1 Brothers, my heart's desire and [fervent] request to God is for the salvation of my fellow-Jews. [See 9:3-4]. 2 For I can testify that they have an enthusiasm for God, but it is without [true] knowledge. 3 For they did not know about God's way of making people right with Himself, so they attempted to establish their own way. In doing this they did not submit to God's way for being made right with Him. 4 So, Christ has brought an end to the law [as a means] of being made right with God for every person who believes [in Him]. 5 For Moses wrote [Lev. 18:5] about a person being made right with God by obeying the requirements of the law of Moses, that he would gain [never ending] life for doing this. 6 But the [means of] being made right with God by faith [in Christ] is described in the Scripture this way [Deut. 30:12-13], "Do not ask yourself, 'Who will go up into heaven?'" (in order to bring Christ down [to earth]). 7 "And [do not ask yourself], 'Who will go down into the deep hole?'" (in order to bring Christ up from the dead). [Note: This "deep hole" probably refers to the unseen place of departed spirits, or possibly the grave. Being made right with God does not require something as difficult as bringing Christ down from heaven or up from the dead (which God had already done), but is within easy reach of everyone]. 8 But what does the Scripture say [about being made right with God]? [Deut. 30:14 says], "The message of God is near you [i.e., it is not difficult to comprehend]. It is on your lips and in your heart." This is the message of faith [in Christ] which we [apostles] preach. 9 So, if you profess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For a person believes [in Christ] with his heart in order to be made right with God, and he makes a profession with his lips in order to be saved. 11 For the Scripture says [Isa. 28:16], "Whoever believes in Him [i.e., Christ] will not be put to shame." [i.e., he will never have unforgiven sin brought up against him] 12 For there is no distinction [with God] between Jews and Greeks [i.e., Gentiles], for all have the same Lord, who is generous to all who appeal to Him [for help]. 13 For [Joel 2:32 says], "Every person who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." [i.e., whoever appeals to God through obedient faith in Christ]
14 [But] how can they appeal to Him if they have not [first] believed in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have not [first] heard [about Him]? And how can they hear [about Him] if there is no preacher? 15 And how can people preach [anywhere] unless they are sent out? Even as it is written [Isa. 52:7], "How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news [of salvation through Christ]?" 16 But not everyone [of the Israelites] obeyed [that] good news. For Isaiah said [Isa. 53:1], "Lord, who has believed our message?" 17 So, faith results from [people] hearing, and [their] hearing results from [the preaching of] the message about Christ. 18 But I ask, "Did not they [i.e., the Jews] hear [the message]?" Certainly they did! [Psa. 19:4 says], "The sound [of their preaching] went out into all the world, and their message reached to the ends of the earth."
19 But I ask [again], "Did not the Israelites understand [the message]?" In the first place, Moses said [Deut. 32:21], "I [i.e., God] will stir up you [Jews] to become jealous, by [favoring] a nation [i.e., the Gentiles] that is unworthy [of your approval]. [I will do it] by using a nation of fools to make you people angry."
20 Then Isaiah boldly said [Isa. 45:1], "I [i.e., God] was found by a people [i.e., the Gentiles] who were not looking for me. I became known to people who were not asking for me."
21 But Isaiah said about the Israelites [Isa. 40:2], "I reached out all day long to [help] people who disobeyed and spoke against [me]."