Rev. Sam Wirgau, pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ossian, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Romans 9:30-10:4.
What shall we say then? In this text, St. Paul summarizes what he has said concerning Israel’s rejection of Christ and transitions to the importance of faith. Although Gentiles had not pursued righteousness, even pursuing unrighteousness, they attained God’s righteousness through faith. On the other hand, Israel pursued righteousness through the law but did not attain it. They could not and did not keep the law, and all the while, they missed the purpose of the law in pointing them toward faith in Christ. Their rejection of Christ is the reason they did not receive God’s righteousness. God has set up Christ as the cornerstone, but for those who reject Him, He is a stone over which they stumble. This is not due to God’s desire; He desires all to be saved. Nor is it Paul’s desire. He prays earnestly for the salvation of his kinsmen according to the flesh. He notes their zeal for God, but laments that it is misplaced apart from true knowledge of Christ, because Christ is the completion of the law. He alone gives righteousness before God through faith.
“The Righteousness of God for You” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Human righteousness cannot save, because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Only the righteousness of God can bring life and forgiveness to sinners. This is the righteousness that He has fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel, the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. This is the righteousness that is not earned, but is freely given by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[a] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
10 Brothers,[b] my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.[c]
- Romans 9:31 Greek a law of righteousness
- Romans 10:1 Or Brothers and sisters
- Romans 10:4 Or end of the law, that everyone who believes may be justified
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.