Stumbling by Works
Topic: AM Service Passage: Romans 9:30–9:33
Paul has been setting forth how the promises of God have not failed. God’s promises are sure because of God’s sovereign will – it is God’s election that ensures the redemption of His people. But we must not assume that God’s election relieves sinners of their responsibility. God does not condemn innocent people. His election is a merciful intervention in the life of a sinner who justly deserves His wrath. Comes back to this point at the end of Romans 9, when he makes clear that there is only one way to attain to righteousness: by faith alone. Whenever a sinner, even one who strives with all his might, believes that works can justify him, he will never find forgiveness and justification. Our works are nothing more than a stumbling block that keep us from Christ. We must follow the directive of Paul and pursue righteousness by faith so that we are not found “Stumbling by Works” (Romans 9:30-33).
I. Righteousness Obtained by Faith
A. Importance of Man’s Responsibility
B. Faith Established by God
II. Righteousness Missed by Works
A. Pursuit by Works
B. A Wrong Way to Seek God
III. Jesus is the Difference
A. The Stone of Stumbling
B. The Cornerstone
Questions for consideration: (1) Why is it important for us to see that the Bible teaches both God’s election and man’s responsibility? What does that mean for you personally? (2) How does knowing about Israel’s failure to obtain salvation by works help us as we share the gospel? How does it help you to guard your own heart? (3) What does it mean that Jesus is the cornerstone?