Paul’s Letter To the Romans: Part 2 -
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I say what is true in Christ, and not what is false, my mind giving witness with me in the Holy Spirit,
That I am full of sorrow and pain without end.
For I have a desire to take on myself the curse for my brothers, my family in the flesh:
Who are Israelites: who have the place of sons, and the glory, and the agreements with God, and the giving of the law, and the worship, and the hope offered by God:
Whose are the fathers, and of whom came Christ in the flesh, who is over all, God, to whom be blessing for ever. So be it.
But it is not as if the word of God was without effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel:
And they are not all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, In Isaac will your seed be named.
That is, it is not the children of the flesh, but the children of God’s undertaking, who are named as the seed.
For this is the word of God’s undertaking, At this time will I come, and Sarah will have a son.
And not only so, but Rebecca being about to have a child by our father Isaac–
Before the children had come into existence, or had done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose and his selection might be effected, not by works, but by him whose purpose it is,
It was said to her, The older will be the servant of the younger.
Even as it is said, I had love for Jacob, but for Esau I had hate.
What may we say then? is God not upright? let it not be said.
For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and pity on whom I will have pity.
So then, it is not by the desire or by the attempt of man, but by the mercy of God.
For the holy Writings say to Pharaoh, For this same purpose did I put you on high, so that I might make my power seen in you, and that there might be knowledge of my name through all the earth.
So then, at his pleasure he has mercy on a man, and at his pleasure he makes the heart hard.
But you will say to me, Why does he still make us responsible? who is able to go against his purpose?
But, O man, who are you, to make answer against God? May the thing which is made say to him who made it, Why did you make me so?
Or has not the potter the right to make out of one part of his earth a vessel for honour, and out of another a vessel for shame?
What if God, desiring to let his wrath and his power be seen, for a long time put up with the vessels of wrath which were ready for destruction:
And to make clear the wealth of his glory to vessels of mercy, which he had before made ready for glory,
Even us, who were marked out by him, not only from the Jews, but from the Gentiles?
As he says in Hosea, They will be named my people who were not my people, and she will be loved who was not loved.
And in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, there they will be named the sons of the living God.
And Isaiah says about Israel, Even if the number of the children of Israel is as the sand of the sea, only a small part will get salvation:
For the Lord will give effect to his word on the earth, putting an end to it and cutting it short.
And, as Isaiah had said before, If the Lord of armies had not given us a seed, we would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah.
What then may we say? That the nations who did not go after righteousness have got righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith:
But Israel, going after a law of righteousness, did not get it.
Why? Because they were not searching for it by faith, but by works. They came up against the stone which was in the way;
As it is said, See, I am putting in Zion a stone causing a fall, and a rock in the way: but he who has faith in him will not be put to shame.
Brothers, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is, that they may get salvation.
For I give witness of them that they have a strong desire for God, but not with knowledge.
Because, not having knowledge of God’s righteousness, and desiring to give effect to their righteousness, they have not put themselves under the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who has faith.
For Moses says that the man who does the righteousness which is of the law will get life by it.
But the righteousness which is of faith says these words, Say not in your heart, Who will go up to heaven? (that is, to make Christ come down:)
Or, Who will go down into the deep? (that is, to make Christ come again from the dead:)
But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart: that is, the word of faith of which we are the preachers:
Because, if you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and have faith in your heart that God has made him come back from the dead, you will have salvation:
For with the heart man has faith to get righteousness, and with the mouth he says that Jesus is Lord to get salvation.
Because it is said in the holy Writings, Whoever has faith in him will not be shamed.
And the Jew is not different from the Greek: for there is the same Lord of all, who is good to all who have hope in his name:
Because, Whoever will give worship to the name of the Lord will get salvation.
But how will they give worship to him in whom they have no faith? and how will they have faith in him of whom they have not had news? and how will they have news without a preacher?
And how will there be preachers if they are not sent? As it is said, How beautiful are the feet of those who give the glad news of good things.
But they have not all given ear to the good news. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has had faith in our word?
So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
But I say, Did not the word come to their ears? Yes, certainly: Their sound has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.
But I say, Had Israel no knowledge? First Moses says, You will be moved to envy by that which is not a nation, and by a foolish people I will make you angry.
And Isaiah says without fear, Those who were not searching for me made discovery of me; and I was seen by those whose hearts were turned away from me.
But about Israel he says; All the day my hands have been stretched out to a people whose hearts were turned away, and who put themselves against my word.
So I say, Has God put his people on one side? Let there be no such thought. For I am of Israel, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
God has not put away the people of his selection. Or have you no knowledge of what is said about Elijah in the holy Writings? how he says words to God against Israel,
Lord, they have put your prophets to death, and made waste your altars, and now I am the last, and they are searching for me to take away my life.
But what answer does God make to him? I have still seven thousand men whose knees have not been bent to Baal.
In the same way, there are at this present time some who are marked out by the selection of grace.
But if it is of grace, then it is no longer of works: or grace would not be grace.
What then? That which Israel was searching for he did not get, but those of the selection got it and the rest were made hard.
As it was said in the holy Writings, God gave them a spirit of sleep, eyes which might not see, and ears which have no hearing, to this day.
And David says, Let their table be made a net for taking them, and a stone in their way, and a punishment:
Let their eyes be made dark so that they may not see, and let their back be bent down at all times.
So I say, Were their steps made hard in order that they might have a fall? In no way: but by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, so that they might be moved to envy.
Now, if their fall is the wealth of the world, and their loss the wealth of the Gentiles, how much greater will be the glory when they are made full?
But I say to you, Gentiles, in so far as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I make much of my position:
If in any way those who are of my flesh may be moved to envy, so that some of them may get salvation by me.
For, if by their putting away, the rest of men have been made friends with God, what will their coming back again be, but life from the dead?
And if the first-fruit is holy, so is the mass: and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, an olive-tree of the fields, were put in among them, and were given a part with them in the root by which the olive-tree is made fertile,
Do not be uplifted in pride over the branches: because it is not you who are the support of the root, but it is by the root that you are supported.
You will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be put in.
Truly, because they had no faith they were broken off, and you have your place by reason of your faith. Do not be lifted up in pride, but have fear;
For, if God did not have mercy on the natural branches, he will not have mercy on you.
See then that God is good but his rules are fixed: to those who were put away he was hard, but to you he has been good, on the condition that you keep in his mercy; if not, you will be cut off as they were.
And they, if they do not go on without faith, will be united to the tree again, because God is able to put them in again.
For if you were cut out of a field olive-tree, and against the natural use were united to a good olive-tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be united again with the olive-tree which was theirs?
For it is my desire, brothers, that this secret may be clear to you, so that you may not have pride in your knowledge, that Israel has been made hard in part, till all the Gentiles have come in;
And so all Israel will get salvation: as it is said in the holy Writings, There will come out of Zion the One who makes free; by him wrongdoing will be taken away from Jacob:
And this is my agreement with them, when I will take away their sins.
As far as the good news is in question, they are cut off from God on account of you, but as far as the selection is in question, they are loved on account of the fathers.
Because God’s selection and his mercies may not be changed.
For as you, in time past, were not under the rule of God, but now have got mercy through their turning away,
So in the same way these have gone against the orders of God, so that by the mercy given to you they may now get mercy.
For God has let them all go against his orders, so that he might have mercy on them all.
O how deep is the wealth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! no one is able to make discovery of his decisions, and his ways may not be searched out.
Who has knowledge of the mind of the Lord? or who has taken part in his purposes?
Or who has first given to him, and it will be given back to him again?
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. So be it.
Romans Chapter 12
For this reason I make request to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you will give your bodies as a living offering, holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship it is right for you to give him.
And let not your behaviour be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledge of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God.
But I say to every one of you, through the grace given to me, not to have an over-high opinion of himself, but to have wise thoughts, as God has given to every one a measure of faith.
For, as we have a number of parts in one body, but all the parts have not the same use,
So we, though we are a number of persons, are one body in Christ, and are dependent on one another;
And having different qualities by reason of the grace given to us, such as the quality of a prophet, let it be made use of in relation to the measure of our faith;
Or the position of a Deacon of the church, let a man give himself to it; or he who has the power of teaching, let him make use of it;
He who has the power of comforting, let him do so; he who gives, let him give freely; he who has the power of ruling, let him do it with a serious mind; he who has mercy on others, let it be with joy.
Let love be without deceit. Be haters of what is evil; keep your minds fixed on what is good.
Be kind to one another with a brother’s love, putting others before yourselves in honour;
Be not slow in your work, but be quick in spirit, as the Lord’s servants;
Being glad in hope, quiet in trouble, at all times given to prayer,
Giving to the needs of the saints, ready to take people into your houses.
Give blessing and not curses to those who are cruel to you.
Take part in the joy of those who are glad, and in the grief of those who are sorrowing.
Be in harmony with one another. Do not have a high opinion of yourselves, but be in agreement with common people. Do not give yourselves an air of wisdom.
Do not give evil for evil to any man. Let all your business be well ordered in the eyes of all men.
As far as it is possible for you be at peace with all men.
Do not give punishment for wrongs done to you, dear brothers, but give way to the wrath of God; for it is said in the holy Writings, Punishment is mine, I will give reward, says the Lord.
But if one who has hate for you is in need of food or of drink, give it to him, for in so doing you will put coals of fire on his head.
Do not let evil overcome you, but overcome evil by good.
Let everyone put himself under the authority of the higher powers, because there is no power which is not of God, and all powers are ordered by God.
For which reason everyone who puts himself against the authority puts himself against the order of God: and those who are against it will get punishment for themselves.
For rulers are not a cause of fear to the good work but to the evil. If you would have no fear of the authority, do good and you will have praise;
For he is the servant of God to you for good. But if you do evil, have fear; for the sword is not in his hand for nothing: he is God’s servant, making God’s punishment come on the evil-doer.
So put yourselves under the authority, not for fear of wrath, but because you have the knowledge of what is right.
For the same reason, make payment of taxes; because the authority is God’s servant, to take care of such things at all times.
Give to all what is their right: taxes to him whose they are, payment to him whose right it is, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour is to be given.
Be in debt for nothing, but to have love for one another: for he who has love for his neighbour has kept all the law.
And this, Do not be untrue in married life, Do not put to death, Do not take what is another’s, Do not have desire for what is another’s, and if there is any other order, it is covered by this word, Have love for your neighbour as for yourself.
Love does no wrong to his neighbour, so love makes the law complete.
See then that the time has come for you to be awake from sleep: for now is your salvation nearer than when you first had faith.
The night is far gone, and the day is near: so let us put off the works of the dark, arming ourselves with light,
With right behaviour as in the day; not in pleasure-making and drinking, not in bad company and unclean behaviour, not in fighting and envy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not give thought to the flesh to do its desires.
Do not put on one side him who is feeble in faith, and do not put him in doubt by your reasonings.
One man has faith to take all things as food: another who is feeble in faith takes only green food.
Let not him who takes food have a low opinion of him who does not: and let not him who does not take food be a judge of him who does; for he has God’s approval.
Who are you to make yourself a judge of another man’s servant? it is to his master that he is responsible for good or bad. Yes, his place will be safe, because the Lord is able to keep him from falling.
This man puts one day before another: to that man they are the same. Let every man be certain in his mind.
He who keeps the day, keeps it to the Lord; and he who takes food, takes it as to the Lord, for he gives praise to God; and he who does not take food, to the Lord he takes it not, and gives praise to God.
For every man’s life and every man’s death has a relation to others as well as to himself.
As long as we have life we are living to the Lord; or if we give up our life it is to the Lord; so if we are living, or if our life comes to an end, we are the Lord’s.
And for this purpose Christ went into death and came back again, that he might be the Lord of the dead and of the living.
But you, why do you make yourself your brother’s judge? or again, why have you no respect for your brother? because we will all have to take our place before God as our judge.
For it is said in the holy Writings, By my life, says the Lord, to me every knee will be bent, and every tongue will give worship to God.
So every one of us will have to give an account of himself to God.
Then let us not be judges of one another any longer: but keep this in mind, that no man is to make it hard for his brother, or give him cause for doubting.
I am conscious of this, and am certain in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself; but for the man in whose opinion it is unclean, for him it is unclean.
And if because of food your brother is troubled, then you are no longer going on in the way of love. Do not let your food be destruction to him for whom Christ went into death.
Let it not be possible for men to say evil about your good:
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
And he who in these things is Christ’s servant, is pleasing to God and has the approval of men.
So then, let us go after the things which make peace, and the things by which we may be a help to one another.
Do not let the work of God come to nothing on account of food. All things are certainly clean; but it is evil for that man who by taking food makes it hard for another.
It is better not to take meat or wine or to do anything which might be a cause of trouble to your brother.
The faith which you have, have it to yourself before God. Happy is the man who is not judged by that to which he gives approval.
But he who is in doubt is judged if he takes food, because he does it not in faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.
We who are strong have to be a support to the feeble, and not give pleasure to ourselves.
Let every one of us give pleasure to his neighbour for his good, to make him strong.
For Christ did not give pleasure to himself, but, as it is said, The bitter words of those who were angry with you came on me.
Now those things which were put down in writing before our time were for our learning, so that through quiet waiting and through the comfort of the holy Writings we might have hope.
Now may the God who gives comfort and strength in waiting make you of the same mind with one another in harmony with Christ Jesus:
So that with one mouth you may give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So then, take one another to your hearts, as Christ took us, to the glory of God.
Now I say that Christ has been made a servant of the circumcision to give effect to the undertakings given by God to the fathers,
And so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercy; as it is said, For this reason I will give praise to you among the Gentiles, and I will make a song to your name.
And again he says, Take part, you Gentiles, in the joy of his people.
And again, Give praise to the Lord, all you Gentiles; and let all the nations give praise to him.
And again Isaiah says, There will be the root of Jesse, and he who comes to be the ruler over the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles put their hope.
Now may the God of hope make you full of joy and peace through faith, so that all hope may be yours in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And I myself am certain of you, brothers, that you are full of what is good, complete in all knowledge, able to give direction to one another.
But I have, in some measure, less fear in writing to you to put these things before you again, because of the grace which was given to me by God,
To be a servant of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, doing the work of a priest in the good news of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles might be pleasing to God, being made holy by the Holy Spirit.
So I have pride in Christ Jesus in the things which are God’s.
And I will keep myself from talking of anything but those things which Christ has done by me to put the Gentiles under his rule in word and in act,
By signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have given all the good news of Christ;
Making it my purpose not to take the good news where Christ was named, so that my work might not be resting on that of others;
But as it is said in the holy Writings, They will see, to whom the news of him had not been given, and those to whose ears it had not come will have knowledge.
For which reason I was frequently kept from coming to you:
But now, having no longer any place in these parts and having had for a number of years a great desire to come to you,
Whenever I go to Spain (for it is my hope to see you on my way, and to be sent on there by you, if first I may in some measure have been comforted by your company)–
But now I go to Jerusalem, taking help for the saints.
For it has been the good pleasure of those of Macedonia and Achaia to send a certain amount of money for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.
Yes, it has been their good pleasure; and they are in their debt. For if the Gentiles have had a part in the things of the Spirit which were theirs, it is right for them, in the same way, to give them help in the things of the flesh.
So when I have done this, and have given them this fruit of love, I will go on by you into Spain.
And I am certain that when I come, I will be full of the blessing of Christ.
Now I make request to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you will be working together with me in your prayers to God for me;
So that I may be kept safe from those in Judaea who have not put themselves under the rule of God, and that the help which I am taking for Jerusalem may be pleasing to the saints;
So that I may come to you in joy by the good pleasure of God, and have rest with you.
Now may the God of peace be with you all. So be it.
It is my desire to say a good word for Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchreae:
That you will take her in kindly, after the way of the saints, as one who is the Lord’s, and give her help in anything in which she may have need of you: because she has been a help to a great number and to myself.
Give my love to Prisca and Aquila, workers with me in Christ Jesus,
Who for my life put their necks in danger; to whom not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are in debt:
And say a kind word to the church which is in their house. Give my love to my dear Epaenetus, who is the first fruit of Asia to Christ.
Give my love to Mary, who gave much care to you.
Give my love to Andronicus and Junia, my relations, who were in prison with me, who are noted among the Apostles, and who were in Christ before me.
Give my love to Ampliatus, who is dear to me in the Lord,
Give my love to Urbanus, a worker in Christ with us, and to my dear Stachys.
Give my love to Apelles, who has the approval of Christ. Say a kind word to those who are of the house of Aristobulus.
Give my love to Herodion, my relation. Say a kind word to those of the house of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.
Give my love to Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Give my love to my dear Persis, who did much work in the Lord.
Give my love to Rufus, one of the Lord’s selection, and to his mother and mine.
Give my love to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.
Give my love to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
Give one another a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send their love to you.
Now, it is my desire, brothers, that you will take note of those who are causing division and trouble among you, quite against the teaching which was given to you: and keep away from them.
For such people are not servants of the Lord Christ, but of their stomachs; and by their smooth and well-said words the hearts of those who have no knowledge of evil are tricked.
For all have knowledge of how you do what you are ordered. For this reason I have joy in you, but it is my desire that you may be wise in what is good, and without knowledge of evil.
And the God of peace will be crushing Satan under your feet before long. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Timothy, who is working with me, sends his love to you, so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my relations.
I, Tertius, who have done the writing of this letter, send love in the Lord.
Gaius, with whom I am living, whose house is open to all the church, sends his love, so does Erastus, the manager of the accounts of the town, and Quartus, the brother.
Now to him who is able to make you strong in agreement with the good news which I gave you and the preaching of Jesus Christ, in the light of the revelation of that secret which has been kept through times eternal,
But is now made clear; and by the writings of the prophets, by the order of the eternal God, the knowledge of it has been given to all the nations, so that they may come under the rule of the faith;
To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory for ever. So be it.
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