As we continue this walk through Romans, we find that as we confront the cultural issues, we look at how we live out our faith in a world that conflicts with that faith.  Paul was living in a similar environment.  He could worship in private, just don’t try and live that out in public or with the state.  Paul was living in a Roman culture where Caesar was considered a god and to be worshiped.  So the question we are asking, and one that Paul does not compromise in the answer, is, “How are we to live out our faith in our lives and to a world disconnected with that truth?”

So as we open up chapter 10, lets look at other areas where Paul talks about our lives being a reflection of God’s truth.

No exceptions. No qualifiers.  We are not to live for self, but live with Christ in us.  We do this because of our faith in the already accomplished sacrifice for our sin.  In God’s mind, Jesus has already been the sacrificed lamb.  While Jesus’ worldly action was in a specific point in time, the fulfillment of that promise was always true.

God’s grace was only given through Jesus’ sacrifice.  If it could be done any other way, Jesus died for nothing!  We cannot just be “good enough” trying to gain righteousness by works or following rules.  There isn’t an alternative.  Messiah alone provides salvation, and by taking it upon himself, God spares us from our own deserved punishment.

Whatever were gains to me or were successful to me, we now consider it a loss. It is all garbage because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord.  We can try to bring everything we could earn.  Try to gain some sort of advantage by something we have done.  But we must throw all that in the trash, and realize that the only thing we bring to God is our faith, our choice, in Jesus as our Savior.

Christ was who God was pointing to in the law.  And when people try to live by the law, and not by faith, they will trip over Jesus.  He will be a stumbling block not only to unbelievers, but also those who might believe in God but wants to live by rules and not by a relationship.  Everyone who sees God must answer this question for themselves.

20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)

21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (ESV)

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (ESV)

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (ESV)