Brothers and sisters, my heart's desire1 and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
For I can testify about them that they are zealous2 for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.34
Christ is the culmination of the law4 so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.55
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: "Whoever does these things will live by them."a66
But the righteousness that is by faith7 says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' "b8 (that is, to bring Christ down)
"or 'Who will descend into the deep?' "c9 (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).108
But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,"d11 that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:
If you declare12 with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"13 and believe14 in your heart that God raised him from the dead,15 you will be saved.1610
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
As Scripture says, "Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame."e1712
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile18--the same Lord is Lord of all19 and richly blesses all who call on him,
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord 20 will be saved."f2114
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"g2216
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.23 For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"h2417
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,25 and the message is heard through the word about Christ.2618
But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."i2719
Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious28 by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding."j2920
And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."k3021
But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."l31