Verse 1 – Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
The expression seems intended particularly for the Jews. His earnest and sincere desire was for all of Israel to be saved.
Verse 2 – For I hear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Verse 3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
Both Jews and Gentiles that are confident in their own righteousness, Paul says, are ignorant without knowledge. They are as lost as they can be. The greatest obstacle to salvation is a self-righteous sinner.
Verse 4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Verse 5 – For Moses writes about the “The man who does those things shall live by them.”
Christ is the end of the Law in being both its fulfillment and its termination. Any system based on performance is excluded. If a person chose to live by the Law to gain righteousness, they had to do so perfectly.
Verse 6 – But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
Verse 7 – or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ”
I always thought these two verse meant not to say, “Well, I think they went to heaven and another went to hell.” That’s not what Paul was talking about at all. He’s simply saying one doesn’t have to go to heaven to have access to Christ. One only needs to believe in their heart to make Christ accessible and that is the righteousness of faith.
Verse 8 – But what does it say? “The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart,” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
Verse 9 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Verse 10 – For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
Paul hasn’t changed the subject of understanding salvation, he is telling them its a matter of believing and confessing. With the mouth a person confesses that God raised Jesus from the dead and believes in the heart Jesus is who He says He is and thou shall be saved! By faith we confess!
Verse 11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
Verse 12 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
Verse 13 – For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
We call on Him with a repentant heart, a humble sense of our sinfulness and our need of a pardon, and with a willingness to receive eternal life as it is offered us in the gospel. And as this passage teaches, all may be saved who will do it. He will cast none away who comes in this manner. This invitation extends to all nations and to all people of all times.
Verse 14 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Verse 15 – And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who brings glad tidings of good things!”
To preach means to proclaim in a public manner, the gospel to people. They are sent, divinely commissioned, and sent forth by God. Being a preacher is a special calling on one’s life. To preach the Good News of the gospel proclaiming reconciliation with God by the gospel.
Verse 16 – But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Israel says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”
That is, Isaiah complains that his declarations respecting the Messiah had been rejected by his countrymen.
Verse 17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
This does not mean that all that hear will believe, but that faith cannot come without the gospel message. People are converted by the gospel of grace when they hear it and how can they hear it unless a preacher be sent?
Verse 18 – But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
Verse 19 – But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will anger you by a foolish nation.”
Verse 20 – But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask Me.’
Verse 21 – But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.
The gospel message was preached throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews listened and simply did not believe. Even knowing the Old Testament prophets, they didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah when He came. The Gentiles heard this too, and many believed Paul’s citations and this shows that the Gentile conversion was predicted in the Old Testament.
There are too many preachers and churches in the world today for a person not to have heard the gospel. It’s available all across the world. It is the individuals responsibility to respond.