For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (Romans 10:2 ESV)
Going through this verse recently with my high school Bible study, I remarked on how this verse, along with probably Matthew 7: 21-23, are some of the scariest verses personally. Why? They reveal it is possible to know of the things of God, be zealous for them even, and miss the mark in salvation, meaning you lack saving faith. As in the case of the verses in Matthew, people claiming to know Christ perform all kinds of works in his name and on the last day Jesus declares, “I never knew you.” As in the case of the Jews who, in the majority, had rejected the Messiah, they were zealous for the law, the prophets, the Shekinah glory, and all the privileges God had given them as His people. And yet Paul says they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, and I take that to mean knowledge of the Gospel, namely, that Christ and His work is the fulfillment of all of the aforementioned. They missed the mark. A sad state of affairs for both groups as the end is the same. One group says, look at the works of our hands, is that not enough? Another group says, how zealous we are for the law and the prophets! How committed we are to the teachings! Yet they both miss the Gospel. Frightening. May this drive us to the foot of the cross and relinquish our works in favor of Another’s done for us.