Why Did Paul Care So Much About the Salvation of Others?
More thoughts from Romans 10:1.
Yesterday, we considered how much Paul desired his fellow countrymen to be saved through Christ Jesus.
I think that was worth considering, but it got me thinking a little more. Why did Paul care so much? Why was Paul moved to great sorrow and have an earnest desire that people who wanted to kill him would be saved?
Properly understanding this question will help us desire the salvation of the lost. So, yesterday’s article was - “We should desire the salvation of the lost!” This article is - “Here’s why we should desire the salvation of the lost.”
Paul knew what Jesus had done for him.
I don’t know precisely how the apostle Paul felt when he wrote these words to Timothy, but I’ve always pictured him being overwhelmed by many emotions that caused tears of joy to run down his cheeks.
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:12-17)
Paul had imprisoned and even killed Christians (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3). What some of his fellow countrymen were doing to him is exactly what he had done to Christians before he obeyed the gospel of Christ.
Knowing the mercy and the grace God had shown him in Christ - how could Paul not desire that same mercy and grace through Christ to be shown to his fellow countrymen?
What about us?
We all have sinned and have rightfully earned death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). We all need the free, gracious gift of God that He offers to all through His Son.
When we truly see our need for the mercy of God, and we truly understand the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice for us - how could we not desire that all come to know the mercy and grace of God through the sacrifice of His Son?
How could we not want all to hear and obey the gospel of Christ - the power of God which saves? (Romans 1:16-17).
When Christians truly grasp what Jesus has done for them, they will have the desire that Paul had - a desire that even their bitterest enemies would be saved.
If we lack the desire - or effort - to take the gospel to the lost, we demonstrate a complete lack of understanding about what Jesus has done for us.