Summary: Life is like stumbling around in the darkness when we get up in the middle of the night for a drink of water. We’re too proud to reach over and turn on the light, because we think we know all that we need to know. And, even though we stumble one time, the

Title: Stumbling Around

Scripture: Romans 9:30-33

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;

31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it.

32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone."

33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

One of the things that a lot of people like to laugh at is seeing someone stumble or trip over something. And, because it is so funny, one of the things that people dislike the most is stumbling over something. People will wake up in darkness, yet they won’t turn on a light to help them see. People will walk through their house at night, in almost total darkness, and won’t turn on a light. Many times I’ve walked through the house, telling myself I was only getting a drink of water, and I didn’t need the light. Besides, don’t we know where everything is? We know exactly where that chair is and how far it sticks out. We know exactly where the door is and when we should reach for it. Don’t we?

A lot of times we don’t turn on the light because we want to go right back to sleep, and we think that turning on a light will wake us up. Sometimes, we don’t turn on the light because we actually do think that we can walk through a house cluttered with clothes, chairs, electric cords, tables, refrigerators, doors, flower pots, and other things. And, through all of that while we’re half asleep, too!

We know where the bathroom is, don’t we? We think that we have the way to the kitchen and back to the bedroom all mapped out in our mind, isn’t that right?

But, even though just last night you or I may have stumbled over something by the couch, we still think that we can navigate through the darkness. Our pride tells us we don’t need the light, but a few minutes after we bump into something and break it, we are again telling ourselves, one more time, that we should have used the light.

Again, why don’t people just turn on the light? Because we are unwilling to say that we are not able to do it. We are unwilling to admit we are lost in the darkness, even in our own house! We are self-confident! We have loads of self-assurance. We rely on our own memory and ability to see in the dark and pick our way through the obstacles. What happens? That slipper that was left in the way becomes a stumbling block. That pillow that I was laying on as I watched TV becomes a hazard. The fan that was earlier used to keep me cool, now becomes a monster trying to attack me. The extension cord turns into a snake and coils around my ankle and brings me down, and my spouse up.

Stumbling around can only get us hurt. Stumbling around may even take us in the wrong direction.

Our verses in Romans, chapter nine, have some very interesting light to shed for us that are stumbling around in darkness.

The Righteous

The Religious

The Revelation

The Reassurance

The Righteous

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;

This is not the first time that Paul mentions righteousness in the epistle to the Romans. As a matter of fact, righteousness appears 32 times in the book of Romans, depending of course on what version you are reading. These verses on righteousness when laid end to end tell us all we need to know about righteousness.

(Romans 1:17) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

(Romans 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(Romans 4:3) What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

(Romans 4:5) However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

(Romans 4:6) David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

(Romans 4:9) Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.

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