In Paul’s extended teaching on election, Romans 9-11, Paul stops to lament that the Jews, his people by ethnicity, were blind to the finished work of Christ. In the midst of this, Paul writes, “As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake” (Rom. 11:28, emphasis mine).
In context, Paul says that the Jews had become the enemies of God for the sake of the gentiles—in other words, folks like me, and quite possibly you as well (though I don’t presume to know your ethnic background)—so that we might come to repentance. That we might also know the one true God and glorify Him.
On an infinitely smaller scale, I wonder sometimes if some of the men and women who I care about are enemies of God specifically so that I might learn humility and wisdom—that I might learn to be godly and repent of my sins of arrogance and pride?
Here’s what I mean:
Historically, I’ve not dealt with criticism well. I don’t like it, because I feel like it’s an attack on my character. This is perhaps because I’m secretly afraid that people will learn that I’m actually a bit of a nitwit. Perhaps. [Read more...]