The Word of Faith Brings Salvation
1Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a certain enthusiasm for God, but not in accordance with [correct and vital] knowledge [about Him and His purposes]. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness [which is based on faith], and seeking to establish their own [righteousness based on works], they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law [it leads to Him and its purpose is fulfilled in Him], for [granting] righteousness to everyone who believes [in Him as Savior].
5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law [with all its intricate demands] shall live by it. 6 But the righteousness based on faith [which produces a right relationship with Him] says the following: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into Heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down; 7 or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead [as if we had to be saved by our own efforts, doing the impossible].” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach— 9 because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile; for the same Lord is Lord over all [of us], and [He is] abounding in riches (blessings) for all who call on Him [in faith and prayer]. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.”
14 But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (messenger)? 15 And how will they preach unless they are commissioned and sent [for that purpose]? Just as it is written and forever remains written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
16 But they did not all pay attention to the good news [of salvation]; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.
18 But I say, did they not hear? Indeed they have;
“Their voice [that of creation bearing God’s message] has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to the [farthest] ends of the world.”
19 But I say, did Israel fail to understand [that the gospel was to go also to the Gentiles]? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation (Gentiles);
With a nation that lacks understanding I will make you angry.”
20 Then Isaiah is very bold and says,
“I have been found by those who did not seek Me;
I have shown Myself to those who did not [consciously] ask for Me.”
21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have stretched out My hands [in compassion] to a disobedient and obstinate people.”