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Since the United States was born in 1776, millions of Americans have given their lives to defend it. Most who do so do it voluntarily, grateful for the benefits America offers them. But it’s useful to note why the Apostle Paul was ready to sacrifice his life for his people. In Romans 9, he said “I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save [my people.] Paul was passionate for his ethnic kinfolk. He said this in showing his regret that so many of them had rejected Jesus as their Messiah. He offered three reasons why more of them had not chosen Jesus. 1) His nation’s leaders had rejected Jesus. 2) God’s previously announced plan was that their rejection would give Gentiles the chance to accept Christ. 3) Paul said God is sovereign. That is, God is free to do as He pleases. Since God chose to offer His Son not just to Jews but to the whole world, it is foolish for anyone to dispute God’s right to do so. Paul argues, God always operates on the basis of grace. We can never earn His favor. We must admit our unworthiness, and humbly come to His Son Jesus in faith. That applies to any person or group, irrespective of ethnicity, social standing, economics, education, or any other classification.

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