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Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. 3For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. 4For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Salvation Is for All

5 Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6But the righteousness that comes from 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). 8But what does it say?

“The word is near you,

on your lips and in your heart”

(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,

and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;

with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;

I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

4. For the end of the law is Christ, etc. The word completion, 321321     “Complementum — the complement,” the filling up, the completion. The word τέλος, “end,” is used in various ways, as signifying — 1. The terminations of any thing, either of evils, or of life, etc., Matthew 10:22; John 13:1; — 2. Completion or fulfillment, Luke 22:37; 1 Timothy 1:5; — 3. The issue, the effect, the consequence, the result, Romans 6:21; 1 Peter 1:9; 2 Corinthians 11:15; — 4. Tribute or custom, Romans 13:7; — 5. The chief thing, summary or substance, 1 Peter 3:8
   The meaning of the word depends on what is connected with it. The end of evils, or of life, is their termination; the end of a promise is its fulfillment; the end of a command, its performance or obedience; the end of faith is salvation. In such instances, the general idea is the result, or the effect, or the consequence. Now the law may be viewed as an economy, comprising the whole Jewish law, not perfect, but introductory; in this view Christ may be said to be its end — its perfection or “its landing place.” But we may also regard the law in its moral character, as the rule and condition of life; then the end of the law is its fulfillment, the performance of what it requires to attain life: and Christ in this respect is its end, having rendered to it perfect obedience. This last meaning is most consistent with the words which follow, and with the Apostle’s argument. The first view is taken by Chrysostom, Beza, Turrettin, as well as Calvin; the second, by Mede, Stuart, and Chalmers. There is really not much difference in the two views; only the sequel of the verse, “for righteousness to every one who believes,” and the opposite sentiment in the next verse, “the man who doeth these shall live in (or through) them,” seem to favor the latter view. — Ed.
seems not to me unsuitable in this place; and Erasmus has rendered it perfection: but as the other reading is almost universally approved, and is not inappropriate, readers, for my part, may retain it.

The Apostle obviates here an objection which might have been made against him; for the Jews might have appeared to have kept the right way by depending on the righteousness of the law. It was necessary for him to disprove this false opinion; and this is what he does here. He shows that he is a false interpreter of the law, who seeks to be justified by his own works; because the law had been given for this end, — to lead us as by the hand to another righteousness: nay, whatever the law teaches, whatever it commands, whatever it promises, has always a reference to Christ as its main object; and hence all its parts ought to be applied to him. But this cannot be done, except we, being stripped of all righteousness, and confounded with the knowledge of our sin, seek gratuitous righteousness from him alone.

It hence follows, that the wicked abuse of the law was justly reprehended in the Jews, who absurdly made an obstacle of that which was to be their help: nay, it appears that they had shamefully mutilated the law of God; for they rejected its soul, and seized on the dead body of the letter. For though the law promises reward to those who observe its righteousness, it yet substitutes, after having proved all guilty, another righteousness in Christ, which is not attained by works, but is received by faith as a free gift. Thus the righteousness of faith, (as we have seen in the first chapter,) receives a testimony from the law. We have then here a remarkable passage, which proves that the law in all its parts had a reference to Christ; and hence no one can rightly understand it, who does not continually level at this mark.

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