Letter to the Romans
They tried to achieve their own perfection
1 My brothers and sisters, I wish with all my heart that the Jews be saved and I pray to God for them. 2 I can testify that they are zealous for God, but this is not the way. 3 They donít know Godís way of righteousness and they try to achieve their own righteousness: this is why they did not enter Godís way of righteousness. 4 For Christ is the aim of the Law and it is then that the believer reaches this righteousness.
5 Moses, indeed, speaks of be coming just through the Law; he writes: The one who obeys the Law will find life through it. 6 But the righteousness coming from the faith says instead: Do not say in your heart: Who will go up to heaven? (because in fact Christ came down from there) 7 or who will go down to the world below? (because in fact Christ came up from among the dead). 8 True righteousness coming from faith also says: The word of God is near you, on your lips and in your hearts. This is the message that we preach, and this is faith.
9 You are saved if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart you believe that God raised him from the dead. 10 By believing from the heart, you obtain true righteousness; by confessing the faith with your lips you are saved. 11 For Scripture says: No one who believes in him will be ashamed. 12 Here there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; all have the same Lord, who is very generous with whoever calls on him. 13 Truly, all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
14 But how can they call upon the name of the Lord without having believed in him? And how can they believe in him without having first heard about him? And how will they hear about him if no one preaches about him? 15 And how will they preach about him if no one sends them? As Scripture says: How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of good news. 16 Al though not everyone obeyed the good news, as Isaiah said: Lord, who has believed in our preaching? 17 So, faith comes from preaching, and preach ing is rooted in the word of Christ.
18 I ask: Have the Jews not heard? But of course they have. Because the voice of those preaching re sounded all over the earth and their voice was heard to the ends of the world. 19 Then I must ask: Did Israel not understand? Moses was the first to say: I will make you jealous of a nation that is not a nation, I will excite your anger against a crazy nation. 20 Isaiah dares to add more: I was found by those not looking for me, I have shown myself to those not asking for me. 21 While referring to Israel, the same Isaiah says: I hold out my hands the whole day long to a dis obedient and rebellious people.