As Christians, we are not primarily called to be holy men and women, but to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fundamental reality of this realm is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell. It is redemption. Personal holiness is an effect of redemption, not the cause of it. If we place our faith in human goodness we will fail when testing comes.
We fail when we place our desire for our own holiness above our desire to know God: “Don’t ask me to be confronted with the reality of redemption on behalf of the filth of human life surrounding me today. What I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.”
Paul was not conscious of himself. He was recklessly abandoned, totally surrendered, and separated by God for one purpose— to proclaim the Gospel. He confesses this surrender in Romans 9:1-3: “O Israel, my people! O my Jewish brothers! How I long for you to come to Christ. My heart is heavy within me, and I grieve bitterly day and night because of you. Christ knows and the Holy Spirit knows that it is no mere pretense when I say that I would be willing to be forever damned if that would save you.” (TLB)
Paul was willing to forfeit his own salvation if by doing so the Jews might be saved. That is not logic but love. And obedience.
Paul understood and lived out his calling. Are you as clear on yours?
Adapted, My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers