Romans 9: 30-33
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
33just as it is written,
“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
I initially balked at the fact that this was only 4 verses today. Interesting enough, It’s a strong conclusion to Paul’s explanation of Jew vs. Gentile. The fact of the matter is that Jews and Gentiles, at this point, aren’t that much different. Paul (and I very much believe God) uses Israel’s past to make a point. It’s not about works, motivated by the law (or even motivated by something else) that results in our righteousness, but our God given faith and acceptance of forgiveness through Christ our Lord.
“you make it sound so simple.” Yeah, it is, yet it is so difficult. It’s like the game of chess. the concept is easy to understand, and even how the pieces work together, while taking some getting used to, is easy enough for a child to comprehend. Yet, it takes a lifetime to master.
Continuing with yesterday’s message, do you notice that God is the one who placed that stumbling stone there? Makes one wonder, “what’s the point, then?” Ahh yes, the point of life. It’s to glorify Him. How do you look at the stumbling block? Do you look at it as an excuse? A reason to turn away? Or rather, do you look at it as an opportunity for God to show His glory? An obstacle that by asking for and accepting His help, you can overcome and become stronger in and through Him? (ref: http://tinyurl.com/gloriousobstacles)
The point is faith. Do you believe God can do it? I’m sensing a reoccurring theme here. If we put our trust in Him, everything will begin to align. From how you act, to how you believe, to how others look at you, to how God takes care of you. As humans, we try to nitpick and one at a time turn to one thing or another. “If I tithe, my finances will be in order. If I stop cursing, people will treat me with more respect. If I go to church more, more people will be friends with me.” THOSE ARE ALL WORKS! It’s not my WORKS, it’s by FAITH that our lives are changed. Don’t focus on what, focus on why.
Why do you do what you do?