Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart to tell God's good news about Jesus Christ our Lord, to all God's loved ones who are in Rome and have been called to be his people: Love to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First of all I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is reported throughout the whole world. The God whom I serve with my spirit, as I tell the good news about his Son, is my witness how often I speak of you in my prayers, asking that at last the way may be opened for me to come to you, if it is God's will. For I long to see you that I may give you some spiritual gift, that you may be strengthened; or rather that we may each be encouraged by the other's faith, I by yours, and you by mine.
Brothers, I also wish you to know that many times I planned to come to you (but thus far was prevented) that I might gather some fruit from my labors among you, as I have already in the other nations. I have a duty to perform both to Greeks and to barbarians; both to the wise and to the ignorant; so I am eager to tell the good news to you also who are in Rome. I am not ashamed of the good news, for it is the power of God that is able to save every one who believes it, the Jew first and the Greek as well.
Do not follow the example of those who have not heard the good news, but be made different by a complete change of mind, so that you may be able to know what is the will of God, even what is good and perfect and acceptable to him.
Let your love be sincere; abhor that which is evil, cling to that which is good. In your love for your brothers, feel genuine devotion for one another. Be eager to honor one another. Never let your zeal grow less; keep alive your enthusiasm; serve the Lord; rejoice in your hope. Be patient in trouble, persevering in prayer; share with fellow Christians in need, be friendly and generous.
Bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be sympathetic with one another. Set not your heart on high things but be ready to do humble tasks. Do not be conceited.
Do not pay back evil for evil; aim to do what is honorable in the eyes of all men. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all men. Never seek revenge, dear friends, but let God punish those who wrong you. Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink, for in so doing you will heap coals of fire upon his head. Do not let evil overcome you, but overcome evil with good.
Owe no man anything, except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has done what the law demands. For all the commandments are summed up in this one command: |You shall love your neighbor as yourself.| Love never wrongs a fellow man; that is why love meets all the demands of the law.
I have, for several years, been longing to visit you when I go to Spain. I am hoping to see you on my way there, and to be sent on my journey by you after I have first enjoyed being with you for a time. But now I am on my way to Jerusalem to do a service for God's people; for the Christians in Macedonia and Greece have been good enough to make a contribution for the poor Christians at Jerusalem.
Now I beg of you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love which his Spirit inspires, that you join me in earnest prayer to God in my behalf. Pray that I may be delivered from those in Judea who refuse to believe in Jesus, that my mission to Jerusalem may prove acceptable to God's people, and that I may through the will of God come to you joyfully and find rest with you.
May the God who gives peace be with you all. Amen.