Apostle Paul

Age Background of Apostles & Disciples:

Paul was the oldest, more of a leader with more wisdom, referred to as going with: "chief men among the brethren" (Acts 15:22). (Paul is believed to also have been married [1Cor 9:5] then we believe his wife past away shortly later [1Cor 7:1-7]).

The 12 Apostles (capital A) were young and not old enough (under 20) yet to pay the "Temple Tax" during that time; only Peter is known to have paid the Temple Tax. At the age of 20 they were to each pay a half-shekel as a census offering when they visited the temple of God. In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus instructs Peter to “fish up” this tax, enough to pay the tax for two men, himself and Jesus. Jesus was age 30 at this time.

In Jewish culture, disciples (or students) were generally younger than their teacher. Therefore, it is likely the disciples were under 30 years of age. Jesus also referred to them as “little children,” possibly indicating they were several years younger than He was. Second, many of the disciples worked as "Fishermen". James and John specifically left their father in the boat to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:21–22). This means they were old enough to work full-time. They were likely at least teenagers by this time, since they could leave home to follow a rabbi. Jewish culture made it customary for a child to "begin" his religious training at the age of 5 and to continue to age 13.

1 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope".

Paul appointed Apostle to the Gentiles on the road to Damascus:

In Acts 13:9, Saul is called "Paul" for the first time on the island of Cyprus much later than the time of his conversion. The word apostle means "messenger." Paul used the term apostle about himself because he was a messenger of Jesus; appointed and chosen by God. After Saul converted his faith to Jesus he called himself Paul, he was still the same person, but his mind and heart changed when he saw the truth. It shows how when Jesus touches our lives how quickly we change, and for the better always.

The Road to Damascus - This story refers to the sudden turning point in Sauls (Paul) life. It's in reference to the conversion to Christianity of the apostle Paul while literally on the road to Damascus from Jerusalem. Prior to that moment, he had been called Saul, and was a Pharisee who persecuted followers of Jesus. In one moment of fear, enlightenment, and regret, Saul understood that Jesus was the true Messiah and that he (Saul) had helped murder and imprison innocent people. Despite his previous beliefs as a Pharisee, he now knew the truth about God and was obligated to obey him. Paul's conversion proves that God can call and transform anyone he chooses, even the most hard-hearted. Paul's life-changing experience on the Damascus Road led to his baptism and instruction in the Christian faith. Acts 15:22 - (Paul and Barnabas submitted doctrines to the twelve and elders.) "Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, "chief men among the brethren".

Why would God choose such a man to present the very Gospel that drove him to persecute and even execute early Christians?

Scripture clarifies that God specifically chose Paul, before he was born, to proclaim the Gospel, mainly, but not exclusively, to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:15-16).

When you study the Book of Acts -- the history of the early church -- and Paul's Epistles, you can see quite clearly why God Almighty set Paul apart for this crucial role.

Paul was fluent in the Greek language and Greek culture and learned in Greek literature, which enabled him to relate to the Greeks (gentiles) on their level. In some cases, he cited their poets to get his foot in the door as a prelude to revealing God to them. He was a "Roman Citizen", which entitled him to legal protections unavailable to noncitizens and which, in some cases, facilitated his presentation of the message. He was highly intelligent, and he would call on his intellect to expound on critical matters of Christian doctrine in his letters, 13 of which are preserved for us in the New Testament as Holy Scripture.

Ironically, Paul's Jewish background greatly enhanced his evangelistic efforts. His intimate knowledge of the Old Testament and the Mosaic Law perfectly equipped him to explain the Gospel as part two of God's two-part story of His salvation plan for mankind. Paul confirmed that Christ had come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it!  Jesus Christ fulfilled the messianic promises of the Old Testament prophets. He inaugurated the New Covenant, which superseded the Old Covenant and provided a means for all mankind -- Jews and Gentiles alike -- to be saved, by faith in Him. No one in human history understood better than Paul how God's salvation plan was integrated from start to finish, and no one could better communicate it. Nor was anyone better positioned to articulate God's free offer of grace, as no one, by his own admission, was less deserving of grace than he was -- yet he received it in abundance.

Apostle versus Disciple:

Apostle: a “messenger” and ambassador. Someone who champions a critical reform movement, belief or cause.

Disciple: a "follower and student" of a mentor, teacher, or any other wise person. Someone who accepts and helps in spreading the teachings of another.

Epistle: comes from the Greek word epistole that means “letter” or “message.” Epistles were a primary form of written communication during the New Testament time. Since many of the New Testament books were originally written as letters to churches or individuals, they are referred to as the Epistles. Thirteen of these Epistles were written by the apostle Paul: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Within this group of Pauline Epistles is a subgroup labeled the Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) so-called because they were written during Paul’s two-year house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30–31). The Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) were written to church leaders and include many teachings regarding practices within the early church

All of the known authors of the Epistles are either (Paul, Peter, John) or a family member of Jesus (James, Jude). Each of these individuals had a unique calling from Jesus that included writing letters to others. These letters, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are preserved as part of the New Testament’s writings today.

The disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. While Jesus attracted a large following, the term disciple is commonly used to refer specifically to the twelve apostles. The gospels and the Book of Acts refer to varying numbers of disciples that range between 70 and 120 to a "growing multitude".

The word "disciple" is used today as a way of self-identification for those who seek to learn from the teachings of Jesus, such as the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus commissioned the apostles to carry on His ministry after His ascension, and that is why we have a God-breathed Bible, “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). Paul was responsible for much new revelation, although ultimately those revelations came from the Holy Spirit. In many of his epistles, Paul reveals to us “mystery.” The word “mystery” is a technical term that signifies some previously unrevealed truth that is now revealed.

The Bereans

The Bereans were residents of the city of Berea in Macedonia. Paul and Silas preached to them during Paul’s second missionary journey. The account of Paul and Silas in this location is recorded in Acts 17:10-15.

These Bereans exhibited several positive characteristics that marked their response to the gospel message. First and foremost, the Bereans were “more noble” because of their willing reception of the Word of God. Unlike the unbelieving Thessalonian Jews, the Bereans were eager to hear the teaching of Paul and Silas.

Second, the Bereans examined what they heard by comparing it to the Old Testament Scriptures. The fact that they honestly listened and conducted further personal research led many Bereans to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. This expansion of Christianity was not limited to those within the synagogue, but also extended to many Greek men and women in Berea.

Third, the Bereans guarded Paul’s safety. When Paul’s enemies arrived from nearby Thessalonica, the Berean believers protected Paul by getting him out of the region. They did not turn him over to his enemies or disassociate from him as the Jews from Thessalonica might have expected.

Fourth, the Bereans continued to grow in their faith. After Paul’s departure, Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. Why? The Bible does not explicitly say, but one reason was probably to give the Berean Christians a chance to obtain further instruction in the Christian faith.

Later in the book of Acts, we are given further insight into the faithfulness of at least one Berean man. When Paul decides to return for additional ministry in Macedonia despite the tremendous persecution he had recently faced, one of the men who chose to accompany him was from Berea: “There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him” (Acts 20:3-4). Sopater, likely a Gentile Christian, continued to assist Paul (and Timothy) in ministry long after Paul’s first visit to Berea.

In summary, the Bereans have long been seen as a positive example of how a person or community should respond to biblical teaching. We are called to eagerly learn from God’s Word and, no matter who the teacher is, to investigate new teaching in comparison with the Bible. The practice of the ancient Bereans is a model for all who desire to grow spiritually today.

Those today who poorly object to Paul are objecting to some point he made in his writings. There is nothing wrong with the Mosaic Law, because Jesus said those who teach it would be the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.

(Matt 5:18,19) Only Jesus kept it perfectly, but many were still judged righteous by also following it.

(Luke 1:6) Of course they still had to show up for the day of atonement every year and acknowledge that they were sinners and make the proper amends for the past year.

Now, under the kingship of Jesus Christ we immediately make the proper restitution and don't have to wait for the "high holy days" to enjoy our heavenly father's smile of approval.

Paul preached "Holiness" something that is required to be the bride of Christ. Quite another thing quite different from righteousness. Righteousness is doing the right thing, whether you want to or not. "Holiness" is doing all the right things for the right reasons. This is a requirement for those who will rule and reign with Jesus and even judge the angels, something that was never offered to the sons of Jacob.

Rev 22:11 "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

1 Corinthians 5:5 / MEANING:

“In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul commanded those Christians to deliver a sinful brother ‘unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh’ (1 Cor. 5:5)

In this section of the apostle’s letter, he deals with a gross example of immorality in the Corinthian church. A man had become sexually intimate with his stepmother (the language is very precise – his “father’s wife,” as opposed to his own “mother”). The church members were not offended by the sordid situation; rather, they gloried in it. Such compromise called for the sternest rebuke. Deliver the offending brother to Satan for “the destruction of the flesh.”

It is amazing at the number of scholars who have advanced the position that the “destruction of the flesh” here refers to physical death. This view is at variance with the very spirit of the passage, which suggests the reclamation of the wayward brother’s soul by means of the destruction. ”Deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

The destruction of the flesh is a remedial procedure, the design of which is for the man’s salvation. There is no redemptive value in mere death! A man put to death hardly has the opportunity for reformation.

The expression “deliver such a one unto Satan” is the equivalent of “put away the wicked man from among yourselves” (v. 13). It is a biblical idiom for the severing of Christian fellowship. It represents a dramatic expression of the literal formula, “have no company with” (v. 9), or the more specific admonition “with such a one do not even eat” (v. 11), refrain from ordinary social fraternization with such a one (2 Thes. 3:6).

One must note that Hymenaeus and Alexander had been “delivered unto Satan” in order that “they might be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20).

If the “deliverance” was death, how does the subsequent clause make any sense? It was not anticipated that these gentleman would be doing post-mortem blasphemy!

What then, is the meaning of that ambiguous phrase, “for the destruction of the flesh”? The sense almost certainly is this: Turn the man over to Satan (i.e., back into the world community of debauchery), that he may reap the consequences of his rebellion (whatever physical and/or emotional disadvantages that might involve), along with distressing estrangement from a warm, loving association with the church.Under such circumstances of distress, if there were a remnant of conscience remaining, the rogue brother might well learn to “destroy” his baser, “fleshly” urges, and thus be reclaimed for the Savior’s cause.

This is a sensible approach to the text that does not thrust scripture into the realm of the absurd or the inconsistent.

Paul lived in obedience to Gods YHWH Laws. Paul agreed with everything written in the laws and he also believed in the laws. (Colossians 2:13-14; Acts 21:24; Acts 24:14; Acts 21:21)

Pauls writings are so deep that they created confusion for many. He was falsely accused of preaching against Moses, and accusation that is still being spread to this day!

Paul explicitly affirmed that Christ came in the flesh in Romans 1:3, 9:5; Ephesians 2:15, 5:30; Colossians 1:22; and 1 Timothy 3:16 (What can be clearer than "God was manifested in the flesh"?).

Note: A serious bible student uses the top lexicon (BDAG) instead of the inadequate Strong's. The first meaning for omoiōma ("likeness") in BDAG is "state of having common experiences" and this is the sense in which Paul uses it in Philippians 2:7 and Romans 8 - that Christ experienced things the rest of us do.

Jesus words at John 5: 24-25 tells us faith has a lot to do with salvation, a great faith produces fine works.

Some have attempted to teach that Jesus died a tragic martyr, misunderstood and killed by an unfortunate turn of events. The Bible tells us that our Messiah Jesus death was a part of God’s YHWH eternal decree, determined before creation:

Jesus wanted it made very clear that His death would not be accidental, but an act of obedience to His Father’s will:

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on MY OWN initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:17-18).

Jesus also fulfilled every single prophecy written about him when he was on earth in human flesh as a human. Down to even being on the cross and saying he is thirsty. Every word Jesus said was to fulfill each of his fathers prophecies accurately. This way, when all witnessed him at that time, all knew who he truly was, and there was nothing that went unfinished in accordance with Gods written word.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

We are actually “pre-warned” in scripture that people will actually twist misunderstanding Paul’s writing’s, it reads:

2 Peter 3:14-18

14 So, beloved, since you are looking forward to these things, be diligent and make every effort to be found by Him [at His return] spotless and blameless, in peace [that is, inwardly calm with a sense of spiritual well-being and confidence, having lived a life of obedience to Him].

15 And consider the patience of our Lord [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]; just as our beloved brother *Paul* also wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him [by God],

16 speaking about these things as he does in all of his letters. In which there are some things that are *difficult to understand*, which the untaught and unstable [who have fallen into error] twist and misinterpret, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith],

18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Paul Q&A:

Do woman have to stay quiet in the church? (ANSWER)

(1 Corinthians 14) The church of Corinth was noted for the chaos and lack of order rampant in that assembly (verse 33). Everyone in the church service was participating with whatever expression they desired, whenever they desired, as loudly as they desired. The answer link will explain why these church rules were set up and how. NO it was not meant that woman just do not speak at all in the church. There is a time and organized manner to follow for everything. A time for silence and a time to speak.

Pauls Death

According to the Acts of Paul, Nero condemned Paul to death by decapitation. Tertullian in his Prescription Against Heretics (200 AD) writes that Paul had a similar death to that of John the Baptist, who was beheaded.