November 01, 2021 – Monday
Romans 9:33 NIV
33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
The verse above joins portions of two verses from Isaiah together, 8:14 and 28:16. Here is 8:14 in full, He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. And here is 28:16 also in full, So this is what the Sovereign Lordsays: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.
Note how the NIV for Isaiah 28:16 does not end in will never be put to shame as indicated in Romans 9:33. However, almost all translations have it as will never be put to shame so what gives with Isaiah 28:16? Turns out the Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) of the Bible does have Isaiah 28:16 as Whoever believes will not be put to shame with the following note, The translation follows the Greek text. The Hebrew and Latin read will not be in haste. From this we know Paul was using the Greek text when he wrote Romans 9:33. Paul could have used the Hebrew text (the Latin had not yet been written), why he used the Greek text is unknow except it more clearly fit what he was communicating.
Paul was providing an answer to a question that began in verse 30 and continued through verse 32, What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. Paul is stating righteousness comes by faith, not by works. Then he uses verse 33 to make it clear the stumbling block is Jesus when he uses the Greek rendering of Isaiah 28:16, the one who believes [has faith] in him [Jesus] will never be put to shame.
This is very close to 1 Peter 2:4, As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—. And 2:8, A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, also from Isaiah 8:14. One commentary says the two Isaiah verses excerpted and combine in Romans 9:33, apparently were commonly used by early Christians in defense of Jesus’ Messiahship. Additionally, this likely provided a way for the early church to view Christ in light of the Old Testament as the New Testament was being written. Certainly in the context Paul provided it was to show faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, was vastly and infinitely superior to trying by works of the law to obtain righteousness.
Those who did stumble could recover and have another chance (or chances) to recognize Jesus for who He really is. Paul made that clear when he wrote in Romans 11:11, Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
Just to be clear, simply stating a faith in Jesus is not enough. Evidence of real faith will have good works following repentance and recognition of Jesus as Lord and Savior. The works do not result in salvation, but the works follow one’s salvation. Sometimes simply in one’s behavior at work and in the home.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving us a path to righteousness through Your Son. Not depending on our useless works before we were saved, but directing us to works You desire after salvation.. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek