Romans 9:1-3NIV  I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—  I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race.

There is no more challenging piece of scripture than this.

Paul is making a very big statement.

This scripture bugs me, in an unsettling, disquieting way–in respect to the urgency of the gospel.

This scripture has been rumbling around in my heart for, umm…, two decades.

Paul was willing to give up his own salvation for the sake of other people. And he backed up his statement saying, I am not lying, the Holy Spirit confirms it…

Paul was willing to give up his own salvation if it meant others could receive theirs. And God knew this was not mere sentiment in Paul’s words, but a conviction of his heart, lived out daily before God. So much so that is was recorded in God’s Word for everyone to read. God didn’t have to put it in the bible. But God saw to the inclusion of these words into the canon of scripture. Canon is a word meaning standard. The bible–the words therein–is God’s standard for us to live by.

Why would Paul say this? Paul so loved people, he considered them of such infinite value and worth, more than his very own life. Paul was willingly give up eternity in heaven with God, live eternally separated from God in hell, if the people he loved could spend eternity with God. Paul would swap heaven for hell for the people he loved. This is what Jesus did for us, a divine swap, His life for ours.

No sacrifice is too great for love.

Love seeks the highest good for another person.

God has a standard for us to live by and it is to love people, the way He loves us.

What would you do, or give up, for the sake of another persons’ salvation?

We are loved by God, and when His love is at work in our heart, there is a compelling to spread the gospel. We will be unsettled and disquieted by people’s spiritual condition, ie. life or death. There will be a daily concern for individuals, a city, and even whole nations.

Related post: Love is the Highest Law