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And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.

and in like manner the males also, leaving the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their lust towards one another; males with males working shame, and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was fit.

Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers,

They were secret backbiters, open slanderers; hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful; inventors of new forms of sin, disobedient to parents, destitute of common sense,

You say that a person should not commit adultery [i.e., sexual unfaithfulness to their mate], [but] do you commit adultery? You [claim to] hate idols, [but] do you rob [their] temples? [Note: It is difficult to determine how the Jews were doing this. Perhaps they were guilty of the "spirit" of idolatry by devoting their efforts and affections to material things instead of to God].

For circumcision is valuable if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, your having been circumcised has no more value than if you were uncircumcised.

So, if an uncircumcised person [i.e., a Gentile] obeys [the rest of] the requirements of the law, will not the fact that he is not circumcised be considered [by God] as though he were?

For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God?

God forbid: but let God be true, though every man were a liar; as it is written, "That thou mayest be acknowledged just in thy sayings, and overcome when thou art judged."

Not at all! If that were so, how could He judge the world?

What follows, then? Are we Jews in any way superior to others? Not at all. Our indictment against both Jews and Greeks was that all alike were in subjection to sin.

What then were the circumstances under which this took place? Was it after he had been circumcised, or before?

For if those who were given the Law are the heirs, then faith is useless and the promise is worthless,

Therefore, the promise is based on faith, so that it may be a matter of grace and may be guaranteed for all of Abraham's descendants not only for those who were given the Law, but also for those who share the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

But [the words], It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone,

But [they were written] for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in (trust in, adhere to, and rely on) God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren't like Adam's disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come.

But there is a contrast between Adam's Offence and God's gracious Gift. For, if by reason of the offence of the one man the whole race died, far more were the loving-kindness of God, and the gift given in the loving-kindness of the one man, Jesus Christ, lavished upon the whole race.

Now the law of Moses was introduced [into the world] in order to cause sin to increase [i.e., it defined many things to be wrong that were previously not regarded as sin]. But with the increase of sin, God's unearned favor increased all the more.

what fruit, therefore, were ye having then, in the things of which ye are now ashamed? for the end of those is death.

What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet.

Then sin, when there was occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of lust. For without the law sin was as if it were dormant.

For what the law was not able to do [for mankind], since it was [too] weak [to deliver them from condemnation] because fleshly people [were unable to obey it perfectly], God condemned sin in the flesh [i.e., sin was declared evil and its power over man broken]. God did this by sending His own Son in a body like sinful man's, and to destroy sin,

For the creatures were subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected them,

And those who were marked out by him were named; and those who were named were given righteousness; and to those to whom he gave righteousness, in the same way he gave glory.

For they are Israelites, and to them belong God's adoption [as a nation] and the glorious Presence (Shekinah). With them were the special covenants made, to them was the Law given. To them [the temple] worship was revealed and [God's own] promises announced.

That is, it is not merely the children born through natural descent who were regarded as God's children, but it is the children born through the promise who were regarded as descendants.

And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them],

For even before the twins were born, and therefore had not done anything good or bad, Rebecca was told [Gen. 25:23], "The older one [i.e., Esau] will serve the younger one [i.e., Jacob]." This was so that God's purpose of choosing and calling [whomever He wanted to] might prevail, instead of [it depending on] what a person did.

Even us, who were marked out by him, not only from the Jews, but from the Gentiles?

As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

And Isaiah declares about [the nation of] Israel [Isa. 10:22-23], "[Even] if the number of Israelites were [as many] as the grains of sand in the ocean, [still only] a small minority will be saved.

Even as Isaiah says in an earlier place, "Were it not that the Lord, the God of Hosts, had left us some few descendants, we should have become like Sodom, and have come to resemble Gomorrah."

To what conclusion does this bring us? Why, that the Gentiles, who were not in pursuit of righteousness, have overtaken it--a righteousness, however, which arises from faith;

while the descendants of Israel, who were in pursuit of a Law that could give righteousness, have not arrived at one.

They would not surrender to the righteousness of God, because they were ignorant of his righteousness and therefore essayed to set up a righteousness of their own.

But they were not all obedient to the good tidings, for Isaiah saith, 'Lord, who did give credence to our report?'

And Isaiah says boldly: I was found by those who were not looking for Me; I revealed Myself to those who were not asking for 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.

And if [they were selected] by God's unearned favor, [then] the choice is not based on the good that people may do. Otherwise, God's favor would not be [really] unearned.

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.

For if their rejection and exclusion from the benefits of salvation were [overruled] for the reconciliation of a world to God, what will their acceptance and admission mean? [It will be nothing short of] life from the dead!

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.

For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are {natural branches} be grafted into their own olive tree?

For as ye in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience,

even also these were now disobedient, in order that through the mercy shown to you they themselves may now also obtain mercy.

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.

Rather, as it is written, "Those who were never told about him will see, and those who have never heard will understand."

They were pleased to do it; and surely they are in debt to them, for if these Gentiles have come to share in their [the Jerusalem Jews'] spiritual blessings, then they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.

Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

and were christians before me. salute Amplias, whom

Salute Philologus and Julius, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who were with them.