Pursuing Jesus by Faith

“What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just 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.” Romans 10:30-33 NASB.

Romans chapters 9-10 contain Paul’s statement concerning a rebellious peoples’ confrontation with a Sovereign God, the Creator. Of course, we, the created, cannot expect to be able to tell the Creator what we expect Him to allow to be and do…as we please. Because He is THE Sovereign over all things, including events, we will be what He wants us to be. The interesting thing about this is that He wants us to live, not according to what we wish, according to His holiness. He has allowed His created to choose between right from wrong and suffer the consequences of bad choices. John chapter 3 demonstrates that fact.

The history of Israel demonstrates that same freedom of choice; Moses chose to receive the praise from the people for causing a rock to issue water, and for that bad choice God prevented him from crossing the Jordan River. How long did Israel wander around in the Wilderness before entering the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey? 40 years, one generation. The children of those who were freed from Egyptian slavery were allowed to enter, but because of on-going rebellion against God their parents were denied entry.

Faith is the Key to Freedom

”But Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works.” v. 32. Recalling the pursuit of his son’s life, Abraham relied upon his faith in Yahweh to secure the salvation of his son Isaac. God granted Abraham’s desire because of faith and achieved righteousness. Faith toward God is demonstrated to be the key to His righteousness.

Hebrews 11 provides a list of biblical characters who demonstrated faith in their relationship with God and His people, but Hebrews 12:1-4 sums up chapter 11 with this statement, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

We are encouraged by ‘fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Our faith must rest on Him and His Word alone. Every Believer will discover this righteousness by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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