Read Romans 9:30–10:4
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”10 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.
Who do you know who refuses to listen to any advice or instruction? Why do they refuse to listen?
What kept Israel from obtaining righteousness? (Romans 9:31-32)
What positive trait did Paul recognize in the Israelites? (Romans 10:2)
What is the relationship between Christ and the Law in a person’s pursuit of righteousness? (Romans 10:4)
How can a person have great zeal for God or religious activities and yet be misguided?
What groups of people in our society resemble the unbelieving Jews of Paul’s time?
When could you spend extended time in prayer to bring before God those groups or people who have shown little interest in the gospel?
Paul looks backward to God’s sovereign choice in Israel’s history (9:1–29) and forward to the necessity of faith and the guilt of unbelief (10:5–21). Every effort to get right with God by works of the Law, however sincere, is doomed to failure. God is the giver of righteousness to everyone who believes. Engelbrecht, Edward A. The Lutheran Study Bible. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009.
O my God, in You alone do I put my trust; let me not be put to shame (Ps 25:2). Amen.