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by Norman P. Grubb

"I could wish that I 'myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers" - Romans 9:3.

Paul was the Moses of the New Testament. There is no more significant illustration of the true character of the interceding Spirit than the change between the Paul who wrote Romans 8 and the Paul through whose lips the agonized cry of Romans 9 breaks forth. In the former chapter Paul is still bolstering up the faith of the fearful saints. Yes, they have the quickening Spirit within them by whom they are guided; yet the day of inheritance has not yet dawned, and meanwhile they must face many forms of tribulation. But they need not fear, for all things work together for good to them that love God, and nothing in heaven, earth or hell can separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can it be the same voice a few moments later in chapter 9 which pours out its soul agony with the most abrupt change of subject, and having just said that nothing can separate us from God, now asks for everlasting separation, and that with a curse, unless his people Israel can be saved?

"I could wish that myself were accursed [separated] from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Once again an immortal soul is presented as a living sacrifice for the salvation of his people. Once again it was the last-resort prayer of the intercessor. "Save them, or damn me!"

- The Liberating Secret