Book of Romans Paraphrase by E.H. "Jack" Sequeira
Paraphrase of the Book of Romans
The Jews Refuse Righteousness by Faith
1 So you see, brethren, my heartfelt desire and prayer to God is to see my own Jewish people saved. 2 I know for a fact they earnestly worship and serve God, just as I did before my conversion, but unfortunately they have failed to grasp the wonderful truth of the gospel. 3 Consequently, ignoring the free gift of righteousness God offers them in Christ, they are dcsperately trying to produce their own righteousness, and as a result have rejected the perfcct rightcousness of God made available to them through faith in His Son.
4 This righteousness, produced in Christs doing and dying, fully met the positive demands as well as the justice of Gods holy law, so that every believer stands perfect in Christ. Thus, Christ brought to an end our futile attempts to produce our own righteousness through legalism, 5 because the righteousness man produces through his own efforts is never perfect. And Moses, through whom God gave His law, made it very clear: Only the person who perfectly obeys Gods law in every detail has a right to live [Lev. 18:5; see also Gal. 3:10].
The Way of Righteousness by Faith
6 In complete contrast, the righteousness that comes through faith is not based on human effort, so that we have to hunt for Christ, 7 either by trying to reach up to heaven, or searching for Him in some hiding place on earth, as if He is extremely hard to find. 8 But how does the Bible put it? God is the one who takes the initiative and sends His Spirit right into our conscience, convicting us of the truth of the gospel as Christ is proclaimed [John 16:8-11].
9 And all that God requires from us is to submit to that conviction, confessing that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the World, and, from the heart, believe that God did raise Him from the dead as evidence and proof of His perfect redemption, and we will be saved. 10 For righteousness by faith is a heart appreciation and response to Gods supreme gift, Jesus Christ, and such faith openly acknowledges that mans only hope of salvation is in Christ. 11 For this is how Scripture puts it: Whosoever believes wholeheartedly in Gods Son is guaranteed salvation and, if this faith endures unto the end, will not stand condemned on judgment day [Isa. 28:16; John 5:24; Matt. 10:22].
12 And incidentally, it makes no difference whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, since Gods gift of salvation in Christ is for all humanity and the only way this salvation is made effective is by faith alone. 13 For God has guaranteed that everyone who will honestly believe in His Son is assured of salvation [John 6:40].
Faith Comes by Knowing the Gospel
14 Now it is true, nobody can turn to Christ for salvation if one does not believe in Him. And naturally, you cannot believe in Him if you have never heard of Christ and His salvation history [the gospel]. And the only way you can know about the gospel is when someone witnesses to you about llim or you read about the gospel in a book or hear the good news on radio or television. 15 That is why Christ commissioned ihe church to preach the good news of salvation to all mankind (IvIarkl6:159; and this is what Scripture says about those who do: How beautiful are the feet of those who witness Christ to those who are still without hope and bring them the good news of salvation [Isa. 52:7].
16 But the trouble with my Jewish people is that not all of them have submitted to the truth as it is in Chrlst. This, unfortunately, is exactly what the Old Testament prophet Isaiah complaincd about the Jews of his day. He said: Lord, nobody seems to believe the truth I have proclaimed [Isa. 53:1]. 17 So faith may be defined as a heart response to the gospel we have heard preached, and the gospel is the truth as it is in ChristHis incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
Israelís Willful Rejection of Christ
18 Now, in case you are wondering if all the Jews have heard the gospel, may I assure you that they certainly have; for Christ has been preached in every corner of the Roman Empire so that there is not a single Jewish community that has not heard about Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 19 So, a lack of gospel knowledge is not their problem; neither can they give the excuse that they have not clearly understood the good news of salvation. The real truth of the matter is that they have deliberately and persistently rejected Christ as the Messiah. God, knowing this would happen, declared this through Moses: I will pass the keys of the kingdom to the Gentiles [Christian Church] and make you Jews very jealous. This will provoke you to anger since you will feel left out [Deut. 32:21].
20 The prophet Isaiah boldly made a similar statement: Those who were not looking for the Messiah found Him and God recognizes them as His people even though they were not considered as Gods covenant people [Isa. 65:1]. 21 And concerning the Jews, the same Isaiah said this: All day long I have held out My hand to a people who obstinately refuse Me (Isa. 65:2). In other words, the only ones who must take the blame for being lost are the Jews themselves, those who have deliberately and persistently refused to accept Christ as Gods promised Messiah.