Passion for a Cause.
I am speaking the truth in Christ- I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit- 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites…
Have you been passionate about a cause? So passionate you are willing to go to extreme personal lengths for your cause? Paul is expressing his passion for his own country men, the Israelites. Some Gentile Christians were condemning the Jewish Christians for trying to live according to the Law by eating clean foods and keeping certain days holy (see Romans 14:1-10).
Paul is instructing these Gentiles how important the Jews are to God and to him. He wishes he could be accursed and cut-off from Christ for the sake of his people, the Israelites (Jews). He even claims the Holy Spirit will verify that he is not lying when he states, “I have great sorrow and anguish in my heart…for my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
Even though the Jews persecuted Paul, he was willing to experience eternal separation from God if that would help his people to be saved from their sin. Of course, Jesus Christ already did pay with His life for the sins of the Jewish people, so Paul is stating a frame of mind rather than a course of action. Paul was willing to give his life to save the lives of his people. Paul was following the example of Jesus and in 1 Corinthians 11:1he commanded each believer to follow his example as he followed the example of Christ.
Many Jewish people will testify to us one day that they owe their salvation to the sacrifice of Paul. Although Paul’s primary ministry was to the Gentiles, his practice was to go to his people first in every city he went to (see Acts 13:13-15). Most turned against him in the synagogues, but he kept trying.
Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, magnified his ministry to the Gentiles in order to make his fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them (see Romans 11:13-14). What are we doing to reach the American people with the gospel of salvation? Ask God to help you see the people you are to reach for Christ. Most people you to reach are in your sphere of influence. When we have great sorrow and anguish for our people, we do something about it.
Lord, help us have great sorrow and unceasing anguish for our people to be saved.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures:
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