Summary of passage: Israel has been denied righteousness because they pursued it by works. The Gentiles were granted righteousness because they had faith. This is all according to God’s will.
3) Israel tried to earn righteousness by works and were denied. The Gentiles had faith and were thus granted righteousness by God.
4) Pursuing righteous behavior is trying to be more like Jesus, obeying God’s calling and His rules. Only God can grant us righteous standing. That is, only He can tell us if our behavior is right or wrong and give His stamp of approval or not. We cannot make ourselves righteous before God. Faith is what we need to be granted righteousness. Faith in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and our Savior. Without faith all you do is meaningless.
5) A crucified Savior–Jesus Christ. The fact Jesus died for our sins and his death covers our sins and saves us and thereby accepting this fact you are saved eternally. Simple concept. Hard to accept in its simplicity.
Conclusions: Paul’s conclusion to Chapter 9, saying faith is the way to righteousness, not works, no matter who you are.
End Notes: Israel missed the Messiah because they refused to come by faith. The Gentiles found righteousness even though they weren’t necessarily seeking it. Israel tried to work for the righteousness of God and couldn’t find it. The Jews tried to justify themselves before God by performing works according to the law of righteousness instead of the righteousness of faith. The Jews needed to seek righteousness by faith.
Paul does not use God as an excuse here and His right to choose. Nope. It’s all on the Israelites; they did not seek it by faith. This is Paul presenting the problem from the side of human responsibility and not from the side of God’s right to choose. Both are responsible for Israel’s unsaved state.
Israel was rejected because she failed to obey her own God-given law, which in reality was pointing to Christ. She disobeyed, pursued the law–not by faith but by works–failing to believe. Hence, God rejected Israel.
Paul has already shown in Romans that the only possible way to be saved is through faith, not the works of the law; and that this salvation comes only through the work of a crucified Savior – which was a stumbling block to Israel (1 Corinthians 1:22-23).