"I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart."
Text: Romans 9:2
NOT AN APOSTATE JEW!
The apostle Paul deemed it important to state categorically that he was not an apostate Jew! He had not forsaken his rich Jewish culture and heritage just because his theological views were sometimes difficult to fully comprehend and appreciate!
BARING OF THE HEART
There are times when a personal defence is necessary. This was one time Paul felt that it was necessary to make a formal statement of how he felt about his fellow Jews. As only a true patriot could write, Paul made the following statement.
“I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying…
That I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ
for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh”
1. Great sorrow
This was what Paul felt when he noted how so many Jews refused to open their minds to what he had to share with them. Paul felt deeply for them!
2. Continual grief in my heart
Whenever Paul entered a new region, he would seek out fellow Jews. He knew where to find them. He knew that they would be in the local synagogue on the Sabbath. He would attempt to worship with them and share about his faith in Christ. But time and again, his witness was rejected! These experiences brought a continual sense of grief in his heart. More than the body was injured each time he was persecuted.
3. Accursed from Christ
This phrase would be one of the strongest statements that Paul could ever make!
a) The thought of being cursed
This statement could not be made if Paul did not care about his fellow Jews!
The implications are most forbidding! Imagine being cursed by the Lord!
4. For my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh
If by being cursed Paul could bring about salvation to the Jews, he would gladly lose his salvation for their sake. (Paul demonstrated the great spirit that Moses possessed- when he interceded for Israel on one occasion)
” Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- but if not-
I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written”