11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
So does Paul's life make sense to anyone, if in fact he had not been convicted of the truth of the Gospel?
Does it make sense for Paul to give up his future, his prestige, his lineage, his role as a fast moving higher up in order to be beaten, face death, etc. if something (like the Holy Spirit) had not gripped and shaken his beliefs to the core? Would anyone give up what he had for what he got in return? Outside of the eternal realm of his reward, I can't see it.
Does it even make sense for Paul to have taken such a position at all? Wouldn't he have naturally been one of those who would have joined in with the circumcision crowd, even if he were convinced by a Christian that Jesus was the Messiah?
Listen to Paul's words. Outside of the deep conviction from the Holy Spirit, how would he, how could he come to understand that outside of the cross of Jesus, nothing else counts?
And what about us? Where do we stand and where does it come from? Was it our own logic that led us to this place? Paul is not alone in the apparent insanity of his conclusions. Many have died, sacrificed, been martyred since then. Where is the logic to it all? Or does the Holy Spirit just need to grab us and reveal the truth to us?
Peace to all who walk by this rule, the rule that says that the cross of Christ is everything, and I am nothing. Peace, which can only come when we realize that we are not of this world, but are rather a new creation. Praise God for this. Amen!