Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from Fred Carpenter
Romans 9:1-3, ESV – I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 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.
This passage of scripture may well be Paul’s most passionate expression of grief over the condition of his fellow Jews. Knowing of Paul’s position on election and the sovereignty of God, some have argued that Paul’s strong language here is rhetorical, designed to make a point. CH Spurgeon does not agree . . . “A true passion grinds words to dust. When the heart is full of love, even the boldest hyperboles are simple truths! Extravagances are the natural expression of warm hearts even in ordinary things and, when a man’s whole soul gets to seething like a caldron and boiling like a pot with sympathy and pity for men that are being lost, he speaks what, in cold blood, he never would have said.”
Here’s what Pastor Greg Laurie says about this passage. “The apostle Paul had something essential for effective evangelism: a God-given burden for those who did not know Jesus Christ. In his case, the burden was for his own people, the Jews. He cared. It burned inside him.
General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once said that his desire, had it been possible, would be to dangle his evangelism trainees over hell for 24 hours. That way, they could see the reality that awaits those who do not know Jesus Christ. Continue reading