1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
How many of you look at Christianity as a religion instead of a way of life? Is it something to believe in or something to do? Paul continues to explain in chapter 10 the reason why Israel has failed at righteousness in the eyes of God.
It’s understandable, from a human perspective how easy it is to follow the same path as Israel did (and still does). Even Christians do it. I have been guilty myself of doing it. We fall into a pattern of habit, and forget the point behind it all. Israel followed the law and began to worship the Law. Christ fulfilled the Law because we couldn’t do it ourselves. He was perfect, and sacrificed himself perfectly for us so we were no longer required to follow God’s perfect Law, but we still try to.
We fall victim to religion on a daily basis. We constantly think, “if I do what I’m supposed to do, then I’m justified enough to earn a seat in heaven.” No you’re not. That’s the message of the Gospel. It is only through accepting Christ’s sacrifice as forgiveness that you may enter the gates of heaven. The Father won’t accept you unless you come through the Son.
“but I go to church when I’m supposed to.” “but I work hard for my family.” “but I’m nice to people.” So what? No good works are good enough for God. If we focus on what we do, don’t we then, make ourselves our own god? Think about it. If you focus on how good you are, you aren’t focusing on His Will, rather you are focusing on how good you are. According to God, we are all wretched. None of us are worthy. How do we become worthy, then? By loving him enough to accept His sacrifice. To receive that free gift He so willingly gave us.
Someone asked me recently, “how can a loving God cast us away and condemn us all to hell?” I think that’s a very valid question. I ask, “how can such a devout follower of Christ not accept His forgiveness?” We miss the fact that God loved us so much that he slaughtered His only son for our forgiveness. Yet, we don’t focus on what He has done for us, we focus on what we can do for us. That’s not Christianity, that’s selfishness.