1 [This letter is from] Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, [who was] called to be an apostle, [and] set apart for [preaching] the Gospel of God. 2 God had promised this good news a long time ago through His prophets [and had it written] in the holy Scriptures [i.e., the Old Testament]. 3 It was about His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born as a physical descendant of King David. 4 He was appointed to be the Son of God with power through the Spirit of holiness [Note: This could refer to the Holy Spirit] when He was raised from the dead. 5 It was through Jesus, and for His name's sake, that we [i.e., I] received God's favor to become an apostle, in order to bring about obedience based on faith from among people of all nations. 6 (OMITTED TEXT)
7 All of you there in Rome [i.e., the church there] are also among such obedient believers. You are called Jesus Christ's [people], loved by God and called to be His holy people. May you have unearned favor and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First of all, I want to thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being told about throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve wholeheartedly in [preaching] the Gospel of His Son, is my witness [to the truth] of how continually I mention you in my prayers. 10 I am always requesting that somehow, by God's will, I may now eventually be able to visit you. 11 For I long to see you so that I can provide you with some spiritual gift [See I Cor. 12:1-11], for the purpose of strengthening you [in the faith]. 12 What I mean is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
13 And I want you to be aware, brothers, of how frequently I [had] planned to visit you (but was prevented from doing so until now). I wanted to come in order to bear some fruit [i.e., make additional converts] among you, just as I have done among the other Gentiles [i.e., unconverted people]. 14 I have a debt to pay [i.e., an obligation to preach] to Greeks and heathens; to the educated and to the ignorant. 15 So, to the best of my ability, I am eager to preach the Gospel to all of you in Rome also.
16 I am not ashamed of the good news [i.e., the Gospel], because it is God's power for [bringing] salvation to every person who believes [in Jesus]; first to Jews and then to Greeks [i.e., unconverted Gentiles]. 17 For the Gospel reveals how a person can be made right with God. It is through faith [in Jesus], from beginning to end, just as it is written [Hab. 2:4], "The righteous person will [obtain] life by [his] faith [in God]."
18 For God's extreme anger is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who restrain the truth [from being known and obeyed] by their wickedness. 19 For what is known about God is plain to these people [i.e., to the Gentiles], because God has made it clear to them. 20 For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities of eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, [capable of] being perceived through the things that He has made. So, these people have no excuse [i.e., for not believing in Him]. 21 Now they knew who God was, but they did not honor Him as God or thank Him [for their blessings]. Instead they engaged in their useless speculations and their foolish minds were filled with [spiritual] darkness. 22 They claimed to be wise, but became fools, 23 and exchanged the honor belonging to the immortal God for the statues of mortal men, and birds, and animals and reptiles.
24 So, God allowed [or, abandoned] them to have the impure desires of their hearts, and to [practice] degrading behavior with their bodies among themselves. 25 For they exchanged God's truth for the [devil's] lie, and worshiped and served what was created instead of the Creator, who is to be praised forever. May it be so.
26 For this reason God allowed [or, abandoned] them to [practice] degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function [i.e., of sex] for what is against nature [i.e., lesbianism]. 27 And men did the same thing, leaving the natural function [i.e., of sex] with women, and burning in their desire for each other. Men committed indecent [sexual] acts with other men [i.e., homosexuality], and [so] brought on themselves the penalty they deserved for this perversion.
28 And since these people refused to acknowledge God, He has allowed [or, abandoned] them to have degraded minds and to practice those things which they should not do. 29 They are full of all kinds of wickedness, evil, greed, and maliciousness. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, hateful toward God, arrogant, proud and boastful. They think up evil things to do; they disobey their parents; 31 they do not have any sense; they do not keep their promises; they fail to show natural affection; and they are merciless. 32 These people know that God's decrees require that those who practice such things deserve to die [i.e., either spiritual or temporal punishment], yet they not only do the same things [themselves], but even approve of other people who practice them.