Good morning my friends.We are considering the last few verses of Romans 9, starting at verse 30 through to the end of the chapter. It is a matter of faith.
In a world where grown ups can enter into the make-believe world of children simply by popping in a dvd or playing a video game, we are seeing the imagination destroyed. Who needs imagination any more when technology is able to create the incredible world of Tolkien or where real people can converse with cartoons? Almost every children's story ever told has been created in movie form so they no longer have to read and rely upon their imagination for the images. No, we have robbed even our children of this as our world becomes more and more based on "what you see is what you get".
We are becoming a practical society leaning more heavily on the material world and placing our "faith" in the belief that science and technology holds the answers to all things. We trust the teaching of science without question, without investigation. We treat spiritual matters in a similar way, only we dismiss it without question, without investigation. We treat our existence as a mere physical thing not understanding there is so much more to life than what we see.
The problem is, we are asked to believe something that we can only sense in our spirit and cannot see with our eyes. Some people even refuse to believe that we have a spirit so how would they ever acknowledge this thing that they feel. Then what is this need to worship something greater than ourselves? Without acknowledging what we sense, and without faith we will never be able to see God.
In the world in which we live we have increasingly become more reliant in the work of our own hands. We believe that if we are going to succeed we can only do so with hard work, determination and a bit of luck. The only thing we want to believe in is ourselves. This is why it is so much harder for people to believe that the Christian teaching is true. It is not a new phenomena:
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." Romans 9:30-32
It seems to be a paradox but the one we are to place our faith in is a stumbling block to that faith. Many people would believe if it wasn't for the cross and the resurrection. So many people have problems with the resurrection which to me is very strange. If you are going to believe in the Creator and his desire to reconcile with his Creation why would be dismiss the ability of the Creator to raise the dead?
Jesus was a stumbling block for the Jews because they could not believe that YAHWEH would have entered into his creation in this manner. They find it hard to accept that YAHWEH would have his son come as a mere carpenter instead of in all his royal splender. They really have a tough time with the death of the Christ. Different issues from the world but the same results; Jesus is the stumbling block. Yet those who do believe are declared to be right with God, reconciled to him, and as such are adopted as his children.
We can investigate, research and understand all of this. We can become great theologians and argue the case for and against. We can memorize all of the sacred texts. It still comes down to that moment of acknowledging God and placing our faith in Jesus Christ. No amount of knowledge on the matter will win the day for us. The question is, "Will I trust?" This trust cannot be a one moment deal. We are told to work out our salvation daily. In other words we need to renew and live our faith every day with every decision we make.
As you head out into your day remember, we live our faith one decision and one act at a time.