Being “enlightened” in Christ

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Romans 10: 1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for (the Jews observing the law of Moses) is that they may be saved. 2 I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. 

This passage is messing with me this morning. And when I say it’s “messing” with me I mean it’s making me think. If you’ve been following along in Romans you know that Paul has been giving instruction to Christians in Rome who are enduring great hardship and opposition. Part of that opposition comes from Jews who contest the teaching that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone and not through observing the rules and regulations of God (the law).

Remember that before Paul was a Christian apostle he was a Pharisee of the Jews named Saul, a teacher of the law and persecutor of Christians. As such he has a heart for fellow Jews who are not yet Christians – even some are being a bit of a pain at the moment.

2 I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened.

Paul notes their hearts are in the right place but they aren’t aware of/informed of the new covenant of faith made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus. They keep trying to achieve righteousness by obeying the law, which history has shown does not work. Our human sin continually gets in the way. \

Particularly in this season of Lent I’m asking the Lord to reveal the places where I’m doing my own thing rather than embracing the law of grace. How am I living as one who is not “enlightened”? What should I do about it?

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