Romans 9:30: What Shall We Say Then? That Gentiles Who Did Not Pursue Righteousness Have Attained It?
 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; (ESV)
The Apostle Paul is a champion of the doctrine of God's grace. He knew that his proclaiming that all people are to be made right with God by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, and not by doing works of righteousness would be embraced by the Gentiles and would be a major stumbling block to the Jews.
The Jews had believed that righteousness was achieved by doing the works that the Law required. They viewed God's holy standard and wrongly felt that somehow they could be good enough by an accumulating of good works. They did not realize that the Law was given to show them how impossible it was to be made righteous by their own works.
The Gentiles, on the other hand, had done nothing but pursue their own personal pleasures. In Romans 1 Paul talks about the whole history of mankind. Gentiles worshiped creatures of nature. They engaged in all kinds of sexual immorality. They were under God's wrath for their pursuit of wickedness and their rejection of God.
If we view things from a Jewish perspective it is easy to see why the Jewish people would be upset that now the Gentiles are being declared righteous by their faith in Christ. They did not pursue righteousness, yet they have it. The Jews pursued righteousness and were made to go through the same way of faith that the Gentiles pursued.
Righteousness is by faith in Christ alone. For the Jew and for the Gentile. Are you pursuing righteousness by your own works? It will not work. Pursue Christ by faith.