02/17/W – Pursue by Faith

2 Chronicles 17:1-19; Romans 9:25-33; Psalms 20:7-9; Proverbs 10:1-2

NT: “What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness — namely the righteousness that comes from faith. But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and the one who believes on him will not be put to shame.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:30-33‬ ‭CSB)

Israel, over the course of their existence as a people, pursued righteousness but (as a whole) never obtained it. Gentiles, on the other hand, who were not pursuing righteousness, found it and obtained it. How could that be? The Jews were pursuing the righteousness of the law – they were striving to meet all the requirements of the law and seeking to earn righteousness through their works. The law was never given to make people righteous. The law was given to lead people to Righteousness… and when Righteousness came, the Jewish people were too fixated on the law to recognize Him. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. He was the Cornerstone upon which a righteous and holy life was to be built. Instead of recognizing Christ, accepting Him, and placing their faith on Him, the Jews rejected Him and stumbled over Him to their fall. The gentiles, on the other hand, when Christ was presented to them, placed their faith on Him and obtained His righteousness. Salvation and the righteousness of God only comes through faith in Christ the Cornerstone. Salvation doesn’t come through good behavior. It doesn’t come through birthright. It isn’t based on your spiritual lineage or the nation you are a citizen of. Salvation only comes through faith in Christ, and because of that, it is available to anyone (Jew and gentile alike) who believes on Christ. If we pursue Righteousness by faith, we will obtain it and not stumble over it to our shame.

Psalms: “Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand firm. Lord, give victory to the king! May he answer us on the day that we call.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭20:7-9‬ ‭CSB)

Psalm 20 was written by King David and it was a prayer to be prayed before going into battle. David knew that victory in battle was not dependent on the size of the army or the number and quality of their weapons. David knew that victory in battle was dependent on faith in the Lord God. Any nation that placed their faith in their chariots and horses and their own ability to wage war would ultimately fall to an army (no matter the size) that was led by the Lord of Hosts. Just as God delivered Israel from the horses and chariots of Egypt, God would deliver Israel in David’s day, as long as David and the people kept their faith in the Lord their Deliverance and Salvation. As we battle our enemies (the world, the flesh, and the devil) we can be confident in victory as we place our faith, not on our abilities and efforts, but on Christ our Righteousness and Salvation.

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