1 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, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (ESV)
- Paul’s Great Sorrow.
The Gospel is thrilling news for those who are being saved, but terrible news for the unsaved – including the Jews the Apostle Paul is talking about.
a. Paul’s Cry (v 1) – he wants his people to know that he has a heart for them, that he is sincere and that his message is entirely true.
b. Paul’s Concern (v 2) – he wants his people to be saved, operating under a heavy burden for the lost. We need to have the heart of Paul – evangelizing, wanting lost people to be saved.
c. Paul’s Compassion (v 3) – he is showing us the heart of Christ.
- The People’s Great Shame.
Israel missed an opportunity (vv 4-5a) – also true of some people in our day and age who have been given Gospel light, but are still lost.
The Jews climbed over many hurdles in order to deny that Jesus is God the Messiah.
How many times have you rejected Christ’s revelation of Himself?
- The People’s Great Saviour (v5b)
Paul reminds us that Jesus was not an ordinary man. Note his magnificent observations:
a. The Person of Jesus
Paul calls Him Christ, meaning Anointed – the fulfillment of all OT prophecies concerning the Messiah – the One whom God the Father promised to send to us, to take away the sins of the world, worthy of our faith, love worship and adoration.
b. The Power of Jesus
Paul says that He is over all – the Agent of creation, possessing all power in heaven and on earth, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the One who holds everything together. We can trust Him to be able to do everything as promised us.
c. The Position of Jesus
Paul reminds us that Jesus is also God – giving the saints reason to rejoice! Christ is all you need. Stop searching for other people, beings or things to worship. Worship Jesus!
Paul’s theme in these five verses is the salvation of the lost sheep of Israel, not wanting them to go to hell, willing to do anything to see them saved by grace alone. Is that your desire for the lost? Do you have a heart for the lost? If you don’t, it’s not the heart of Christ, who was willing to die on a cross so that you may live.