“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” vss. 1-2
Paul had come to believe that Israel had lost its way and had forfeited its favored position by its insistence that righteousness before God could be achieved by obedience to the law. It was because of their intransigence that he had been called to proclaim the message of justification by grace to the Gentiles. And it was breaking his heart! He loved his people: their history, the covenants and worship, the patriarchs and the prophets, the giving of the law…but mostly he loved that through them the messiah had come. And now he was turning his back on them. He could not continue living a lie…even though speaking the truth brought him great sorrow and anguish. In our time such truth-speaking has become a rare commodity, especially among those who call themselves our leaders, and ironically, those who point this out are often the biggest liars of all. Only occasionally do we find leaders whose commitment to the truth transcends party, politics, and religion. Paul’s decision to speak the truth cost him dearly, but his exposition of grace opened the door of inclusion to billions of people who otherwise would have missed out on the gospel. Without his courage the radical good news of the Christ would likely have been lost forever.
Thought for the Day: How do we know when a politician is speaking the truth?