Summary: As you look around and examine our churches today, you will find great teachers and preachers. You will find all kinds of workshops, seminars, Bible studies, Christian schools and colleges, all teaching and training the great precepts of God. However,
The 9th chapter of Romans is a message to the Israelites, a message of how God has blessed them and yet they have missed it all. Like a huge stone in the middle of the road that they can’t see, yet they continually run into it and can’t get around.
Really, the rejection of God by Israel was really a rejection of the Messiah. Because if they couldn’t see God then they couldn’t see the Messiah.
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;
31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.
33 As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." Romans 9:30-33 (NKJV)
In the 9th chapter of Romans Israel is being address about their lack of commitment to God. I cannot help but see a warning to us today, that we are doing the same thing.
30 How can we sum this up? All those people who didn't seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as he straightened out their lives.
Missing the Point
31 And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing, missed it.
As you look around and examine our churches today, you will find great teachers and preachers. You will find all kinds of workshops, seminars, Bible studies, Christian schools and colleges, all teaching and training the great precepts of God.
However, with all of this interest in reading and talking about the Word of God, they have missed it.
They say they know God and I do not doubt that, however I believe that they know God but they don’t know God.
For instance, I know who Billy Graham is I’ve read his books, heard his messages, and seen pictures of him, but I really don’t know him. I do not have a personal relationship with him.
Missing the Mark
How in the world could we “Miss the Mark?”
32 How could they miss it?
Because instead of trusting God, they took over.
They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing.
They were so absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into him and went sprawling.
What do you think of when you think of God?
W. A. Tozer a great known preacher of his time said; “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
So many people have a polluted, distorted view of God.
Most people in America have created a god that is out of our own likeness, our own image, and our own desires.
A god we like, that we can manipulate, that we can control, that we can use when we want to.
This is not the true God the God of the Bible we have lost sight of who he is!
Therefore, Sunday after Sunday they come to church across America and worship this God they have created, not the true God of the Bible.
Missing the Stone
33 Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together: Careful!
I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can't get around.
God is all around us, yet we fail to see him.
Sometimes we even stumble into him and yet still don’t recognize him.
• You can see him in the sunrise
• You can see him in the beauty of spring
• You can see him in the greatness of summer
• You can see him in the splendor of fall
• You can see him in the wonder of winter
• You can see him in the sunset
• And you can see in the amazement of the stars
Yet we say we cannot see God!
The reason we can’t see God is that the things of the world have blinded us.
The sin that so easily beseech us by scaling our eyes to the point of blindness.
Change your priorities by changing your direction by “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”
But the stone is me! If you're looking for me, you'll find me on the way, not in the way.
Look harder, because the stone in the road is Jesus, he is the rock of my salvation.
1. Don’t “Miss the Point!”