Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation!
I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God's righteousness.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
For Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them.
But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, "Who will go up to heaven?" that is, to bring Christ down
or, "Who will go down into the abyss?" that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.
On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim:
if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.
Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame,
for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?
And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!
But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
But I ask, "Did they not hear?" Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.
But I ask, "Did Israel not understand?" First, Moses said: I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that lacks understanding.
And Isaiah says boldly: I was found by those who were not looking for Me; I revealed Myself to those who were not asking for Me.
But to Israel he says: All day long I have spread out My hands to a disobedient and defiant people.
I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the Elijah section-- how he pleads with God against Israel?
Lord, they have killed Your prophets, torn down Your altars; and I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life!
But what was God's reply to him? I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal.
In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace.
Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened,
as it is written: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear, to this day.
And David says: Let their feasting become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution to them.
Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent continually.
I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous.
Now if their stumbling brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full number bring!
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. In view of the fact that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
if I can somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them.
For if their being rejected is world reconciliation, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
Now if the firstfruits offered up are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them, and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree,
do not brag that you are better than those branches. But if you do brag-- you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you.
Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."
True enough; they were broken off by unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.
For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either.
Therefore, consider God's kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you-- if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again.
For if you were cut off from your native wild olive, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these-- the natural branches-- be grafted into their own olive tree?
So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: a partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob.
And this will be My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.
Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of their forefathers,
since God's gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable.
As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience,
so they too have now disobeyed, [resulting] in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy.
For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?
Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.
Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function,
in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts: If prophecy, use it according to the standard of faith;
if service, in service; if teaching, in teaching;
if exhorting, in exhortation; giving, with generosity; leading, with diligence; showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good.
Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.
Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone's eyes.
If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.
Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.
But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.