Romans  ◦   Chapter 1

1From Paul, a serving friend of Jesus Christ, recruited to be an ambassador for him, and assigned the duty of distributing good news about the healing Remedy achieved by Christ, To all who would receive it:2God promised this Remedy before the world was created and before humankind became infected with distrust, fear and selfishness. This is the Remedy told about by God's spokespersons in the Holy Scriptures.3This good news is the Remedy of his Son, whose human nature was genetically descended from David,4yet the purity of his divine nature — as the Son of God — was powerfully revealed by his resurrection from the dead.5Jesus is the conduit through which God's healing grace has reached us. And as evidence of his healing power, our minds have been cleansed from fear and selfishness. We have been enabled, as his ambassadors, to call people from among the sin-sick, dying world to the restoration and health that come from trusting Jesus and following his methods.6And you are among those called to join the spiritual health-care team of Jesus Christ and become his ambassadors.

7To all in Rome who love God and have been healed from the infection of distrust, fear and selfishness, and have been transformed into loving, kind, gentle, humble people who value and practice God's methods: Grace and peace are poured out over you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

8First above all, I give thanks to God — whom I know through Jesus Christ — for all of you, because your confidence in him and in his methods is serving to broadcast his healing truth all over the world.9God, whom I wholeheartedly serve by distributing the Remedy which was revealed and obtained by his Son, is my witness that I constantly remember you10when I talk with him. And it is my great desire, if it be God's will, that I will be able to come to Rome and visit with you.

11I am eager to see you and share with you additional truths and insights of our great God that will enlighten your minds and strengthen your hearts.12What I mean is that I hope we may share together what God has done for us, and that we may all grow in understanding, confidence, and Christlikeness of character.13I want you to know that if various obstacles hadn't prevented me, I would have already come to work with you in spreading the healing truth throughout Rome in order to increase the number recovering and getting well from the infection of distrust, fear and selfishness — just as I have done in other cities.

14My heart goes out to all humanity: Greeks and non-Greeks, wise and foolish.15That is why I am so eager to bring to you, who are in Rome, the antidote to sin and selfishness.

16I am not ashamed of spreading the good news about God and his character, methods and principles, as this is God’s power which heals everyone who believes and trusts in him: firstly to the Jews–those initially called to assist in spreading the Remedy, and then to the Gentiles–those most recently called to help spread the Remedy.17For the good news is a revelation of God's true righteousness — character, methods and principles — that restores trust in God and results in re-creation of a righteous and Christlike character in humans, just as it is written: "The Christlike will live by choosing what is right in governance of themselves, and by trusting God with how things turn out."

18God's wrath against human selfishness, godlessness and wickedness is being revealed from heaven: God is showing what he does and how he responds to those who are infected with selfishness, yet refuse his antidote. These sick-of-heart and twisted-of-mind humans reject the Remedy and suppress the truth of God's character by their wicked and godless lives.19For God has clearly revealed himself and his principles of love, beneficence, and giving in all he has created.20From the very moment the earth was created, God’s true self has been constantly revealed: his eternal life-giving power, his loving nature, his respect for freedom, and his methods of gracious giving; his character is seen in everything he has made, so that humans are not left in darkness, and have no excuse for remaining in their terminal state.

21For although they knew the truth about God and his methods, they did not appreciate his gracious, humble character nor did they honor him by trusting him and incorporating his methods into their lives. Therefore their reasoning was damaged, their consciences seared, their thoughts became illogical and irrational, and their minds were darkened with lies and falsehoods.22They deceived themselves and claimed to be wise, but were actually fools who lost the ability to discern the right from the wrong, the healthy from the unhealthy, the true from the false,23and exchanged the values, methods and principles of the immortal God for man-made figurines of mortal humans, birds, mammals and reptiles, and even developed theories that humanity evolved from such lower creatures.

24Therefore, because they persistently refused the gracious Remedy freely offered, God gave them up to reap the consequences of the unremitting infection of fear and selfishness. As the sensual desires took greater control and self-governance was lost, they degraded themselves in sexual perversions with one another.25They exchanged the truth of God–his loving and forgiving character, his respect for freedom, his willingness to sacrifice for his creation–for Satan's lies about God, and worshiped and served false gods (who required payment to appease their angry wrath) rather than the Creator, who alone is worthy of our praise. Amen.

26Because they rejected the truth–the Remedy for their twisted and deceived minds–God gave them up to reap the results of unrestrained selfishness, and they became debased and practiced shameful lusts. Even their heterosexual women exchanged natural relations for homosexual ones.27Likewise, their heterosexual men rejected natural relations and became inflamed with homosexual lust. Men committed all kinds of perverse and disgusting acts with each other, and thus their characters were distorted and their minds warped.

28Furthermore, since they abandoned and rejected the truth about God–the only solution capable of healing their minds–he gave them up to experience the consequence of rejecting truth, and their minds became filled with lies and were horribly depraved. They did evil and called it good, and they rejected goodness and called it foolishness.29They have become filled with every kind of selfishness, wickedness, evil, greed, and lustful perversion. They think only about themselves and are jealous of others, they destroy anyone who gets in their way, they lie and cheat and exploit, they spread rumors and gossip,30they destroy reputations and hate God and everything for which he stands, they deny creation and call those who trust God "fools," they are arrogant, proud and boastful, they constantly think up new ways to do evil and disregard authority by following their own impulses, they call their parents "fools" and reject their guidance,31they are unreasonable, irrational, mean-spirited, hard-hearted, and they trust no one.32Although they know God's righteous law–to love others before oneself–and realize their lifestyle leads only to death, they not only persist in their self-destructive ways, but throw parties and give awards to others who practice them.