The Apostle Paul

Topics: New Testament, Christianity, Paul of Tarsus Pages: 8 (1969 words) Published: September 13, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION--------------------------------------------------3 SAUL’S EARLY LIFE, BEFORE HE MET JESUS------------------------3 SAUL PERSECUTES CHRISTIANS------------------------------------4 THE CONVERSION OF SAUL----------------------------------------4 PAUL’S MINISTERIAL IMPACT ON CHRISTIANITY---------------------5 THE LASTING EFFECT OF PAUL’S MINISTRY-------------------------6 CONCLUSION----------------------------------------------------8 BIBLIOGRAPHY--------------------------------------------------9

INTRODUCTION
Saul of Tarsus led the way in persecuting Jesus’ followers and destroying the church; it was not until Jesus revealed Himself to Saul and called upon him that Saul became one of the most influential men in the early church for Jesus’s ministry, playing an instrumental role in the development of Christianity. No person apart from Jesus himself, shaped the history of Christianity like the apostle Paul.1 Paul’s career in ministry lasted about thirty years. During his career, he shaped Christianity into what it is today. Before Christ saved Paul, he was an avid persecutor of Christians. (Acts 8:3) A religious Pharisee, who believed he was doing God’s will of the destruction of those who followed Jesus. After the road to Damascus, Paul became a zealous outspoken apostle for Jesus. He brought the Jews and Gentiles together in Christ, led successful missionary journeys, planted and developed churches, mentored disciples, and became a faithful follower for Jesus Christ. SAUL’S EARLY LIFE, BEFORE HE MET JESUS

Before the apostle Paul met Jesus, he was knows as Saul of Tarsus. His given name in Hebrew means asked for or prayed for. He was born a member of the tribe of Benjamin; his given name was the name born by the most distinguished member of that tribe in Israel history.2 Little is known about Paul’s adolescent years, but Paul asserts he was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers under Gamaliel. (Acts 22:3) Gamaliel was the most eminent Pharisaic teachers of his generations.3 Paul was a Pharisee, a Hebrew of Hebrews. (Philippians 3:5) Paul was also a tent maker by trade as the law required every boy to have a trade. It was under the training of Gamaliel that Paul learned about the law, that later led him to persecute all those who spoke of the Savior Jesus Christ, Son of God. SAUL PERSECUTES CHRISTIANS

Before Jesus graciously softened Saul’s heart, Saul persecuted Jesus by seeking out to destroy anyone who believed Jesus to be the Son of God. (Acts 9) Saul was part of a great persecution that arose against the church, and was present when the first disciple was martyred. Stephen was a disciple of Jesus and was persecuted because of his faith. He was stoned to death when he said he saw Jesus at the right hand of God the father. (Acts 7:56) Saul is present at his death, and he agrees with the stoning of Stephen. 4 According to the scriptures they laid their coats at Saul’s feet as he approved of Stephen’s death. (Acts 7:58-8:1) Saul continued on his mission to destroy the church by going from house to house and dragging off men and women and putting them into prison. (Acts 8:3) Saul’s religious upbringing was the root cause for his persecution. He believed he was doing what was required of by the law. THE CONVERSION OF SAUL

Saul continued his zealousness to persecute the church. He went to the high priest asking for letters addressed to the synagogues at Damascus, so if he found any women or men along the way he could bring them back to Jerusalem. (Acts 9:1) While traveling to Damascus, Saul encountered a sudden bright light from heaven. The light flashed around Saul as he fell to his knees. Saul heard a voice that said to him ‘Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told to you what you must do.’ (Acts 9:4) The voice Saul heard was Jesus Christ, who chose Saul to save Saul and...

Bibliography: “Acts 9:29”. Commentary in Life Application Study Bible; New International Version. Wheaton:
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1991.
Bock, Darrell L. ACTS. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007.
Bruce, F.F. Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000.
"Matthew 19:3." Commentary in Life Application Study Bible; New International Version.
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1991
Rayburn, R.S., “Christian, Names of.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A Elwell, 2nd ed., 234-236. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001.
Towns, Elmer. Theology for Today Mason, OH: Thomson Custom Solutions Center, 2001.
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