Today we see the summary and conclusion of the past several verses. Here’s my paraphrased rendition:
the “have nots” became “haves” without even trying; however, the “would be haves”–although they tried hard to be “haves”–actually ended up as “have nots” because they were standing on the wrong foundation.
The secret to it all, Paul points out, is to pursue salvation by faith, not by effort. If we try hard to keep the law on our own strength, we will be “out”. If we recognize we cannot keep the law and trust God to make something of us we will be “in”.
The Stumbling Stone part reminded me of a Puritan saying: “The same sun that melts the ice, hardens the clay.” People have one of two reactions when it comes to putting their faith in Jesus: hearts that melt, or hearts that harden.
It’s like what Pastor Bob said on Sunday: “One of the greatest obstacles to salvation is exchanging works for grace–substituting religion for a relationship with Christ.”
“Do” versus “Done.”
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