Home » Sunday: Paul – the Letter Writer    


Sunday: Paul – the Letter Writer — 26 Comments

  1. That the writing style was common for the day is not surprising to me. In a time where not everyone could write, an educated man like Paul would have followed good writing practices. Love these lessons so far. Thanks.

  2. Paul's letter to the church in Galatia is Indeed important now that it addresses the basis of salvation. Considering his artistic skills and the format, one would quickly conclude Paul was a great scholar of his time, writing under the guidance of the Holy spirit. But, one question still lingers about Paul's swift conversation, intelligence and the time he officially begins his ministry. The question is, does inspiration depend on the level of one's intelligence now that Paul shortly after his conversion takes the Gospel to a higher level by discovering some doctrines like salvation by faith alone and the inclusion of the gentiles as Christians? When the disciples who even had been with Christ like Peter couldn't discover this, was it that God wanted some trained brains like Paul to explain this new light to gentiles over simple minds? Considering again the Mars hill discourse between Paul and the philosophers, we see Paul using natural theology to outwit them who by then were the global epitome and embodiment of the knowledge.Peter had been there even before Paul but his light could not march the level of these philosophers. Is it that inspiration comes with the level of enlightment?

    • I believe this to be a patently false idea. The Spirit of God works in people of every education or societal level, i.e. Ellen White, who was educationally limited. Also, when the Spirit had come on the disciples, after the upper room, didn't the people marvel at their ability to preach in Gods name? (Acts 2:2-7).
      God doesn't depend on Universities or doctors to spread His word.

      • God depends on all of us to live the Gospel. Once we recognize that we all have that responsibility, we should respect the skills and talents that each of us have that can be used by God. That includes those who have been educated and have had training. We also need to understand our own limitations. All too often I have heard Seventh-day Adventists use outdated and spurious arguments in defense of their faith where a little bit of training and research would have saved them from embarrassment.

        Paul was an educated person and he used his training to be able to talk to a wide variety of people. We should pray that they Holy Spirit will guide us to use our educational talent and whatever level and to be able to use it wiaely in our interaction with others.

      • @ Robert believe we all have different abilities and capabilities,strength and weaknesses.This is where one through The Holy Spirit's guidance we overcome all this barriers and become true servants,but by our own energies we are doomed. Like peter walking on water and after loosing focus he started drowning read matt 14:29-31.

        • The Holy Spirit is not a magic potion that we use to get us out of trouble, rather it is a the teacher than teaches us to think. Sometimes we use the words about being guided by the Holy Spirit, then sit back and wait for something to happen. We need to gather information, sort the evidence, analyze the situation, consult with others and make decisions after asking for guidance by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not about passivity, but action.

    • "Inspiration come with the level of enlightenment?" Not really, but looking at where Paul's ministry had been designated - Gentile world, God needed someone who the philosophers would see as a colleague elite, who, to them, "know better" before they can pay attention to whatever message he had.

    • Simeon, you ask some intriguing questions. Thank you for sharing. I will use them to stir up the minds in my retirees SS study class (in Brisbane, Oz).
      Happy Sabbath, wherever you are

    • I would also like to think that God prepares His people. All in His time. However, that does not mean that God needs people to get the highest of education levels. I always marvel when I converse with the elderly, uneducated people from my village. Frankly do not follow the educated formats even in the Sabbath School lesson, to them it is a guide and their views have wisdom. I can converse use theological perspective but their simplicity makes the lessons easier to the masses.

  3. Paul also said, "the wisdom of men is foolishness with God", but he also said that holy writings must be spiritually discerned. BUT he also listed a whole series of gifts that believers would be given such as preachers, teachers, healers, tongues etc.

    People have natural talents such as music and acquired abilities such as a result from education, and every person has a different personality, character and disposition, so the Lord uses each individual to work in the field where they would be of most benefit for the advancement of the gospel of salvation.

    But all of this would come to nothing if the person loses his or her connection to the source of all power, Jesus Christ our saviour and Lord.

  4. Simeon Ogutu, if you are asking whether Paul was the sole contributor, and 100% responsible for his writings? I would say no. Pauls' letters were a combination of early adulthood experience, plus we cannot improve on the Holy Spirit, 2Timothy 3:16. We cannot overlook the Damascus experience and, not realize that Paul was chosen.

  5. God is the the only Hero in the Bible. To mention that He has all the PhDs in the world, would very disrepectfull to Him. He appoints and calls those He wants. We rest our cases with Him, knowing, that whatever He does, is always the best. God places us in a place that is the very best for our spiritual growth. Give Him the glory.

    • It would be a brave man or woman to claim that they were always in the best place for their spiritual growth, but we can rest in the truth that regardless of where we are, "all things work together for good".

  6. 1 Corinthians 12:18, Hebrews 2:4, Ephesians 4:71 1 Corinthians 12:6 these text help my understanding)
    God knows who he created best to do his particular work. I have to to encourage you to guard against pride on this point. Everybody's different, at different levels, different life circumstances and experiences, nonetheless we all can be specific instruments used by God. James talks about wisdom. If we ask in faith he will give it to us liberally. What I noticed is how Paul shares his conversion experience - his testimony through this trials, and persecutions. This encourages me to continually seek wisdom in knowing, seeing and understanding everything I went through as testimony, a witness,of Gods conversion power, his Grace and mercy, and be willing to share it as God leads.

  7. Likewise Jesus spoke to people in parables using everyday experiences. We should do the same today. Using what is familiar to us today and bring into it a heavenly meaning. May we be inspired by the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel message in today's language.

  8. Paul was signally used of God for the person that he was and the gifts that God gave him. He was a scholar, a gifted (or talented) orator, communicator and writer, and a selfless pastor and missionary for Jesus. Whatever your spiritual gift(s) and talents are, dedicated yourself fully to glorify God and be used completely in his closing work on this earth.

  9. Isn't it amazing how God in human flesh, Jesus never wrote anything himself? Yet he was God in human flesh and made the ultimate sacrifice for all humanity. John the baptist also, even as the lesser light that pointed to Jesus, the greater light, also wrote nothing, yet God used him to prepare the way for Jesus. God used the apostle Paul's ability for writing just like he used Ellen White's ability for writing. So whatever abilities we have, God can and will use them for his glory and honor.

    • Hi Brother Bill. The Gospel of Saint John and the epistles of John 1, 2 and 3 where not written by John the Baptist. They are written by John, the brother of James, the son of Zebeedee. He was also known as the beloved disciple. He also wrote Revelation while banished on the Isle of Patmos.

    • We should understand that we are not Paul. Not many of us are called to travel the world and preach the Gospel as Paul did. But we are all called to live the Gospel in our sphere of influence. For some of us that may mean witnessing to our own family, or to our next door neighbours. If we cannot live the Gospel in our neighbourhood what hope have we got of spreading the Gospel to all the world?

    • No format. Just a willingness to share and witness to others with the power of God's Holy Spirit. God gave the apostle Paul the gift to be an apostle. God did not give the delivered demoniac that gift at all even though the delivered demoniac wanted very badly to be one of Jesus' group of apostles. But Jesus gave that delivered demoniac his work of telling others about how Jesus delivered him from the grasp of the Devil.

  10. Consistency of behaviour is a sure indicator of character. If we show one face to our church friends and another to our "worldly" friends just to "fit in" within each group, we are being the same as Peter at Antioch who separated himself from his gentile friends just to "fit in" with those whose doctrinal beliefs were traditional regarding circumcision.

    Hypocrisy is one of the major reasons why people leave the church,(not only SDA).Our behaviour is observed wherever we go and people make judgments about one another by the way they behave. Be honest. Let your light shine by example. Be consistent. People will trust you. Be sincere. Keep your promises. Be the "salt". Preserve the truth and flavour the application. Most importantly, walk with your Master, learn from Him and trust Him, and you won't need to preach a sermon to advance the gospel, You'll be one.

    • However, John, Jesus is the only one that ever was consistent and without a flaw in that consistency. But we are always full of flaws even to the point that Jesus has to cover those flaws with his own flawlessness. So to me hypocrisy is no excuse to leave a church because Jesus is our only true example and no one else is. We are to follow Jesus not any or even the best human example in any church such as an elder or a deacon or even the pastor etc.

  11. Simeon, Peter was given this gospel commission even though he was not as educated. In the vision in Acts 10 he was sent by God to the uncircumcised men. Act 10: 44-48 the uncircumcised Centurion and other gentiles were baptized by Peter. Peter and those who were with him were astonished. That sheet in coming down out of heaven three times may hold some significance to Christ telling Peter three times, "Feed My sheep."


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>