"For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Romans 10: 2-4, NIV.
The Bible passage above speaks of a particular people but the point applies to all. These people were famous for their strict observance of the teaching of Moses and the Prophets, interpreting the scriptures with such strictness to guarantee that they did not fail to keep all the hundreds of laws they perceived.
They knew they needed righteousness as the grounds upon which they may stand before a holy and just God to have his acceptance, favor and entrance into heaven.
Paul the Apostle points out that their zeal was without knowledge. On the surface this looks backwards since they knew the hundreds of laws and interpretations of those laws. The knowledge Paul referred to is not head knowledge of religion and traditions but heart knowledge that comes from knowing and experiencing God. This second type of knowledge is superior since it is knowledge that comes from a relationship with God. Without a relationship with God the only other option is to establish a righteousness based on strict observation of rules. This man-made righteousness is not sufficient to cover sins.
The problem with having zeal without knowledge is that you may miss the point. In this case a relationship with God and our hope of salvation, it is a big point. How tragic to spend a life observing every little rule and discovering God had something else in mind- something better.
|Righteousness given by God|
Jesus is the righteousness of God and God offers the righteousness of Jesus to us.
God asks only that we believe. No one is successful at keeping all laws but we may have righteousness with God because of what Jesus did. Instead of doing works we believe and thereby receive his righteousness on our behalf.
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