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1MY brothers, from the bottom of my heart I long and pray to God that Israel may be saved!

2I know from experience what a passion for God they have, but alas, it is not a passion based on knowledge.

3They do not know God's righteousness, and all the time they are trying to prove their own righteousness they have the wrong attitude to receive his.

4For Christ means the end of the struggle for righteousnessbytheLaw for everyone who believes in him.

5Moses writes of righteousnessbytheLaw when he says that the man who perfectly obeys the Law shall find life in it.

6But righteousnessbyfaith speaks like this: "You need not say in your heart, 'Who could go up to Heaven to bring Christ down to us,

7or who could descend into the depths to bring him up from the dead?'

8No, the word is very near you, [on your own lips] and in [your own heart]!" It is this word, which is the burden of our preaching,

9and it says, in effect, "If you openly admit by your own lips that Jesus is the Lord, and if you believe in your own heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

10For it is believing [in the heart] that makes a man righteous before God, and it is storing his belief by [his own lips] that confirms his salvation.

11And the scripture says: "Whosoever believes in him shall not be disappointed."

12And that "whosoever" means anyone, without distinction between Jew or Greek. For all have the same Lord, whose boundless resources are sufficient for all who turn to him in faith.

13For: Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14Now how can they call on one in whom they have never believed? How can they believe in one of whom they never heard? And how can they hear unless someone proclaims him?

15And who will go to tell them unless he is sent? As the scripture puts it: How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!

16Yet not all have responded to the gospel. Isaiah asks, you remember, Lord, who hath believed our report?

17Faith, you see, can only come from hearing the message, and the message is the word of Christ.

18But when I ask myself: "Did they never hear?" I have to answer that they [have] heard, for Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world.

19Then I say to myself: "Did Israel not know?" And my answer must be that they did. For Moses says: I will provoke you to jealousy with that which is no nation, With a nation void of understanding will I anger you.

20And Isaiah, more daring still, puts these words into the mouth of God: I was found of them that sought me not. I became manifest unto them that asked not of me.

21And then, speaking in Israel: All the day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.


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