Paul Only Second to Jesus in Early Christian Church
Paul the Apostle was considered the most notable of early Christian missionaries. He is also the most important disciple of Jesus Christ due to his contributions in establishing the early Christian church. Paul himself was a Jew from Greece but he was the first who made great efforts “in his epistles to the Romans in showing that God and Jesus the Savior are for all the people in the world, not only for Jews” (Schnelle & Boring 271). He introduced Jesus in a wider setting aiming Jesus to be recognized and known in the whole world.
Initially he was a man who opposed and who sought to stamp out the followers of Christ but Paul later on becomes one of the greatest echoes of Christ message of hope and salvation to all people following his transformation on the road to Damascus, “where he experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus after which he was temporarily blinded” (Schnelle & Boring 158 ). He was purposely used by Christ to proclaim His message. Knowing the great accomplishments of Paul in establishing the early Christian Church, Paul is still often considered second only to Jesus in his contribution to Christianity.
Paul itself asserted that he received the Gospel by the revelation of Jesus Christ, “I want you to know, brothers that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). Many times in his teachings, Paul brought back the glory to God. He recognized that his testimony and strength in building the church was due to Christ as he was been blessed and guided every time. Paul affirmed that in his missionaries and journeys, Jesus was at his back.
He recognized that his strength as a human being is not enough. Truly all his wisdom, strength, inspiration and knowledge is due to Christ. Paul in Christianity has become accepted as the first and foremost missionary who travelled outside Rome and Jews’ territory. His vision and mission was not limited to Jews but for the people in the whole world. In the Bible specifically in Acts, Paul made extensive trips or journeys to proclaim Jesus word. Furthermore he made speeches. They said that Paul and Jesus Disciples’ were behind the success of the church.
However, the book of Acts points decisively that the success of the young church was due to the power of God, through His Holy Spirit, therefore with the inspiration of Christ since Jesus was the one who introduced the Holy Spirit in the world. Jesus says, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I’ll go I will send Him to you” (John 16:5-11). In the Bible, it stresses that although Jesus departed physically, God became present in each one of them, making His activity in the world more widespread than ever before.
The Spirit personally directed each major advance in the church. He apparently fueled the church with the energy of faith. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church”. During Paul’s time, in some countries, a person who becomes a Christian, he or she was forfeited to have a good education and job. A person who converts risks his or her life. Apparently, many have been martyred but fierce persecution only helped the Christianity to spread. Meanwhile, going back to Paul, his reputation has been bad since he opposed Christianity during Jesus time.
And so during his conversion, many Christians knowing Paul’s old reputation were initially skeptical about his change of life. But Paul soon proved to be as fiery and intense in preaching Christ as he had been working against Him. Paul “spearheaded the campaign to grant Gentiles full acceptance without subjecting them to Jewish law”. He himself had been liberated from bondage to confining laws, and he insisted on a life based on God’s free forgiveness, not legalism. Legalism, do’s and don’ts has been the Jews’ way of life but Paul insisted that God’s grace is free and that God prioritize a personal relationship with Jesus.
During Paul’s journeys, he wrote almost half the New Testament books, and in them he laid the groundwork for much of Christian theology. All the while, Paul carried on courageous career despite persecution, jailing, beatings and riots. In missionary venture of Paul, he focused primarily on Roman colonies, capital cities and chief trade towns. Like modern cities today, these comprised a melting pot of diverse culture. From these places the Gospel message has been carried across the globe. Paul’s background uniquely qualified him and his adventures. Paul’s mastery of language helped him a great deal.
“He used Aramaic to relate to the early church leaders in Jerusalem and his fluency in Greek made possible a speech before philosophers of Athens” (Soards 20). Sometimes Paul was used by God to work miracles. By the end of his eventful life, Paul had left many churches. To make sure his work would go on; he trained such leaders such as Silas, Titus and Timothy. Paul is also considered the greatest spokesperson for the Christian faith. But despite his respectable reputation in Christianity, Paul in his writings and speeches always stresses that Jesus is the very core and purpose of his mission.
Paul’s messages and testimonies centered on Christ and therefore even though Christ was not present physically during the establishment of the early Christian church, his Spirit and his messages during his living were continually proclaimed. Conspicuously, Paul was the storyteller but his stories were about Jesus the Christ. People were inspired and converted ultimately due to Jesus and so Jesus is still the main contributor to the establishment of the early Church. Jesus is still the main contributor to the creation of the early Christian church since he is the central figure proclaimed by the disciples.
His life and teachings was the central core of the disciples’ service and missionaries throughout the world. Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God, about morality and prayer and about him as a messiah and divine received many wonders, acceptance and critics from people. In Paul missionaries’, he stresses that Jesus was his inspiration and reason in doing the missionary works. Work Cited Page: Soards, Marion. The Apostle Paul: an introduction to his writings and teaching. Paulist Press, 1987 Schnelle, Udo. Boring, Eugene M. Apostle Paul: his life and theology. Baker Academic, 2005Sample Essay of PaperDon.com