Don’t Miss the Faith Way

[Here’s part of one of my assignments for a class in Romans. I pray you are able to truly get to know Jesus Christ and trust everything he says.]

What are we to say? There are actually Gentiles out there who had no interest in righteousness at all, and now they are righteous, having obtained a righteousness that comes by faith. At the same time, the nation of Israel, who has a whole law-reinforced culture of pursuing righteousness, isn’t righteous. And why not? Because they skipped the simple faith-way, and tried to get it by hard effort. They stumbled over the stumbling-stone. The Scriptures talk about this very thing: “Watch out, I lay in Jerusalem a stone that everyone is going to trip over; it’s a rock that people misjudge and think they can get over, but they end up flat on the ground. But whoever trusts in him, using him as their life’s cornerstone, will never regret it.”

Brothers, what I really, really want, and my prayer to God for the nation of Israel, is that they will be saved. From personal testimony, I know that they really want to please God, but they just don’t know how to go about it. Not to make excuses, but, they had no idea about the righteousness that is a gift from God, and since they were so intent on achieving their own righteousness, when God made his offer, they said “No!” The whole purpose of this law-based-culture-ever-pursuing-righteousness is really to get you to stop it all and believe in Christ, at which time all that elusive righteousness is given to you lock, stock and barrel.

Moses describes law-based righteousness like this; “their source of life will be the very laws they obey.” But faith-based righteousness says this; “Don’t be worrying about whether you can do something spiritual enough, or great enough, to deserve Messiah’s blessing.” What does it say? “Faith is so close to you, it’s like the word on the tip of your tongue, it’s a simple decision of the heart, the kind of faith we are talking about: All it takes for you to be saved is to say the words “Jesus is Lord” and to believe in your heart that God did absolutely everything you would ever need to do, in and through Christ. Now, the way to be declared truly righteous is by believing with your heart. And the way to attain salvation is by confessing with your mouth. As that Scripture we read said, “whoever trusts in him, using him as their life’s cornerstone, will never regret it.” And there is no difference in the way of salvation for Jew and for Gentile – there’s only one Lord who is Lord of everyone and who richly blesses everyone who calls out to him for help, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

[Paraphrase of Romans 9:30 to 10:13]

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