Paul was clear that while we may be sincere, we can still be wrong. What we beleive matters. Gentiles attained righteousness by faith. Jews who actually pursued righteousness, failed to obtain it. Why? Let’s see what Paul said:
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
The Israelites believed – they were zealous for God, but it was not based upon knowledge. That is to say, they THOUGHT they knew, but they mistook their OWN righteousness for God’s. They confused sincerity and zeal – passion – for knowledge. They were excited about being righteous, but they didnt undertstand that man’s righteousness is never sufficient for GOD.
God demands perrfect sacrifice. It is only through the sacrifice of Jesus that we can be saved – we must trust in Christ.
If what we believed didnt matter, only that we were sincere in that belief, then you could believe that a bullet from a gun held to your head by a mad mad will not hurt you, but if he pulled that trigger, you’d be dead wrong – regardless of your sincerity or passion or zeal. You can believe something completely and still be wrong. WHAT you believe is as important as how sincerely you believe it.
Change your mind, turn to God (through faith in Christ), and have evidence of your change.
…they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.