Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.  (Romans 9:30-31) 
Have you received a gift unexpectedly?    Then a natural though would be making a serious of question:  who did give you, why was it presented to you and what was it.   Or even you might even start to puzzle that should you give back something for the gift or at least should you pay for it and if so, how much.    I would equally do what you did.   On earth, the above reactionary behaviors to a unexpected gift is very natural because the law of this world universally tells there is nothing free, and especially a precious thing is not freely given out to a stranger.
The above Bible verse tells the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness, but they obtained the righteousness.    However, the people of Israel {at that time of Romans written} actively seek the righteousness by pursuing the law, which supposedly led them to the righteousness.   Even so, none of them could not succeed in reaching the law (i.e., perfectly keeping the law).   That is, all of them failed to keep the law as written.  Why?  
The law given by God is holy and nobody is holy.   We all are full of sins, and we eat and drink sins.  This phenomenon is not confined inside of ourselves, while making us sinful before God, but it is very contagious between us.   We exhale sins to others and harm them knowingly and unknowingly from our ignorance on a particular sins.   These sins are, then, certainly reciprocated to us by the other person (or persons).  This is our nature, and doing the same thing to the other (or the others) as we received from the other party.   We even call this as “justice.”  
Just turn on your TV tonight and watch your favorite nightly news.  Every night without an exception, there is a report about justice – demanding justice against a serious pain and agony due to what the other person did, or reporting justice being done by punishing the party harming.   Yes, this is the justice on earth.    However, the above Bible version tells something not conforming what we see, hear and expect.
One group of people called “Gentiles” who do not know righteousness and, thus, did not seek righteousness.   The other group called “the people of Israel”  who actively searched for righteousness by diligently keeping the law given by God.   They knew God, and they actively pursued to reach God’s righteousness by their own might and effort by keeping the law.   This effort became futile.   The law was so holy that any human beings could not keep it with any means available to humans, simply because we are sinful (i.e., not holy).  Again, nobody in our history could faithfully and fully keep the law.   
One of my friends, whom I am still praying for, clearly belongs to the latter category.   He diligently kept the law.  He also knew Bible very well.   When I ask him what is the law that you mean.   He immediately answer: to love God the Father and our neighbor as ourselves.   This is the very law answered by Jesus to an expert in the law:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  (Matthew 22:36-40)
It is true that if we keep the above two commandments fully and thoroughly, we keep the all the Law and even the Prophets.   As Jesus answered, all the Law and the Prophets depend on the above two commandments – love God our Father with all our heart, soul and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves.  Please look back what we did to our neighbors and to God.   Have we really loved our neighbor as ourselves?   I simply failed (not just once).   I also know many believers did the same — asking for “justice” out of an unforgiving heart toward the person who did harms, gave pains, and caused hardship.   At least, the other person comes and confess what he/she did while asking forgiveness.   This is not clearly loving our neighbor as ourselves – who demands justice rather than forgiving and loving the other person who gave harms and pains. 
How about loving God with all our heart, soul and mind?   Have we always been loving God?   Just look back again.   When we got into an agony and a pain apparently without reason, which we often call a disaster or an accident unexpected, what did we say in our heart?    Perhaps most popular questions might be “Where was God ?”   and “Why me?”  especially, when we were hit really hard by a life-long trial and a disaster which was too harsh to think about how we could get out or simply avoid.   Did our heart really love God or if not directly, essentially accuse our God as the source of the hardship while implicitly (or even explicitly) comforting our heart.  
The friend of mine was even objectively speaking a real good person who truly loves others while forgiving others, and loves God, at least for my eyes.   One day I had a deep conversation with him.   He told me “you might think I am a good person, but in reality I am not.  Because I am bad, I am trying my best to hide whom really I am.”    I really appreciate him who was truly honest to me on that day.    My next question was what would happen if you did.  He immediately answered to me that he would see God.   
Then I asked what you would say to God.    He was silent about 10 seconds, then he gave me a really heart-breaking answer, “God cannot refuse me.”   He meant he did good (although what did was not perfect) on earth.   Thus, he deserved to be with God in Heaven after he left this world.    This is not absolutely true.    This is the biggest and most terrible deception that Satan puts his heart.    (I am still praying for the friend who tries to get God’s favor with his good deeds.)
Then what’s the truth?     Only through the faith given by God through Jesus Christ, we can go to Heaven and be with God, our true and ever-loving Father.  This is the truth and the Gospel (the Good News) freely given to all of us who believe.  Not by our might nor by power, we cannot save ourselves from the sins that we all commit.   Through the power of Jesus Christ on cross, who bleed and died for our sins, our sins are forgiven and we are truly saved from the eternal condemnation – the eternal death that is the wage of our sins.   Give thanks to God, who is our True Father from now and forever to those who believe in Him by faith freely given to us through Jesus Christ. 
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

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