Romans 9:30-32 KJV
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Who would have guessed?
The conclusion of the apostle is opposite of what anyone, especially the Jews would have guessed. The Gentiles, who had not sought righteousness found it through faith but the Jews, who professed to seek righteousness, did not find it. Paul's explanation was plain; the Jews missed righteousness because they sought to obtain it through working the law. They missed it because they could not or would not accept that it could only be had by faith; by trusting God. They stumbled over the very thing they longed for because they could not accept that it was granted by faith and not by their religion.
I think we have come nearly full circle today where too many Gentiles professing to be believers are more interested in their religion than in faith in Christ. I wonder how many these days care to know the Lord because they are content knowing their church?
Christianity does have a work involved with it, but like the Jews who took a good thing and turned it into a stumbling stone, many in modern Christianity have taken the work of the Christian and replaced Christ with that.