The Epistles of the Apostle Paul
A large part of the New Testament is occupied by the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. As Peter the Apostle writes, some of these are hard to be understood (2 Peter 3:16). But these epistles are indispensable for every Christian wanting to get a profound knowledge of the Christian truth.
- Romans shows the pure and full gospel of God for every man and woman.
- Philippians shows the joy in following the Lord Jesus.
- Ephesians sets out the thoughts of God regarding His assembly.
- First Corinthians deals with the inward and
- First Timothy the outward order of this same assembly. And finally
- First and Second Thessalonians treats the living hope and the future of the Christians.
Besides this, many other important subjects are dealt with in the Epistles.
The author of these epistles, the Apostle Paul, was originally called Saul. He was a learned Jew of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil. 3:5) and originated from Tarsus in Cilicia (Asia Minor). He had studied the Jewish law, had sat at the feet of the Rabbi Gamaliel, and had been educated after the strictest sect of the Pharisees (Acts 22:3; 26:5) and at a very early age excelled his contemporaries in knowledge (Gal. 1:14). At the same time he was hostile, with fanatic zeal, towards Christians. At the time, the Christians grew rapidly in number. Paul persecuted them wherever he could and obtained the consent of the Jewish leaders to do so. On later occasions he remembered the time before his conversion with much sadness (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; 1 Tim. 1:13).
While he was on a journey to Damascus his meeting with the Lord Jesus - which was going to have the most far reaching consequences - took place. This meeting was very important as to the future life of Saul (Acts 9). Saul was converted to God who had already separated him from his mother's womb and who called him now to preach His Son among the heathen nations. This is how Paul (as he was called later on