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Romans 9:32 – Faith or works?

01-06-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

Yet Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, into a law of righteousness does not outstrip. Wherefore? Seeing that it is not out of faith, but as out of law works…

In this passage, Paul contrasts the nations with Israel. The nations had no law and never worried about becoming righteous before God through that way. This is in contrast to Israel, which did its best to be righteous before God. However, it was this zeal that led them to a dead end. How so? Because the law should not be worked, but believed. Here we touch the heart of Paul’s teaching and here we see the great difference between the old and the new covenant.

“You shall … love the Lord your God with all your heart” is not an ideal to strive for. To subsequently end up frustrated to find that it is far too high to reach. No, it is a promise that God makes: you will love the Lord your God! And you will love your neighbor! And so on. When we understand this as being promises, we gratefully acknowledge that God is the one who will fulfill all this. Thát is faith. That gives credit to Gód. And he counts thát as righteousness.