Patterns of Paul

The Apostle Paul is a good example of using every opportunity to share his faith story and influencing anyone he met for Christ. He even shared his faith with an angry mob in Jerusalem. Paul shared before the Jewish Council, then with governors Felix, then Festus, and before King Agrippa, who was almost persuaded to believe the Gospel. At every turn, even when shipwrecked on Malta, Paul told everyone the Gospel and how God changed his life.

God and Man -- Like It Is

The Book of Romans is Paul's theological masterpiece. Paul lays out the crucial doctrine of Justification (that God declares the unrighteous to be completely righteous because of the work of Jesus Christ). It is upon this pillar that he builds his argument for the gospel's power to transform unrighteous sinners into the justified righteous, for the cross of Jesus Christ can make us righteous. The good news in Christ is we can become justified, "just as if we never sinned!"

The Four Winners and the Four Laws

Paul explains in Romans 5 - 8what it means to overcome sin and live righteously for Christ in a fallen world and that is only possible through His grace. In chapter 7 and 8, Paul introduces us to four spiritual laws: the Law of God, the Law of Sin and Death, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ, which allows us to overcome sin and death, and the Law of the Mindset. Setting our mind on the Law of the Spirit will free us to live righteously as justified people by God's grace.

So What!

In Romans chapters 9 - 11, Paul deals with very deep truths we will never totally understand, namely the doctrine of Election and the Sovereignty of God. In Romans 8:28 we learn we can trust God's judgment in all things, even the bad, because He promises to ultimately make good come out of it. Surrendering our will to God allows Him to reveal His perfect will for our lives. As we obey God, He is happy to show us more of His will for our lives.

Righteousness Reproduced in Rome

In Romans, chapters 12-16, Paul emphasizes the practical application of the truths he has shared in relation to God, the church, other believers, the government, the world, and ourselves. Paul specifically addresses: hospitality, serving, humility, forgiveness, prayer, honor, being an example, the gray areas of life and how to let love dictate how we respond to differences of opinion. Paul ends with his primary goal: to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Correction and Charisma in Corinth

Paul's first pastoral letter to the Corinthians was written to a church he knew very well, to correct problems and to instruct and encourage believers in their faith, and ours. In the first eleven chapters Paul addressed the specific problems within the church which inhibit spiritual growth and witness, both individually, and as a church. The last four chapters are the constructive section which offers solutions to the church's problems then and in our churches today.

Is Christ Divided?

The first problem Paul addressed was the problem of division; believers were divided over the leaders they followed. Paul's message was, we should follow Christ and not human leaders. Paul taught that the Spirit of God alone teaches spiritual things to man. We cannot learn spiritual truth simply through our human eyes, ears, or heart. We must learn spiritual truth through the Holy Spirit who gives us the capacity to know and understand God's thoughts.

The Love That Confronts

Paul taught that since a man's heart is often deeper than his own knowledge, we are to leave the judgment of men's hearts to God. The Bible does not teach we should never judge another person, but to judge ourselves first, for sometimes it is necessary to make judgments about those who persist in their sin. Our motive for confronting them must always be love, with the goal of restoration to fellowship with the Lord and the body of Christ.

The Marriage Manual

First Corinthians 7 is known as the marriage chapter of the Bible. It addresses a number of questions concerning marriage, singleness, divorce, remarriage, and physical relationships within marriage. Here we discover God's plan for marriage and many of the problem situations. When two believers are joined together in marriage, they commit their lives to one another because they believe God has joined them together and must depend on His grace to stay together.

All Things to All Men

Paul gives instructions on difficult issues in the church and how to apply principles of Christian liberty to those issues: eating food sacrificed to idols, how to observe the Lord's Supper, and how those who are stronger ought to regard those who are weaker in the faith. The issue is not what is right or wrong, but what glorifies God, what leads to the salvation of others, and what profits others. Paul will spell out later that these principles must be expressed in love.

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