What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
— Romans 9:30-33.
Paul’s conclusion is that the ignorant Gentiles, with no knowledge of God, have now come to that knowledge through the ‘righteousness of faith’, which is the righteousness that God imparts to those who put their faith in Him and His promise. Israel, however, in seeking righteousness by doing the law, has stumbled over Christ, the stumbling stone and rock of offense, because salvation is not by works of the law but by believing (trusting) on Him.