We’re continuing our study through the book of Romans. At this point, Paul is explaining the place of Israel in the plan of God.
In my last post, we looked at Paul’s quote of a couple of prophecies from the book of Isaiah. He was dealing with Israel’s failure to obtain righteousness.
Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
I said that this passage gives us three choices. I now want to look at these in more detail. We’re told that this righteousness that pleases God must be pursued by faith.
We know from Romans 10:17, that faith comes from hearing the Word of Christ. That’s where Paul is eventually bringing us to. It’s all about hearing and obeying Christ.
It’s interesting to note that Peter also quoted this verse in his writings.
…and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message — which is also what they were destined for.
1 Peter 2:8
Peter tells us that Israel stumbled because they disobeyed the Word. It’s all about hearing and obeying. Jesus Christ gave us a perfect word picture of what’s at stake.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
I said that the passage from Romans gives us three choices. These choices are actually three responses the Word.
Sometimes the Word seems small and insignificant in our eyes. We ignore it and we end up tripping over it. So it stops us and gets our attention.
Sometimes the Word to us seems huge. It would require too much change in our lives. We don’t want to put forth the effort it would require. So, we try to get around it, and end up stepping in the trap and our lives get stuck.
The third choice is the best. We hear the Word, take it to heart, and obey it. We then use it for the foundation of our lives. Now we’re secure in the center of God’s will.
So, in the context of Scripture, Romans chapter 9, is talking about the Word. It’s about hearing from God, then trusting Him, and obeying what He’s spoken to us. This is what the Christian walk is all about.
That’s why I’m so adamant about spending intimate times with the Holy Spirit. Without His guiding voice in our lives, we’re merely drifting on the winds of chance. I want more than that for my life.
Spend the time that it takes to hear His voice. Then keep a watch over it in your heart. Allow the Word of Christ to take root in you and let it become the foundation for all that you do.
Question: What’s the last thing you heard from the Holy Spirit that you need to obey?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi