A rock of offense ...
“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.” -Romans 9:33 NLT
Paul wraps up the chapter once again quoting from the prophet Isaiah. In this brief passage he tells us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive to a mind trained in the law. This gospel is good news for the heart but a stumbling block for the mind. In truth I have a difficult time grasping it at times. How can it be be that the most devout followers of the law ... the most sincere adherents to the Jewish religion ... missed this good news? It can only be their hardness of heart.
The scriptures teach us that believing in Jesus frees us from shame. Theologian Albert Barnes expounds on this verse saying: "The meaning here is, that the man who believes shall not be agitated, or thrown into commotion, by fear of want or success: shall not be disappointed in his hopes; and, of course, he shall never be ashamed that he became a Christian." That makes sense. Shame comes from our heads and is defeated by the faith that comes from our heart.
We are witnesses and embracers of your good news. Help us Lord to defeat the shame in our lives with faith.