Unlimited: Pursuing the Law
Mar 31, 2023 451
but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal (Romans 9:31).
This is the second half of the great irony that Paul is presenting. The Gentiles never pursued righteousness, yet they obtained it by faith. However, Israel, who had spent countless generations pursuing righteousness through the law, failed to obtain it.
This is the great irony of false religion. All religion is false religion if it does not point people to Jesus Christ as the only source of righteousness and salvation. The religion of the Jews should have pointed them to Christ; instead, they misunderstood it as pointing to the law.
Israel, who had spent countless generations pursuing righteousness through the law, failed to obtain it.
The word translated as “pursued” means to run swiftly to reach a goal, to eagerly seek after, or to earnestly endeavour to acquire something. There was no lack of sincerity or effort on the part of Israel. It is simply that they pursued the wrong goal.
They sought to be righteous in their lives through their obedience to God. Instead, they should have sought a relationship with Christ, through which his righteousness would have been credited to their account. If they had done that, they would have found that as a result they would in turn have become more obedient to God in their lives.
The great irony was that Christ was right there with him. They didn’t need to pursue him. He had come to them.
Read Romans 10:5–8. It describes the two ways to salvation: through the righteousness of the law or through the righteousness that is through Christ. One seems far and the other is very close to you. Do you feel that righteousness is far from you, or as close as your very heart and your mouth?