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4. The righteousness of God is only attained by faith, and not by attempting to keep the Law
(Romans 9:30 - 10:21)

a) The Jews neglect the righteousness of God which is attained by faith, and they stick to the works of the law
(Romans 9:30 - 10:3)
30What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.33As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."10:1Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.3For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

The apostle Paul indirectly attempted to turn the church members in Rome away from their final decision, that they might recognize that the righteousness of God is attained only through their faith in Christ, while righteousness founded on works leads the religious professors to destruction. His question was decisive. The apostle Paul confessed before the council of the first church, and particularly before those who held righteousness according to the law, that none of them had kept and fulfilled all the commandments of God, and that none of them would be saved by his works, but by the grace of God which is only present in Christ (Acts 15:6-11). He who despises the grace of Christ is like a man walking in darkness who suddenly stumbles on a big stone on his way, falls down and perishes (Isaiah 8:14; 28:16).
Though he had reconciled the Jews to God, Christ became, for many of them, a reason for their judgment because they rejected his unique grace. However, those who recognized their Savior, and believed in him, were saved.
Paul confessed that many Jews were diligent in keeping the law, and had made every effort to obey the commandments. He loved them because of their diligence, and hoped that they would seize the opportunities of their life, and accept the great gift given to them. Therefore, Paul prayed to God and pleaded earnestly that many of them would be guided to the salvation prepared for them.
However, Paul experienced in many of the economic centers in the Roman Empire that the Jews held to their law. They regarded themselves as the chosen people and looked at the other peoples as rubbish. They did not recognize the new righteousness of God in Christ, but attempted through fasting, prayer, sacrifices, contributions, and pilgrimage to observe the 613 commandments in order to prove their innocence, and thereby, rejecting the true righteousness of God. What a deceitful thought this is! What a condition of suffering they had brought upon themselves!

O heavenly Father, we worship you for we believers are of the unclean Gentiles, but from the fullness of your grace we have received one blessing after another, and you have granted us your own righteousness as a great gift. Therefore, we pray to you to offer the same blessings to the followers of other religions who think that their personal works can justify them. Please break their pride, and help them to believe in you and trust you as beloved children.
Why did millions of believers of different peoples attain the righteousness of God and become established in it? Why do religious people of other religions attempt to observe their laws in order to attain the righteousness of God?