Romans 9:31-33 – Unveiling Stumbling Blocks and Resurrection-Navigating Faith’s Transformative Path

Romans 9:31-33 - Unveiling Stumbling Blocks and Resurrection-Navigating Faith's Transformative Path

August 14, 2023

Series: Romans

Romans 9:31-33 - Unveiling Stumbling Blocks and Resurrection-Navigating Faith's Transformative Path

As I read these verses, my heart becomes heavy, and my eyes often fill with tears. The Spirit of God reveals to me a perspective that might not align with the common interpretation. While these verses have been frequently emphasized in sermons and online posts, the Holy Spirit guides me toward a deeper understanding.

The Spirit’s emphasis is on the timeless relevance of these words for us Christians. The Spirit directs my attention to the fact that God foresaw that we, like the Israelites, would encounter stumbling blocks. The Word of God was a stumbling block for them under the law, and it remains a stumbling block for us under grace. The core message the Spirit imparts is that the stumbling arises from a consistent issue: our failure to grasp His righteousness.

In essence, Paul communicates that the righteousness obtained through faith in Christ isn’t elusive due to a flaw in God’s plan. Instead, it’s our approach that’s faulty. Rather than seeking this righteousness through faith, we often attempt to earn it through our own efforts—a pattern that persists through the ages, and we don’t realize that we are not grasping the meaning based on God’s interpretation and expectations.  This misunderstanding stems from a lack of insight into God’s grace and the true essence of salvation.

The metaphor of the “stumbling stone,” referring to Jesus Christ, holds a profound truth for me. The Spirit delves into deeper layers, revealing that this cornerstone can either be a stumbling point or a secure anchor. This insight resonates with my journey in 2006 when the Spirit illuminated a profound truth: believing in Christ’s resurrection is a significant challenge for us as Christians. Strangely, I hadn’t realized this despite my love for Easter and passionate

In 2006, a profound lesson unfolded before me—an insight into what might be the toughest challenge for Christians: believing in Christ’s resurrection. Surprisingly, many of us struggle with this belief, often without even realizing it. This realization struck me, despite my deep affinity for Easter and my heartfelt renditions of the song “Because He Lives,” which always stirs me to sing at the top of my lungs. Lines like “because He lives, I can face tomorrow because He lives, all fear is gone” had become an anthem in my heart. This was my stance.

However, an internal revelation shook me in 2006. Although I didn’t voice it aloud, I questioned within: “How could God imply that I didn’t truly believe in His resurrection?” This confusion arose after an earlier encounter more than two years before when I wholeheartedly went through the agony of surrendering my soul to Him. That day, He had conveyed that the Church suffered from its reliance on self-righteousness, a predicament that rendered our Christianity powerless. I had assumed that my sincere surrender of the soul that day cleared me, and I was exempt from the ranks of those struggling with faith. But there I stood, more than two years later, confronted with the disheartening truth—I lacked genuine belief in Christ’s resurrection.

My frustration was palpable. I recalled the intense day of agonizing revelation when I surrendered my soul. On that day, I experienced such a profound death-to-self encounter. Why then, after such a transformative experience, did I find myself back at square one? This question gnawed at me.

 Recalling my earlier struggle with this revelation, I recognize that God doesn’t simply point out our lack of belief; He guides us toward understanding. A pivotal moment was when He instructed me to live out Matthew 6:26—to trust like a bird—all the while I was getting ready to experience the loss of everything I worked hard for. Initially, I balked, considering it an unreasonable request from God. How could I, with real-world responsibilities and problems, emulate the carefree attitude of a bird? Adopting this bird-like perspective, however insightful, wouldn’t cover my rent nor serve as payment to my landlord.

The Spirit’s silence following His instruction spoke volumes. Over the subsequent weeks of turmoil, I finally acquiesced. Two essential lessons emerged from this process. Firstly, the decision to trust like a bird is a conscientious one. Weighing the pros and cons, I found no apparent advantages to me.  The second lesson was even more profound: my struggle to believe in Christ’s resurrection.

This hurdle, once unveiled, reshaped my perspective, causing me to realize that worship and Bible verses hold little weight unless they transform our hearts. I remained uncertain about the sudden emergence of those words from my lips on that particular day. I told Him “Are you suggesting that I need to believe that You truly left the tomb, now seated in heaven, observing and caring for me?” This test became a revelation, unveiling a form of unbelief in my heart that I was not aware of. He taught me most of us who identify as Christians, regardless of their social standing, lack genuine belief in His resurrection. This collective unbelief has evolved into a stumbling block for the entire community, contributing to a scarcity of true surrender within our ranks.

Years later, by then, I lost everything, the Spirit of God taught me that trusting like a bird didn’t shield me from loss. But not only my faith now has increased tenfold, but it also laid the foundation for understanding His righteousness. This righteousness, as the Spirit later clarified, is a gift that keeps on giving.—one that offers protection, guidance, and sustenance. The culmination of this journey came when I understood that appropriating God’s righteousness was key. It’s like donning the breastplate of righteousness mentioned in Ephesians 6. Not only does it safeguard vital spiritual organs, but it also shows that without this understanding, all our efforts are mere lip service. Hence Paul’s words in verse 32.

What weighs heavily on my heart is the awareness that many among us are continuing our life’s journey, oblivious to our lack of understanding and the crucial elements unknown and unexplored in our relationship with Him. It goes back to the fact that WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE DON’T KNOW. Even if any of us were to be questioned, we would eagerly affirm our unwavering belief in Christ’s resurrection.  In line with Romans 9:33, Christ stands as the unshakable foundation of our salvation. By embracing this foundation, we don’t merely avoid disappointment; our faith becomes a testament to His grace, leading us to experience salvation in its fullest form.

This journey of understanding underscores the Spirit’s unique guidance, reminding me that God’s Word holds multifaceted insights.

Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

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