1: Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3: For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4: For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Believing in Christ
5: For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6: But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7: Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We might hear the question is Israel saved? The answer is they are a redeemed nation, redeemed from Egypt. They are in Covenant with God and they have the blessings of fellowship with God. But this is not salvation as described in the NT. Paul says my hearts desire is for Israel to be saved. Clearly Paul did not reckon them as saved - yet. His prayer is that they might be saved. He says they have a zeal for God but it is not based on the full knowledge of God in the Gospel. He says they are ignorant of the righteousness which is the gift of God to those who believe the Gospel. He says they are still trying to make themselves righteous by obedience to the Mosaic Law. Paul points out that Christ is the end of the road for the Mosaic Law to every sinner who believes in Christ for salvation. Once a sinner believes the Gospel they are declared righteous by God. So why would they subsequently return to Law keeping? If they could keep the Law what would be the point. Let’s suppose they kept the Sabbath and by it obtained a small bit of righteousness, what are they going to do with it? They already have all the righteousness of Christ. You cannot add righteousness of the law to the righteousness of Christ. Paul says that, Moses described the righteousness of the law saying that the man who tries to keep it is committed to keep it all. However, there is a righteousness of Faith in what Christ has done. Then Paul describes the Gospel in particular relation to the Jews. It’s not a separate Gospel for the Jews but their unique situation brings out a unique emphasis. Let’s think about the Jewish situation. The Jews formally rejected Christ denying him publically and subsequently denying his resurrection which was the final sign of his Messianic claims. Paul says you Jews have got to make a personal stand and reverse this position of Judaism to Christ if you are to be saved. He says, if you confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, This is to make a public acceptance of Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah. And on top of that a personal faith in the truth that God has raised him from the dead, then you can be saved. Paul says that when a man believes with his whole heart he comes into the righteousness of God. And he says the public confession of Jesus as the Christ brings him to salvation. Some Jews might say I'm ashamed to acknowledge Christ publically. Paul quotes the scripture saying; whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Lastly Paul makes the point that salvation comes to the Jew and Gentiles in exactly the same way. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. The final quote of scripture completes his message, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.