1 Brothers, what would please my heart and what I pray to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites is that they be saved. 2 Because I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal does not line up with the truth. 3 Because ignoring the means of righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s means of righteousness. 4 Because Christ is the purpose of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes. 5 Because Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by means of faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 Because with the heart one believes producing righteousness and with the mouth one confesses producing salvation.
God’s means of righteousness
When I was a young pastor, I went looking for an older Christian to mentor me, and I picked the wrong man. He taught me that God has two peoples, and works under two covenants. He said that you can come to faith and gain eternal life through either group. Either you can come to faith by following the Jewish system, or by putting your trust in Christ.
Paul says, nah. He had lived as a perfect specimen of the Jewish system, and he declared to the Romans that these did not submit to “God’s means of righteousness.” There is only one. He is Jesus, and if you do not bow to his lordship, you are lost, no matter what acts of law-keeping you do.
No matter what your heritage, no matter how good your deeds are, there is only one means of attaining to God’s righteousness: faith in Christ. Come to him now.
LORD, may our message be clear to a dying world. There is life only in your Son.
 Deuteronomy 30:11-14.