1 My brothers and sisters, my heart's desire—my prayer to God—is for the salvation of the people of Israel!
2 I can testify to their passionate dedication to God, but it's not based on knowing him as he truly is.
3 They don't understand how God makes us right with him, and they try to make themselves right. They refuse to accept God's way of making people right.
4 For Christ is the fulfillment of the law. All those who trust in him are made right.
5 Moses wrote, “Whoever does what is right by obeying the law will live.”
6 But the attitude of doing right that comes from trust says this: “Don't ask ‘who'll go to heaven?’ (asking to bring Christ down),”
7 or “ ‘who'll go to the place of the dead?’ (asking to bring Christ back from the dead).”
8 What Scripture actually says is: “The message is very close to you—it's what you talk about and what's in your mind.” In fact it's this message based on trust that we're presenting.
9 For if you declare that you accept Jesus as Lord, and you are convinced in your mind that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.
10 Your trust in God makes you right and good, and your declaration of accepting God saves you.
11 As Scripture says, “Those who trust in him will not be disappointed.”
12 There's no difference between Jew and Greek—for the same Lord is Lord of everyone, and he gives generously to everyone who asks him.
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 But how can people call on someone they don't trust? How can they trust someone they haven't heard about? How can they hear unless they're told?
15 How can they go out and tell others unless they're sent? Just as Scripture says, “Those who come bringing the good news are truly welcome!”
16 But not everyone has accepted the good news. As Isaiah asks: “Lord, who trusted in the news they heard from us?”
17 Trusting in God comes from hearing—hearing the message of Christ.
18 It's not that they haven't heard. Quite the opposite: “The voices of those speaking for God have been heard all over the earth—their message went out to the whole world.”
19 So my question is, “Didn't Israel know?” First of all Moses says, “I'll make you jealous by using people who aren't even a nation; I will make you angry by using ignorant foreigners!”
20 Then Isaiah said it even more strongly: “I was found by people who weren't even looking for me; I revealed myself to people who weren't even asking for me.”
21 As God says to Israel, “All day long I reached out my hands to a disobedient and stubborn people.”