1 Brothers and sisters, what I want most is for all the people of Israel to be saved. That is my prayer to God.
2 I can say this about them: They really try hard to follow God, but they don’t know the right way.
3 They did not know the way that God makes people right with him. And they tried to make themselves right in their own way. So they did not accept God’s way of making people right.
4 Christ ended the law so that everyone who believes in him is made right with God.
5 Moses writes about being made right by following the law. He says, “The person who obeys these laws is the one who will have life through them.”
6 But this is what the Scriptures say about being made right through faith: “Don’t say to yourself, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ ” (This means “Who will go up to heaven to get Christ and bring him down to earth?”)
7 “And don’t say, ‘Who will go down into the world below?’ ” (This means “Who will go down to get Christ and bring him up from death?”)
8 This is what the Scripture says: “God’s teaching is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.” It is the teaching of faith that we tell people.
9 If you openly say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved.
10 Yes, we believe in Jesus deep in our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we openly say that we believe in him, and so we are saved.
11 Yes, the Scriptures say, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed.”
12 It says this because there is no difference between those who are Jews and those who are not. The same Lord is the Lord of all people. And he richly blesses everyone who looks to him for help.
13 Yes, “everyone who trusts in the Lord will be saved.”
14 But before people can pray to the Lord for help, they must believe in him. And before they can believe in the Lord, they must hear about him. And for anyone to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them.
15 And before anyone can go and tell them, they must be sent. As the Scriptures say, “How wonderful it is to see someone coming to tell good news!”
16 But not all the people accepted that good news. Isaiah said, “Lord, who believed what we told them?”
17 So faith comes from hearing the Good News. And people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ.
18 But I ask, “Did those people not hear the Good News?” Yes, they heard—as the Scriptures say,
“Their voices went out all around the world.
Their words went everywhere in the world.” Psalm 19:4
19 Again I ask, “Did the people of Israel not understand?” Yes, they did understand. First, Moses says this for God:
“I will use those who are not really a nation to make you jealous.
I will use a nation that does not understand to make you angry.” Deuteronomy 32:21
20 Then Isaiah is bold enough to say this for God:
“The people who were not looking for me—
they are the ones who found me.
I made myself known to those who did not ask for me.” Isaiah 65:1
21 But about the people of Israel God says,
“All day long I stood ready to accept those people,
but they are stubborn and refuse to obey me.” Isaiah 65:2