you no longer believe in him. v23 And if the *Jews believe in *Christ, God will accept them again as his people. They will be like branches that people join into a tree once again. And God is able to do that!

v24 It is not natural for people to cut branches from a wild olive[3] tree. Then it is not natural to join those wild branches into their own olive tree. It would be much easier for them to join the original branches into the olive tree again. In the same way, it will be much easier for God to receive back the *Jews. They belonged to him before.

Romans 11:25-36 God will bring back the *Jewish people to trust in him

v25 My dear *brother *believers who are not *Jews: I want you to understand this secret. God has now shown us these things about the *Jewish people. So, I do not want you to think proudly about God. He will not be more kind to you than to the *Jews. Many *Jewish people will continue not to listen to God. But God is expecting that a large number of *non-Jews will believe in him. v26 And when all those people have believed, then all the *Jewish people will come back to God. That will happen just as a *prophet once wrote in the *Scriptures: ‘The person who frees his people will come from us, God’s people, [OR, the *Jews]. Then he will remove the *Jewish people’s *sin.’

v27 And God also says this in *Scripture: ‘I will make a contract with them that I will forgive their *sins.’

v28 Because they still refuse to accept the good *Message about *Christ, God has to talk to them as his enemies. And this has benefited you. But they are still the people whom God chose. God still remembers what he promised to their *ancestors. And God still loves them. v29 He never changes his mind about the many special things that he gave to the *Jews. And he does not change his mind that he chose them as his people.

v30 You *non-Jews did not obey God in the past, but now he has been very kind to you. And that happened because the *Jews themselves did not obey God. v31 And now, they, the *Jews continue not to obey God. So, God will be very kind to them again, just as he has been very kind to you. v32 All people, *Jews and *non-Jews alike, have not obeyed God’s *Laws. God has declared them all to be *sinners. But because of that, God also wants to be very kind to them all.

v33 God astonishes us by what he has always known. Everything that God has done is very great! It reaches to everywhere! However, we are unable to understand the things that he has decided. Nor can we understand the ways in which he acts toward us! v34 A *prophet wrote these words in the *Scriptures: ‘No one has ever known what the *Lord thinks! No one can give him advice about what he should do! v35 God does not owe anything to anyone, since no one has ever given anything to God.’

v36 Everything exists because God created it. Everything continues to exist because God looks after it. And it all exists so that everything can praise him. I want all people to give honour to God always. Amen (I want it to be so)!

Romans 12:1-6 Give yourselves completely to God as you do his work

v1 My *brother *believers, God has been very kind to you in many ways. So, I appeal to each one of you, that you give yourselves completely to God. Think of yourselves as perfect *sacrifices that you can offer to God. Your whole life should be like a *sacrifice that is still alive. That is what he would like. And that is the only sensible way to serve God.

v2 No non-*Christian should decide how you should act. Instead, let God change how you live. He can make you think in a new way. Then you will understand better what God wants you to do. You will know what are the best things to do. And you will know the things that please God.

v3 God was very kind to me when he appointed me as one of his *apostles. So, I tell each one of you to think like this. You must not think about yourselves as wonderful people! Rather, think about yourselves in a sensible way because you trust *Christ. Think about the particular things that God has helped each of you to do.

v4 Think about this example: Each person has only one body, but that body has many parts. Those body parts are all useful, but they do not all work in the same way. v5 All of us who trust *Christ are like body parts. There are many of us, but each of us is a part of *Christ’s body in this world. And we all join together to form the local *Christian body. We are part of the *Christian group where we belong. Therefore, none of us should act as if we are superior to any of the other *believers!

v6 Instead, God has been very good to us. He helps each of us to do particular things. God helps some of us to speak messages from him. He has helped these people to trust him. So, they should speak God’s words with confidence. v7 God helps other *believers to serve the whole group. So, those people should trust God as they do that work. And God helps other *believers to teach his true words. So, those people should trust God as they teach. v8 God helps other *believers to encourage their companions in the group. So, they should trust God as they encourage people. And other *believers are always sharing the good things that they have with other people. They should share their things generously as they trust God. Other people are leaders of a whole group of *believers. They need to trust God in order to do their work well. And finally, anyone who helps poor people must trust God. Then, they can help poor people cheerfully. So, let us each do our part well and we should do it cheerfully!

Romans 12:9-21 How we should live for *Christ in this world

v9 If you really love people, you must love them sincerely! Hate anything that is evil! Continue to do eagerly what God thinks are good things! v10 Love each other as members of the same family love each other. Give honour to each other before you think about yourselves! v11 Do not be lazy, but rather be eager to work for God. Serve the *Lord with all your spirit! v12 You are waiting confidently for what God will do for you in the end! So, you can always be happy. Even when you are suffering, be patient! And never stop praying!

v13 If any of God’s people has a lack, share your own things with them! Take care of any travellers who need a place to stay! v14 As for those people who make you suffer, ask God to be kind to them. Do not ask him to do bad things to them. v15 When people are happy, you can share their happiness also! When people are sad, you should also be sad with them!

v16 Be friendly to each other! Do not be proud. Do not have ambitions to be famous! Instead, be content to be friends of people who are not important. v17 Do not do wrong things to anyone who has done wrong things to you. Act in a manner that all people will recognise as good! v18 Live peacefully with other people whenever you can do so.

v19 My *brother *believers, whom I love: Do not do bad things to anyone because they have done bad things to you! Instead, allow God to be angry with that person. He will punish them. Someone has written in the *Scriptures what God says about this: ‘It is my responsibility’, God says. ‘Only I must punish people who do wrong things to you. It is not your responsibility to punish such people’, the *Lord says.

v20 Instead, do as the *Scriptures say: ‘If your enemy is hungry, give him some food! And give him a drink, if he needs it. Then you may cause him to feel ashamed. Then maybe he will change his attitude toward you.’

v21 People do wrong things to you. But do not let them overcome you. Instead, you must do only good things to those people. Then you will overcome them by the good things that you do for them!

Romans 13:1-7 Obey those who rule your town or country

v1 Every *believer must obey the people with authority in their town and in their nation. Only God gives authority to people so that they can rule other people. People cannot get authority in any other way. God appoints people with authority in every place, and he gives them their power. v2 Therefore, anyone who opposes the people with authority is actually opposing God’s own agents. And God will punish those people who oppose his agents.

v3 God does not appoint rulers so that he can make good people afraid. Instead, he appoints rulers who will frighten evil people. So, do only the right things if you do not want to be afraid of those people with authority. If you do the right things, the people with authority will speak well about you. They will not frighten you! v4 Every official exists in order to serve God. They do their work in order to benefit each of you. If you do wrong things, you certainly should be afraid. Officials with authority definitely do have power to punish people! This is part of their service for God, because they act as God’s agents. So they punish anyone who does wrong things.

v5 Therefore, you all need to do what the people with authority tell you to do. They will punish you if you do not obey them! But also, your conscience tells you that you should obey them! v6 This is also the reason that we should pay taxes. These people with authority work for God as they look after us every day. v7 Pay them all that you owe them! Pay taxes to those officials who demand taxes from you. Pay fees to those officials who charge you fees. Respect those officials whom we ought to respect. And give honour to those officials to whom we ought to give honour.

Romans 13:8-14 How we ought to live as people who belong to *Christ

v8 Do not refuse to pay anything that you owe to other people, except for one thing. And that is, that you can never love each other enough. Whoever really loves other people is actually obeying all of God’s *Law completely. v9 God gives commands about many things in his *Law. Do not have sex with someone who is not your husband or your wife. Do not murder another person. Do not steal something that belongs to another person. Do not even want to have anyone else’s things. God talks about all these matters in the *Law. But God gave this one command, which includes all these things. ‘Love all the people that you meet. You must love them just as you love yourself.’ v10 You will never do any wrong things to the people that you love. Therefore, whoever loves other people is actually obeying all of God’s *Law completely.

v11 Do what I have just told you to do. You know that this present age is very difficult. So, you need to be really active, just like people who wake up after a sleep. At the end of this age, *Christ will rescue us from all the wrong things in this world. When we first believed about *Christ, that time did not seem to be very close. But it is much closer now.

v12 We are near the end of our time to live in this evil world. The time when *Christ will return is near. It is like the end of a night. Our night has nearly finished, and the daylight is beginning. Therefore, we must stop doing the wicked things that people do in the darkness. We are now in the day light of *Christ. And we must do the things that will help us to fight against the *devil. Soldiers put on special metal clothes to protect themselves. They put on these metal clothes during the day in order to fight against their enemies. So, we must use the protection that God gives to us.

v13 We must behave properly as if *Christ had already returned. We must not go to parties where we get drunk. We must not take part in any kind of wrong sex. We must not quarrel. We must not be jealous of other people. v14 We must obey what the *Lord Jesus *Christ taught us completely. His words must be as close to us as the clothes that we wear. Then we will remember his words. And we will not always be thinking about the things that our selfish nature wants.

Romans 14:1-12 Do not always look for other people’s mistakes

v1 Accept everyone who believes the *Lord. And even accept *believers who have doubts about certain things. But when you accept them, do not argue with them about their opinions. v2 Some people believe that they may eat all kinds of food. Other people doubt that idea. They are not sure that God would let them eat any kind of meat. As a result, they believe that they should eat only vegetables. v3 But none of you should blame other *believers about what they eat. They may eat everything, or they may eat only vegetables. God accepts us all as his people whatever we eat.

v4 God will decide whether they, rather than you, have done wrong things. You are all God’s servants. Only God is your master. Only he can decide whether his servants’ actions are right. Therefore, you should not say that his other servants are wrong. And God will accept those people, whatever they eat.

v5 Some *believers think that God has made decisions about the days. So he wants *believers to keep certain days as special. And they think that other days are not so important. Other people think differently. ‘God wants us to *worship him in the same way every day’, they say. All *believers should know what they think about such matters. They each should decide for themselves and they should not decide for other *believers.

v6 Some people choose to *worship God on certain days in particular. They do that because they want to give honour to the *Lord. And some people say that they can eat all kinds of food. They say this because they also want to give honour to the *Lord. And they thank God for that food. Other people decide not to eat certain kinds of food. They also want to give honour to the *Lord. And they also thank God for the food that they do eat. Therefore, each of these actions is right.

v7 None of us lives merely to please ourselves. And none of us dies merely to please ourselves. v8 While we live, we belong to the *Lord. We try to please him. We do not try just to please ourselves. And when we die, we are still trying to please the *Lord. So, we belong to the *Lord while we live. And we belong to him even when we die. v9 *Christ intends to be *Lord of all people. Those people who have died should belong to him. And those people who are still alive should belong to him too. That is why *Christ died and why he became alive again.

v10 Some of you *believers still keep certain *Jewish regulations. But you wrongly accuse *believers who do not keep such regulations. And you who do not keep such regulations laugh at other *believers. You are wrong to act badly towards other *believers. All of us will stand in front of God as our judge. Then he will say whether he approves of us. Or he will say that he does not approve of us. v11 These are some of God’s words that people wrote in the *Scriptures long ago:

‘This is as certain as the fact that I live’, says the *Lord.

‘All people will kneel in front of me.

They will need to recognise that I am *Lord. I am the God who has all power!’

v12 And so, each of us will have to report to God about what we have done in our lives.

Romans 14:13-23 Do not cause problems for other *believers

v13 Let us stop making judgements about each other that are not fair! Instead, we must not do anything that would make us a bad model for our *brothers. A bad model might cause one of our *brothers to *sin. And then perhaps they would stop believing in *Christ.

v14 It is not wrong to eat any kind of food. I am absolutely certain about this, because I belong to the *Lord Jesus. But maybe some of you think that it is wrong. Then it is wrong for you to eat that food. And you other Christians should not eat that food in front of them either. v15 You should really love everyone for whom *Christ died. They may not consider some food proper to eat. You may have a right to eat that food. But do not eat that food in front of those *brothers. You do not want to stop your *brothers belief in *Christ. That would show that you do not really love them. v16 And you would be causing shame to *Christ. Then other people will speak badly about *Christians.

v17 When we let God rule our lives, we do not need to obey many regulations about food and drink! Instead, we need to do what God considers right things. We need to live at peace with other people. And we can be completely happy because the *Holy Spirit makes us happy. v18 Everyone who serves *Christ like that pleases God. And other people will respect them.

v19 So, always let us try to live at peace among our *Christian *brothers. We should also help each other to have a strong friendship with God. v20 Do not destroy what God has done in any other *believer’s life. You might destroy God’s work if you eat certain kinds of food. That other *believer considers that those foods are not proper! God allows us to eat every kind of food. But perhaps someone else does not consider that food to be proper. Then you are doing bad things to that person. v21 They may consider it to be wrong. Then you should not eat certain meat. And you should not drink wine or do anything else for the same reason. If you might damage your *brother *believer’s friendship with God, do not do that thing.

v22 Some of you may believe strongly what you should do about certain things. But you should keep what you believe about those things like a secret between yourselves and God. Do not force other *believers to agree with your ideas. Such ideas are what you personally believe. God is happy with those people who recognise right behaviour. They do not need to feel guilty about what they have done. v23 But some of you may not be certain about eating something. You may doubt if such a thing is right. But when anyone is not certain about their actions, they are *sinning.

Romans 15:1-6 We should prefer to do things which please our *Christian *brothers

v1 We may believe strongly about *Christ. But some of those people who believe in the *Lord have doubts about certain things in the *Law. We should be very patient with such people. We should not let them upset us. We should not please just ourselves. v2 Each of us should do those things which please our *Christian *brothers. We should do things that will help them. And we should help them believe *Christ more strongly.

v3 *Christ has given us an example. He did not do things to please himself. He did the opposite. He tried to please God, even when other people insulted him. Once someone wrote in the *Scriptures that the *Messiah said this to God: ‘People insult me, because they want to insult you.’ v4 In the past, many people have written God’s words in the *Scriptures. They wrote those words in order to teach us. Because of those words, we can remain patient and we can have courage. Then God will certainly do for us all that we expect from him.

v5 It is God who helps us. He encourages us and he makes us patient. I ask him that he will help you all. Then you will be able to live together at peace with each other. I pray that you will try to live like *Christ himself lived. v6 Then all of you will be able to think and to say the same things. Together you will praise God who is our *Lord Jesus *Christ’s *Father.

Romans 15:7-13 *Christ’s good *Message is for *Jews and for all other people in the world

v7 Therefore, I say to all you *Roman *believers, accept each other as true *believers. Accept each other just as *Christ has accepted you. Then people will see that you behave like *Christ. Then they will praise God. v8 *Christ came to work for us *Jews. He also came because God always keeps his promises. God had promised our *Jewish *ancestors that he would send the *Messiah. And now, God has made that promise come true. v9 And *Christ also came on behalf of all other peoples who are not *Jews. He wants them to praise God too, because God acted so kindly to them. God has done for the *non-Jews all that David wrote in the *Scriptures. Long ago David said this to God:

‘So I will praise you when I am among the *non-Jews, and I will sing to you’, David said.

v10 David wrote this in another *Scripture passage: ‘You who are not *Jews, you should be really happy. You will praise God together with his people, the *Jews.’

v11 *Moses wrote another *Scripture passage: ‘Praise the *Lord, all you who are not *Jews. And everyone should praise God.’

v12 And Isaiah wrote these words in the *Scriptures:

‘In the future, someone special will be born in David’s family.

That person will rule the *non-Jewish peoples.

Then God will certainly do for those *non-Jews all that they expect from him’, Isaiah said.

v13 God makes us confident about himself. He will certainly do what he has promised to us. And because you believe him, I pray to him about you. I want him to make you completely content and calm in your minds. And I want the *Holy Spirit’s power help you to keep your hope about God strong.

Romans 15:14-21 Paul’s service for God and for the *non-Jewish nations

v14 My *brother *believers, you have convinced me that you yourselves always act in a good way toward other people. And you know all that God wants you to know. That is why you do these good things. Because of this knowledge, you are able to teach each other. v15 But I need to remind you about some things. And so, I am writing to you frankly in this letter. I can write this since God has kindly appointed me. v16 He sent me to work for Jesus *Christ among the *non-Jewish peoples. He has appointed me to act like a priest. So I announce publicly this good *Message from God to the *non-Jews: God will accept them as his people if they believe in *Christ. These *non-Jews will be like a *sacrifice that I offer to God. I want to thank God, and the *Holy Spirit will bring my gift to him.

v17 And so, I can be proud of my work for God because I belong to *Christ Jesus. v18 I want to speak only about that work because *Christ has helped me to do it. He helped me with everything that I said. And he helped me with everything that I did. He helped me so that *non-Jews would really listen to God’s good *Message. v19 I saw *Christ perform many powerful things by what I did. The *Holy Spirit’s power helped me to do those things. All this happened while I was travelling all round the countries between Jerusalem city and Illyricum *province. So now, I have completed my work, because everywhere I announced publicly the good *Message about *Christ.

v20 As I announce the good *Message, I always try to speak about it in new places. There are many other places where people have not yet heard about *Christ. As I work for God, I do not just want to continue someone else’s work for God. A man may finish a house that someone else started to build. I am not like such a man. v21 I do quite the opposite. I agree with what Isaiah wrote in the *Scriptures about the *Messiah:

‘The people who did not hear about him previously will hear his truth now.

Truly, those people who have not heard about him before will understand his *Message now.’

Romans 15:22-33 Paul has future plans to visit *Rome and even Spain

v22 Because I went to speak in so many places, I have not yet been able to visit you *Roman *believers. v23 But now I do not seem to have any more work to do in these regions. For several years, I have wanted to visit you. v24 So, now I hope to visit you at last. And I can come to you when I travel to the Spanish *provinces. I hope to see you as I travel through your area. I want to be with you for a short time and to enjoy that. Then I will go on to Spain. And I hope that you will be able to help me on my journey there.

v25 However, I cannot visit you immediately. I need to go to Jerusalem city first in order to take money for God’s people there. v26 The *Christians in Macedonia *province and Achaia *province are sending this money. They know that many of God’s people in Jerusalem are poor. Nobody told them to send money. By themselves, they decided to collect some money for those poor people. v27 They themselves decided to do this. But it is true that those *Christians in Macedonia owe something to God’s people in Jerusalem. Actually, *Christian *Jews have been a great benefit to *non-Jewish *Christians. It was the *Jews who introduced the *non-Jews to God. They told *Christ’s good *Message to the *non-Jews. So it is right that the *non-Jews should also help *Jewish *believers now. The *Jewish *Christians need their help.

v28 So, first I must finish this duty that I have. I need to deliver safely all this money that the *believers in Macedonia and Achaia collected. Afterwards I will leave Jerusalem and I will come to visit you during my journey to Spain. v29 When I arrive in *Rome, then I will see you. And I pray that *Christ will really help me to be a great benefit to you.

v30 We belong to our *Lord Jesus *Christ. So God’s *Spirit causes us to love each other. Therefore, I urge you all that you sincerely pray to God for me. v31 And, together with me, pray that God will protect me from the *Jews in Judea *province. Many of them do not believe the good *Message. Pray that they will not be able to hurt me. Also, pray for God’s people in Jerusalem city when I take this money to them. Pray that they will be content with the money. v32 Pray these things so that God will allow me to visit you. I want to enjoy this visit to you. And I want the visit to give new energy to me. v33 God makes us be calm in our minds. So I pray that he will be with you all. And I pray that he will help you. Amen (I want it to be so).

Romans 16:1-24 Paul sends greetings to many friends

v1 By this letter, I am recommending to you our *Christian *sister, Phoebe. She is a women’s leader in the *believers’ group at Cenchrea city. v2 She belongs to the *Lord. And I ask you to receive her as a true *Christian *believer. This is how you ought to receive any of God’s people. Please give her whatever she needs. She herself has helped many people, including me.

v3 Tell Priscilla and her husband Aquila that I am thinking about them fondly. They worked with me for *Christ Jesus. v4 And they were in great danger when they saved my life. I thank them very much because they helped me then. And all the *non-Jewish *believers also thank them. v5 Also, please speak to all the *believers who meet in their house. Tell them that I am thinking about them fondly too. Tell my special friend, Epaenetus, the same thing. He was the first person in the Asia *province who believed in *Christ.

v6 And Mary has worked hard for *Christ in order to help you. Tell her that I am thinking about her fondly.

v7 Tell the same thing to Andronicus and Junias. They are my relatives and they were in prison with me. The *apostles really respect them. And they became *Christians before I met *Christ.

v8 Tell the same thing to Ampliatus. I really respect him as a man who belongs to the *Lord.

v9 Tell the same thing to Urbanus, who works for *Christ with us. I am very fond of Stachys also, and I really respect him.

v10 Tell Apelles that I am thinking about him fondly. He has been through some very hard times successfully and *Christ approves of him. Also give my greetings to the *believers who live in Aristobulus’s house.

v11 And tell my relative, Herodion, that I think about him fondly. Tell the same thing to all the people in Narcissus’ family who belong to the *Lord.

v12 Tell the same thing to Tryphaena and to her sister Tryphosa. They also work very hard for the *Lord. And tell the same thing to *sister Persis. She is my special friend and she works very hard for the *Lord.

v13 Rufus is an excellent *Christian man. And his mother always looked after me as if I were her son. Please tell them that I think about them fondly.

v14 I also think fondly about Asyncritus and Phlegon and Hermes and Patrobas and Hermas. I remember too all the other *believers who meet with them. I think about them very often.

v15 Speak also to Philologus and *sister Julia, to Nereus and to his own sister. Speak also to Olympas and to all God’s people who meet with them. Tell them that I think about them fondly.

v16 When you gather, greet each other with a holy kiss. All the groups of *Christian *believers in this area send their greetings to you.

v17 My *brother *believers, be very careful with certain people. They make you quarrel with each other. Such people teach many wrong things. They oppose the *Message about *Christ that your leaders taught to you. And they cause people to turn away from God. Keep away from such false teachers! v18 They are not working for our *Lord *Christ! All they want is to satisfy their own desires! People do not suspect what such false teachers really want. Those teachers just confuse people’s minds by all the clever things that they say.

v19 *Christians everywhere know that you have listened well to *Christ’s good *Message. And I am really happy about what you do because of *Christ. But I want you to be wise. I want you to do good things. And I want you to avoid evil things. v20 Now, God causes us to have peace in our minds. And if you avoid the false teachers, you will soon defeat *Satan. You will destroy him completely when you stand against him! I pray that our *Lord Jesus will continue to act kindly towards you.

v21 My young companion, Timothy, wants you to know that he is thinking about you fondly. Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, who are my *brother *Jews, are thinking about you too. v22 (I, Tertius, am also a *believer. I am Paul’s letter writer. He speaks, and I write down his words.) And I want you to know about me too. I also think fondly about you.

v23 I, Paul, am staying in Gaius’s house, and all the *believers here meet in this house. Gaius also wants to say that he is thinking about you fondly. And Erastus keeps the accounts for this city. He also wants to say the same thing to you, and so does our *Christian *brother, Quartus. [v24 I pray that our *Lord Jesus will continue to act kindly towards you all.][4]

v25 Let us praise God together! You must accept completely the good *Message that I am telling you. That *Message is about Jesus *Christ. And then he can make you strong deep inside yourselves.

People in this world did not know this *Message during many past ages. v26 But the one true God who never dies has now told it to us. God ordered the *prophets to write this wonderful *Message in books. God wants all the people in the world, including the *non-Jews, to trust him. He also wants them to obey him. v27 Only God knows everything. And we will never stop praising him. Because of Jesus *Christ, we can praise God. Amen (I want it always to be so).

Word List

ancestors ~ people from whom our parents came; the old people who lived long ago.

angels ~ *spirits who live with God in *heaven. They carry messages to people in this world. And they do anything that God tells them to do.

apostle ~ someone whom God sends. In the beginning, Jesus chose 12 men. They were with him during his life. They heard what he said. They saw what he did. Then Jesus made them his *apostles. The word means that he had sent them. He told them to take his *message to other towns and countries. They should go there after he left this world. They also led the groups of *believers in the first years after Jesus left them.

baptise, baptism, baptiser ~ to put water on or over someone. Before Jesus started to teach, another man called John baptised people. He told them to stop their *sins. Then he put river water on or over them. This showed that they were clean for God. Jesus also asked John to baptise him. People heard the *Holy Spirit speak at that time.

believers ~ people who believe *Christ. They hear and believe Jesus' *Message. They also meet together often to *worship God.

brother, brothers ~ the name that people use sometimes when they speak to a group of people from their own town or country. They also use this name for people who have had a similar experience. They say this to other people even if they are not brothers by birth. Among *Christians or in the Bible, this name includes women as well as men (see also ‘sisters’).

Christ ~ God chose Jesus and God sent him. That is what this name means. This refers to the work that Jesus came to do in this world. Christ is a word in the Greek language. *Messiah means the same in the Hebrew language.

Christian ~ those who believe *Christ’s *message, and it affects their lives.

circumcise, circumcision ~ a custom that God set up for all male *Jews. It was a sign for each *Jewish man or boy that they intended to obey God’s *Laws. It started with Abraham and his people. God asked them to cut off the loose skin on the end of the male private part. *Jews usually did this when the male baby was only 8 days old. In the Bible, some *Jews are described as ‘the *circumcision (party)’. This group of people wanted to circumcise all the *non-Jewish male *Christians too.

cross ~ two pieces of wood that someone has fixed together. This was how the *Romans punished bad people. They made a wooden cross and they fixed them on it with nails. They left them there until they died.

demons ~ the same as ‘evil *spirits’.

devil, the devil ~ the chief evil *spirit. He rules all the evil things in the world. He is evil. He fights against all that is true. It is another name for *Satan.

empire, emperor ~ an empire is a large group of countries that one powerful person called the emperor rules. Usually, he has seized many of those countries by war. These countries were then called *provinces of the empire. The *Roman emperor was called a ‘Caesar’, and he lived in Rome city. He sent a ruler to each *province, to rule on his behalf.

Father, God our Father ~ a description that tells us how God relates to Jesus *Christ. This does not mean that God the *Father was married. God did not give birth to a son, as people do in this world. It means that *Christ is one person of the 3 persons who are God. *Christ relates in the closest way to the *Father. *Christ is closer to God than a human child can be to its parents.

gospel ~ (1) The good news about Jesus; (2) the record of Jesus’ life in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

heaven ~ God’s place that is wonderfully bright. From there, all of God rules everything that exists on earth or the sky and the sun and stars. As ‘the heavens’, people also use this word for the sky above.

Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit ~ one person of the three persons who are the one God. He is a *spirit that we cannot see. But we know that he is here. He lives deep inside all people who believe Jesus. He continues the work that Jesus began in this world. So he is also called the ‘Spirit of Jesus’.

Israel, Israeli ~ the *Jewish nation and people. They are called this name because of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. God had promised him that he would be the father of a great nation of many people.

Jews, Jewish ~ the people who live in *Israel and speak the Hebrew language. The *Jews began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God chose them as his special people (in the first part of the Bible). Jesus was a Jew. (Also see ‘non-Jewish’.)

law, Law ~ the laws that God gave to Moses, who wrote them down. The Law begins with the Ten Rules in Exodus chapter 20. And it continues to the end of the book called Deuteronomy. The *Jewish priests, *Pharisees and teachers added other laws to those that *Moses wrote. And they thought of thousands of other meanings for these rules. But Jesus did not agree with these laws that they had added.

life, this life (that never ends) ~ those people who have this life will live with God for all time. Jesus has made a promise to any person who believes him. Jesus says that such a person will always live with God. Also, God will live with them here in this world. And they will live with God after their bodies die. It is a new life, and it is a much better life.

Lord ~ the boss or owner of something or of a work. The Bible uses ‘Lord’ for God, because he controls everything. But the *apostles also called Jesus *Christ ‘Lord’, or ‘the Lord’.

Message, true Message ~ the Good News about Jesus *Christ.

Messiah ~ the word for ‘Christ’ in the Hebrew language. (See note above on ‘Christ’.)

Moses ~ a *Jewish leader many centuries ago. God told him personally all that the *Jewish people should do. And Moses wrote that down in the first 5 books of the *Scriptures.

non-Jewish, non-Jews ~ people in other nations than the *Jewish nation; any people in the world who are not *Jews.

Pharisee ~ a group or party of *Jewish leaders, often rich people. They were very proud. They thought that they, and only they, obeyed all God’s rules. They did not like the things that Jesus taught. They opposed him strongly. But some Pharisees believed Jesus, like Nicodemus.

prophet ~ someone who speaks God’s word about a person, thing or event; or they speak about what will happen in the future.

province ~ a region or part of a nation or of an *empire with its own local government.

psalm ~ a song that people sing to God. One of the 150 psalms that David and other *Jewish musicians wrote down. They are in the Book of Psalms in the first part of the Bible.

Roman ~ people from the city called Rome; or people who had the same rights as Roman citizens even if they lived elsewhere. A powerful *emperor or ‘Caesar’, who lived in Rome, ruled them. Romans did not *worship the one, true God. They had many gods of their own, and the ‘caesar’ was the head god. The Romans seized land from many European and Asian countries to make their *empire. And they had seized *Israeli land, before Jesus was born. They called that land, Palestine *province. The *Jews hated the Romans and all their laws and taxes, and they often fought against them.

Rome ~ Rome was the capital city of the rulers at that time.

sacrifice ~ when a priest killed a special or pure animal as a gift to God. By this, people asked God to excuse them for their *sins, or they gave special *worship to him. God told Moses and the *Jews to make several sacrifices. They did this to ask God to forgive their *sins, or to thank and praise him. Or they did it to get good harvests. Also, a sacrifice is something that a person gives up for a special purpose. The greatest sacrifice was when *Christ died on a *cross to save us from our *sin.

Satan ~ the ruler of all evil *spirits; he starts all the lies and false things in the world; another name for the devil.

Scripture ~ God’s *message that various people had written down over many years. In the Scriptures, God showed people, little by little, what he is like. And he showed people what he wants. The Bible that the early *believers had was mainly the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible). Jews thought that the books of *Moses, the *Law, were especially the *Scriptures.

sin, sins ~ the wrong things that we do. God says that they are wrong.

sinful, sinner ~ someone who does wrong things. Sinners do not do what God wants.

sister ~ used not only for birth sisters, but also for close companions or female *believers (see brother).

slave ~ a person that someone else owns; a slave has to work hard for the owner, without pay; someone who is under the control of another force, like debt or like *sin.

Son of God ~ a name similar to ‘Son of Man’. Some *Gospel writers use one name, some use the other name. ‘Son’ means that God did send Jesus. And it means that he came from God. But the word ‘son’ does not mean that Jesus was less important than God. (See ‘Father’.) Many times the *Gospels record stories that show how Jesus is God. We read that he had all the power and honour of God. Jesus is called ‘Son of God’ because he never lost his relationship with God. And he is God in himself. Also, Jesus showed us God perfectly in his life and in all that he said. And in all that he did.

Spirit ~ see Holy Spirit.

spirit ~ a spirit is alive but we cannot see it. It does not have a body. But we know that it is there. It is like the wind. People’s spirits are inside them while they are alive. And their spirits continue to live after they die. There are spirits that do good things. And there are spirits that do evil things. We can feel evil spirits but we cannot see them. They come from the *devil. (For God’s Spirit, see *Holy Spirit.)

temple ~ a special house that people built to meet in and to *worship God. A place that people keep ‘clean’ as their religion demands. Then it is ready for God to come and meet his people. It is a place where people keep special furniture for these purposes. The *Jews only had one temple – the temple that was in Jerusalem city.

worship ~ when we think about God. We think about what he is doing. And then we tell him how wonderful he is. We can worship him by ourselves. Or we can meet with other *believers to worship him. Then we all together say or sing about how great God is.

Footnotes

[1] sloping writing, writing where the letters slope

[2] Especially, God promised that the *Messiah would come from among their people.

[3] olive tree ~ a common fruit tree in the East Mediterranean. The tree is short and it grows well in dry, rocky ground. It has a small, round, black fruit. People also obtain oil from the fruit. Olive oil was used by the *Jews both for healing and in their religion. Paul compares *Israel to an olive tree because *Israel was meant to be a holy nation.

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

 

© 1997-2005, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

September 2005

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