"I tell the truth in Christ..."
Text: Romans 9:1
A BELEAGUERED APOSTLE
Paul must have been one of the most beleaguered apostles!
1. No other apostle suffered as he did (Cf. 2 Corinthians 11:2-29).
2. No other apostle suffered as much persecution from the Jewish quarter.
3. No other apostle had to defend his ministry as much.
SOME OF THE REASONS
What were some of the reasons why he was so controversial a figure? Three may be singled out:-
1. His doctrine of justification by faith.
2. His emphasis on the teaching of grace.
3. His inclusion of Gentiles in his teachings.
A SOLEMN DECLARATION
To many Jewish readers, Paul’s teachings almost rendered him a renegade to his ethnic background! To these Paul wrote most solemnly.
“I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying,
my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit.”
1. Almost like a sworn affidavit
There was no mistaking the strength of the language employed:-
a) I tell the truth in Christ
b) I am not lying
How desperately Paul must have desired to declare that what he had written were indeed words of solemn truth!
2. Invoking the name of Christ
Paul invoked the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in his declaration- if that would help people appreciate that he was indeed speaking the truth.
3. The conscience and the Holy Spirit
We have another solemn phrase that was supposed to add strength to his already very strong declaration!