The Apostle Paul shaped Christianity into the beautiful masterpiece it is today. Paul, his broad circle of co-workers and, the congregations that they established were responsible for the most well-documented segment of the Christian movement. His extravagant transformation was a powerful example of the love of Jesus Christ. He wrote several unique epistles and was the apostle who most notably brought the gospel to the Gentiles.
Paul helped the people of his time, throughout history and into today, know the miraculous truth that salvation can be obtained by anyone and everyone through Jesus Christ. Paul was born in the Hellenistic city of Taurus. Although The Apostle Paul was a Jew, his father was a Roman citizen. There is not any evidence of how this privilege was acquired. It could have been bought or won. The Apostle Paul was fortunate to have been born into this privilege; It saved him in his later travels.
In the New Testament, The Apostle Paul was known by this Hebrew name Saul until Acts 13:9. He was educated from boyhood in Jerusalem, not Taurus. He studied the scriptures elaborately, studied law, and served at the Synagogue. During this time, Christianity had been spreading throughout the Roman empire. With the predictions that had been made in the New Testament, there were high expectations for a Messiah. With the Roman rule in Palestine, there were dozens of revolutionaries that struggled to rise during this time. With rumors that Jesus Christ was the savior that the Old Testament had prophesied, there were bitter-sweet blends of excitement and anger towards this belief.
First century writings, including the New testament, confirm that the Jewish hierarchy severely rejected the idea that Jesus Christ was the messiah. These views were probably influential in the fact that Paul had a very hostile attitude towards Jesus and John the Baptist. Paul became an extreme persecutor of Christians. He even shared in the murder of Stephen, a disciple of Christ.
The apostle Paul was traveling from Jerusalem to Damascus when he was temporarily blinded and confronted by Jesus. After this unique experience. He was able to embrace that Jesus Christ was the risen Lord and savior. Why Jesus hand picked Paul for this unique experience is a mystery that only Jesus and God know the answer to. This miraculous event proves that Gods plan is unique and complex. God values everyone and wants everyone to have a chance to redeem themselves and to repent of their sinful nature. “God loves each of us as if there was only one of us”–Saint Augustine.
Even after being a key persecutor of Christianity, God used Paul as a key instrument in his ultimate plan. Paul not only became an advocate for Christianity but he also in a way somewhat became a spokesperson. He traveled on three missionary journeys where he spoke diligently to all and spread the gospel. Paul is responsible for several books of the New Testament. Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon are all noted to be unmistakably written by Paul. There are other books in question that may be Pauline, but there hasn’t yet been enough theological evidence to be sure. Most attribute 14 books total, including the anonymous Hebrews. He was very focused.
Paul, who had studied law wrote several times to the church. He questioned their actions. Paul took Christianity to the next level. Paul’s beliefs were put in question when he met Jesus Christ himself resin from the grave. He had to rethink and repent from the way he was living. When Paul writes to the church, he challenges them to “look inward.” He believed that the cannon was applicable but the legalities of it were no longer valid; This eventually created a new kind of Christianity called Pauline Christianity. These ideas were severely opposed by the Jews. Paul believed that is was Gods divine plan to make “one new man out of two”, out of Jew and Gentile.
Paul reached the Gentile audience. Paul was perfect for this task. Many of the Jewish people believed that the Gentiles could not be saved. If God showed Paul, a persecutor of the church and therefore a persecutor of Jesus, then the Gentiles deserve the same mercy. Paul evangelized himself and planted churches in Roman territories. The story of Paul’s life gives hope to all. It is a fact that we are all sinners, but in our sins are measured differently by society.
Even still today, this is true. Our society’s laws tell us which sins we are to be punished for. In today’s society a killer would be put to death or spend life in prison. But Paul teaches us that God judges us individually not by some man-made set of rules. God wants everyone to have the same chance for salvation. Just because society might have condemned a man to death in this life doesn’t necessarily mean he will be condemned in the after-life. Saint Augustine once stated Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this, what has been lost, and what has found is saved from being lost again.
The Apostle Paul is regarded as the great interpreter of Jesus’s mission, who explained, in a way that Jesus himself never did, how Jesus’ life and death fitted into a cosmic scheme of salvation, stretching from the creation of Adam to the end of time.We, as a society and the world as a whole, have all been deeply impacted by Christianity. Without these beliefs, the world would be a darker, colder place. Jesus’ kind acts have given us the indiscriminate and equal chance for salvation. Paul was grateful and wanted to share this gift with everyone. Surely he would be pleased to know his job was well done and his purpose served.
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