THE APOSTLE PAUL – PART 2
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”
Acts 9: 15
We will continue our study of the Apostle Paul by briefly considering the books of the Bible that he wrote:
Luke: Paul was the writer of this gospel, with Luke acting as his amanuensis. It was addressed to Gentiles and focuses on Jesus’ humanity. This gospel gives an account of John the Baptist’s birth and the most detailed account of Jesus’ birth. Jesus’ genealogy through His mother Mary is presented.
Romans: This is one of Paul’s most influential epistles. It was written to the church at Rome, which consisted of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul sought to free both Jews and Gentiles from the former yoke of Judaism. The doctrine of justification by faith is particularly stressed by Paul.
1 Corinthians: This first epistle to the Corinthians was mainly to correct sectarianism among those at Corinth, and to answer the erroneous teachings of some, that there would be no resurrection of the dead. Paul reproves the Corinthian church for not judging one of their members who was guilty of incest.
2 Corinthians: In this second epistle, Paul defends his apostleship and teachings against false teachers who had shaken the faith of the brethren at Corinth. He commends the church for their Christian growth, and emphasizes the importance of mutual helpfulness of one another along the lines of comfort.
Galatians: Paul wrote this epistle to the Galatians, most of whom were Gentiles, to counteract the influence of the Judaizing teachers among the brethren who endeavored to subvert faith in Christ, by claiming that in addition to faith in Christ they also needed to keep the Law of Moses.
Ephesians: This is one of Paul’s most beautiful epistles. Paul, recognizing the challenge that Christians in the first century faced by living in a heathen world, emphasizes that God’s Plan of salvation is by His grace and Christ’s redemptive sacrifice. It is full of deep spiritual instruction for growth in Christian character.
Philippians: This is one of Paul’s most loving epistles. Paul wrote this epistle in acknowledgment of a substantial gift from the church at Philippi, and took the opportunity to tell them of his own condition, the progress of the Lord’s work, etc., and to encourage them to steadfastness unto the end.
Colossians: This epistle to the Colossians consists of two parts: (1) a denunciation against false teachings; and (2) exhortations to proper Christian living.
1 Thessalonians: This first epistle to the Thessalonians is very fatherly, gentle and loving. The believers addressed were merely “babes in Christ” less than a year old, yet Paul recognized their rapid development, evidenced by their love for one another, and for all the brethren in Macedonia.
2 Thessalonians: The Thessalonian brethren drew a wrong conclusion from Paul’s first epistle to them, supposing that he taught that the Lord’s Second Advent would come in their day. Certain teachers also began to proclaim that the Lord’s Second Advent had commenced. Paul wrote this second epistle to correct this error.
1 Timothy: Paul’s first epistle to Timothy gives instructions regarding proper conduct in the Church, proper order and structure, and practical advice. He warns Timothy relative to false teachers.
2 Timothy: This second epistle to Timothy is Paul’s final epistle, written shortly before his execution. He wished to prepare Timothy for the added responsibility that he would assume as a general minister following Paul’s death. Paul wrote special warnings, commendations and prophecies respecting the Church’s future.
Titus: Paul wrote this epistle to Titus, who was a general overseer of the Church, instructing him in respect to six classes in the Church at Crete – (1) the elderly men, (2) the aged women, (3) the younger women, (4) the younger men, (5) servants and (6) Titus himself.
Philemon: This is Paul’s only epistle of a private and personal nature. Onesimus, a slave of
Philemon, had robbed Philemon and escaped to Rome. Onesimus came in contact with Paul and became a Christian. Paul requested that Philemon forgive and receive Philemon as a brother.
Hebrews: This is perhaps Paul’s greatest epistle. He addresses Jewish Christians in particular, showing them that the new dispensation was an advance step in God’s plan, and that everything in the new dispensation has an analogy to the things of the old one, but on a higher plane.
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