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Breezin’ Through the Bible, #30, Paul’s Death

May 20, 2014

Paul’s Death 

Paul’s letters to his friends at different churches comprise much of the New Testament. The Old Testament contains 39 books, while the New Testament contains 27. The Old Testament takes place over many centuries, while the New Testament takes place in 100 years. The first four books, called the Gospels, are biography, written about Jesus, his life and teachings by four different men. The Acts tells how Jesus’ teachings were spread, and the next 21 books are letters written by leaders of the early Christian church, expanding and explaining Jesus’ teaching. The last book, Revelation, is an apocalyptic vision of the Last Days before Judgment Day and the life hereafter. The letters of Paul, Peter, James and Jude (thought to be Jesus’ brothers), and John were collected about 90 AD and after, and copied on scrolls. Paul’s letters comprise thirteen books, but may have been changed or added to by their carriers. We know that some of Paul’s letters are missing.

But – Paul’s letters contain words of inspiration and faith. 

Romans – “The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.”—“If God be for us, who is against us?”

Corinthians – “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Galatians – “You will always harvest what you plant.”

Ephesians – “He (Christ) made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from two groups.”

Philippians – “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

Colossians – “In Christ lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” — “Clothe yourself with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience … forgive each other’s faults.”

Thessalonians –  ” Live in a way that pleases God.”

Timothy – “Cling to your faith in God, and keep your conscience clear.” 

Titus – “People must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others.”

(If a few of Paul’s letters contain doctrines offensive to some today, those words may have originated from the culture of the day and not from he teachings of Jesus. Slavery, women’s rights, and marriage issues are not regarded in similar fashion today. They require consideration. Consider the totality of Paul’s thoughts. Paul knew that God is love, and he loves everyone regardless of what is culturally correct.) – opinion of this writer

Paul’s life was devoted to Christ, and he endured much suffering. He was put in bonds seven times, was exiled and stoned. He was close to death many times, restored to life, and bravely continued his journeys. He regarded his life as an opportunity to preach the Good News. (1 Corinthians 10) “I do what is best for others so many can be saved,” he said.

Paul wrote to his friend Timothy from a Roman prison where he was held in chains. From his lonely death-row cell, he urged Timothy to continue the good fight, to put his trust in God. “My life has been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”

Paul was beheaded by Nero in Rome in 64-67 AD. His body died in brokenness, but Paul is raised to glory.

 

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