I was teaching this past Sunday at church and the lesson was about Jesus being the only Savior. This I totally agree with. There is absolutely no other way for us to be able to approach God with out Jesus. One of the verses in the lesson was Romans 9:33, which states “As it is written, Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” This, of course, is talking about Jesus. He is the stumbling stone to many people mostly because God asks us to trust in Jesus and nothing else. This is hard to do because of our pride which is the very root of all our sin.
Most of us can relate easily to giving something to gain something. Like when I give $10.00 to buy a meal at a resturant. I give something and in return get a meal that most of the time really hits the spot. This makes sense to us and it’s easy to follow. But it gets hard when we get something and don’t have to give anything. Most of us struggle with this concept. Maybe one reason for the struggle is that we always feel like we owe someone when this happens. Even if we didn’t ask for it, we still feel like we should help the giver in some way. So, instead of paying for the service, we “help” them in some way. This helps us to feel better about the exchange. We weren’t required to give, but we did anyway and this makes it alright.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
God on the other hand doesn’t want our help. In fact, we are told that our attempts at righteousness are really pretty bad in God’s sight. He described them as “filthy rags” if I remember correctly. (Isaiah 64:6) I would guess this explains why God had to send Jesus to die in our place. We simply weren’t good enough. We could not save ourselves. If we admit it, we don’t even see all the bad that is a part of us. For sure we see some of the bad, but not all of the bad. God though, sees everything, all our good and bad. Then He called the good “filthy rags”. That verse also says that we would not last, like a leaf that fades away. Did you ever wonder why we count the good as good when God didn’t see it that way? The stumbling stone.
To be sure, God never intended for anyone to stumble over Jesus. But some do. They rely on their own works to help them gain heaven. Most of the time if I ask someone if they are going to heaven, they will say something like “I certainly hope so”. If they were trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone, they could know for sure they were going to Heaven. Jesus becomes my hope and I am no longer trusting my effort, but resting on His effort. The same verse that tells me some will stumble also gives me assurance, if I believe on Him. It tells me that I will never be ashamed. He won’t let me down. He will be able to deliver me to heaven and provide me a place there where he is. I no longer have to worry if I have done enough because I know that He has done it all.
Even though there are so many of us and we all have different ideas, there are only two ways to see Jesus. One is the stumbling stone that we keeps us from totally trusting Jesus and the other is the solid rock that becomes our foundation that we build everything else on. To some, Jesus will be the stone that blocks the entrance to heaven and to others He is foundation that heaven itself is built on. Which way do you see Jesus?
As I was teaching this lesson, God gave me another way to view this verse. We were talking about sharing our faith with non-believers and the subject came up of all the rules that we have in church. These are rules that are not written down, but they exist anyway, Like how we should all dress in church, how we should all worship, how we should all act, and you know all the rest. As Christians, we need to remember that we are all different in our personalities, but not in our sin. We are all nothing more than sinners saved by grace and we need to stop making all these un-written rules that keep people from attending church. We need to be more gracious in our approach to non-beleivers. We need to let Jesus be the only stumbling stone. People are going to have enough trouble accepting Jesus without us getting in the way. I really liked this thought and I for one am going to try to put it to use. Just as Jesus is the only one who can save the lost, He should be the only reason they refuse to believe. I can’t help but think that this would help save some.
Hope ya are having a great day and may God bless you and yours. See ya later.