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I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit ...
We often use hyperbole to make an emphatic point about something that is important to us. It is an overstatement meant to shock others as we try to get their attention as we say something important to us. Paul is about to make an incredibly shocking statement about being willing to be cut off from God if it would mean that his own people, the Jews, would know Jesus as their Messiah and Lord (Rom. 9:1-5). But, Paul has done his own spiritual inventory: what he says is NOT hyperbole or exaggeration. He means it with all of his heart, and the Holy Spirit confirms it. As "The Message" puts it, "I'm not exaggerating — Christ and the Holy Spirit are my witnesses." Since the Holy Spirit lives within us and works with our conscience to convict us of sin, help us discern God's truth when it is proclaimed, and confirm God's truth within us, then Paul can speak with greater assurance that what he says is the truth. We might stretch the truth to each other, but we cannot lie to the Spirit who lives within us.
Heavenly Father, I want to speak the truth in love. I know that I need the convicting, comforting, and confirming work of the Holy Spirit to be at work in my heart so that my words are true and redemptive. I ask for this grace, in Jesus' name. Amen.
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