Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
by E.H. Jack Sequeira
To my dear fellow Christians in Rome:
1 My name is Paul, and I consider myself a slave of
Jesus Christ who chose me to be an apostle and especially set me aside to proclaim
Godís good news of salvation. 2 This good news was
promised by God long ago through His prophets who recorded it in the Holy Bible,
what we now call the Old Testament. 3 It has to do with
the gift of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who in order to save us, assumed
our corporate fallen humanity that needed redeeming and actually came as a descendant
of David; but in character and performance demonstrated, in spirit, love, and holiness,
that He was the Son of God. 4 God proved this by
resurrecting Him from the dead, something He could not legally do had Christ, even by
a thought, sinned.
5 It is through Christ that all humanity has been
reconciled to God and I have been commissioned, as an apostle, to proclaim this
good news to all the Gentile world, urging them to accept this salvation by faith,
through obedience to the truth as it is in Christ, 6 just
as you in Rome have done and now belong to Jesus Christ. 7
This letter is addressed to all of you beloved Christians in Rome, you who are now
Godís special people and are called saints by Him. May this letter find you enjoying
the peace that comes from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Admiration and Concern for the Roman Christians
8 I would like, first and foremost, to thank God in the
name of Jesus Christ for your tremendous witness which is being talked about throughout
the Roman Empire! How your faith in Christ is unshaken, in spite of fierce persecution!
9 I want you also to know that I constantly mention you in
my prayers; this is the honest truth, and God, whom I serve in proclaiming the good news
of His Son, is my witness. 10 Besides this, my sincere plea
with God is that at last it may be His will that I should come personally to you
11 to share with you some of the wonderful spiritual truths
revealed to me, so that it may further strengthen your faith. 12
In other words, I want us to mutually encourage each otherís faith, you mine and I yours.
13 Furthermore, I want you to know, brethren, that I had
planned several times to visit you in Rome so that I could join you in your evangelistic
outreach and win some souls for Christ, as I have done elsewhere. But, unfortunately,
pressure of work has always come in the way [Rom. 15:20-22].
14 You see, I am obligated to all classes of men, educated
or uneducated, rich or poor, to proclaim this wonderful gospel.
15 Therefore, as far as it is within my ability, I am most
anxious to preach this good news about Christ to all who are in Rome.
16 For even though many ridicule this gospel, there is
nothing more I glory in than this good news of salvation in Christ; for it is
Godís very power to save everyone who will appreciate and receive this gift which was
first offered to the Jews and now is to be proclaimed to the rest of mankind.
17 It is through this gospel alone, Godís righteousness
in Christ, that God is able to give mankind a right standing with Himself; our
part from start to finish is to receive it by faith, motivated by a deeper and deeper
heartfelt appreciation of what it cost God to save us in His Son. This is how Habakkuk
in the Old Testament put it: Only he who is righteous through faith shall have
Universal Sinfulness of Mankind
18 As you know, Godís displeasure or wrath is clearly
revealed from heaven against all who think they can live without Him, enjoy sin, and
deliberately suppress the truth. 19 It is sad that even
though their conscience convinces them that God does exist and that He is deeply
concerned about their welfare, they do not want to acknowledge Him.
20 Ever since God created this wonderful world of ours,
which clearly demonstrates His existence and creative power, mankind in his sinful
state does not want to submit to His rulership, even though it is for his own benefit.
Clearly then, anyone who rejects God is inexcusable since this rejection is not out
of ignorance but deliberate.
21 The sinful heart is so desperately wicked that
instead of acknowledging God as God, men are ungrateful and unwilling to glorify or
appreciate Him; instead, in their foolishness they prefer senseless speculations and
the result is that their ungrateful hearts become engulfed in darkness.
22 In this condition, while they claim to be smart, they
are in actual fact behaving foolishly 23 by substituting
for the true eternal God their own creation resembling mortal man, birds, mammals,
reptiles, or their humanistic ideas of salvation, such as Marxism, etc.
God-Abandonment Increases Sin
24 So God has abandoned them to their own choices, to
indulge in perverted sex and the evil clamors of their sinful nature, thus demonstrating
the degrading results of permissiveness. 25 This is the
condition you see today; men have so twisted the truth that they would rather worship
themselves and their ideas than the God of heaven, who sustains them and from whom all
26 Since they do not want God to be part of their lives,
this is why He has given them up, to indulge in their degrading passions:
27 women preferring to be lesbians and men gay, each
consumed by their perverted lusts for each other, practicing all kinds of shameful
vice and as a result are suffering the inevitable consequences of their improper conduct.*
28 And because they insist on pushing God away, He who is
agape love does not impose Himself on them but leaves them to their own devices.
29 The result is an increase in all sorts of crime and
shameful behavior such as: malice, greed, envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, etc.
30 Men and women have become traitors, open slanderers,
God-haters, insolent, proud, boastful, designers of new forms of evil, disrespectful to
parents, 31 conscienceless, treacherous, and void of love or
pity. 32 All this in spite of the fact that they know it will
result in divine retribution, the sentence of eternal death; yet they not only practice
these terrible things but even encourage others to do them.
*The present scourge of sexually transmitted diseases is a painful
warning that our present world is heading in the same direction as the Roman world was
in Paulís day.