Faith and works (Rom 9:32)

“Why not?

Because they did not pursue it

On the basis of faith,

But as if it were based

On works.

They have stumbled

Over the stumbling stone.”

διὰ τί; ὅτι οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐξ ἔργων· προσέκοψαν τῷ λίθῳ τοῦ προσκόμματος,

Paul once again asked an ironic question “Why not (διὰ τί)?”  Of course, he answered that Israel did not pursue righteousness on the basis of faith (ὅτι οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως), but as if it were based on works (ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐξ ἔργων).  They have stumbled (προσέκοψαν) over the stumbling stone (τῷ λίθῳ τοῦ προσκόμματος).  The problem with the Israelites and the law was that they did not seek righteousness with faith, but by works.  If they followed the law, they thought that they would be righteous by simply keeping the law.  They lacked faith, so that they stumbled on the stumbling stone.  Instead of the law helping them, it hindered them with their narrow legalistic treatment of the law.  What is your attitude towards the law?

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