Read an Excerpt
The people of
Between 1446 and
The area called the Middle East today.
In the beginning,
God . . .'
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--- 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy
Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly lifea was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in powera by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our
Lord. 5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to faith and obedience for his name's sake. 6And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our
Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul's Longing to Visit Rome
8First, I thank my God through Jesus
Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God,
whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly
I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come.
Perhaps the most assuring words in all the Bible are the very first. In the beginning, God. The story of Genesis, in fact, is the story of beginnings. It breathes life into humanity and gives rise to relationship between God and his people. A familiar read to many as the book where God creates, perhaps more meaningful is that, here, God walks. With us. Before us. Among us.
From beginning to end, he walks in and among his people.
Like a beautiful tune airily drifting in one's mind throughout the day, God is there. He strolls among his first creation,
talks with Noah and roams with Abraham. He welcomes
Isaac, Jacob and Joseph into the world and presides at their deaths. He is the God who is present. Ever-constant.
Ever there. As you read through the melody of stories, let the deeper significance of the opening note resonate within you: 'In the beginning, God.'
11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong---
12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. 13I do not want you to be unaware,
brothers and sisters, that I
planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you,
just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
14I am obligated both to
Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.
15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes:
first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed---a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,a just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'a
God's Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them,
because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities---his eternal power and divine nature---have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the
Creator---who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.
Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God,
so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy,murder, strife, deceit and malice.
They are gossips, 30slanderers, Godhaters,
insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
God's Righteous Judgement
2You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you,
a mere human, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will
2 THESSALONIANS 1:11
God is our inheritance
'The Lord said to Aaron,
'You will have no inheritance in their land,
nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the
escape God's judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that
God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God 'will repay everyone according to what they have done.'a 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory,
honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the
Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.
12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing,
now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God judges everyone's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
The Jews and the Law
17Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,
20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth---