I love the theological tension that Paul lived in so comfortably. As described to me before, we are like a train that travels on to rails that exist in parallel but never meet except on the horizon [in God in eternity].
The sequence of Romans 7, 8, 9, 10 is simply exquisite. Depending on your theological bias, or bent, that will determine which parts of these chapters you will choose to emphasize. However we cannot simply explain away the difficult verses, so as to endorse our theology.
To those of you who are TULIP protagonists, it is good periodically to approach the text with humility, and embrace the texts which are awkward for this position without feeling the obligation to do exegetical gymnastics. Read and enjoy!
vs 1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them [Israelites] is that they may be saved
vs 2b they have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge
vs 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes
vs 9 ...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved
vs 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified and with the mouth one confesses and is saved
vs 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him
vs 13 For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'.
vs 17 So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.
Aren't those texts empowering? I keep trying to live in the width of the texts and find myself struggling with the constraints set by the definitions of men