1. Brothers, my dearest wish and my prayer to God is for them, that they may be saved.
2. I readily testify to their fervour for God, but it is misguided.
3. Not recognising God's saving justice they have tried to establish their own, instead of submitting to the saving justice of God.
4. But the Law has found its fulfilment in Christ so that all who have faith will be justified.
5. Moses writes of the saving justice that comes by the Law and says that whoever complies with it will find life in it.
6. But the saving justice of faith says this: Do not think in your heart, 'Who will go up to heaven?' --
7. that is to bring Christ down; or 'Who will go down to the depths?' -- that is to bring Christ back from the dead.
8. What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith, the faith which we preach,
9. that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.
10. It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved.
11. When scripture says: No one who relies on this will be brought to disgrace,
12. it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: the same Lord is the Lord of all, and his generosity is offered to all who appeal to him,
13. for all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
14. How then are they to call on him if they have not come to believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard of him? And how will they hear of him unless there is a preacher for them?
15. And how will there be preachers if they are not sent? As scripture says: How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of good news.
16. But in fact they have not all responded to the good news. As Isaiah says: Lord, who has given credence to what they have heard from us?
17. But it is in that way faith comes, from hearing, and that means hearing the word of Christ.
18. Well then, I say, is it possible that they have not heard? Indeed they have: in the entire earth their voice stands out, their message reaches the whole world.
19. Well, another question, then: is it possible that Israel did not understand? In the first place Moses said: I shall rouse you to jealousy with a non-people, I shall exasperate you with a stupid nation.
20. And Isaiah is even bold enough to say: I have let myself be found by those who did not seek me; I have let myself be seen by those who did not consult me;
21. and referring to Israel, he says: All day long I have been stretching out my hands to a disobedient and rebellious people.