The Life of the Apostle Paul

Yesterday, with Pastor Giardino away, Bernie Wheater was our adult Sunday school teacher at GLBBC. Bernie’s first “official” act was to introduce Gail H. for her New Testament walk through. Rather than use the white board, Gail used a whole different method: flash cards. For each New Testament event, she held up a flash card with the event name, described the event, and gave scripture references. Her presentation was instructive, fun and unique. “Iron sharpeneth iron” (Prov 27:17), Bernie reminded the class.Bernie’s topic for the morning was about the life of the apostle Paul. He explained right off the bat that his research on the topic in the last week had led to him accumulating over 20 pages of notes so far. He realized that he was going to have to just touch on the high points. He also explained the difficulty in arriving at exact dates for many of the events in Paul’s life.Taking no chances with class participation, Bernie assigned passages of scripture, most of which were from the book of Acts, to several men in the class. As he went through the chronological sequence of Paul’s life, he called upon his “volunteers” to read the assigned verses. Some of what was touched upon is as follows:

  • Paul was well trained in the law, which allowed him to be strict in the law.
  • Paul’s father was a Pharisee and a Roman citizen, thus Paul was “free born” Acts 22:28.
  • Paul was a Hebrew from the tribe of Benjamin.
  • The events leading to Steven’s stoning, where Paul (Saul) first appears, were discussed.
  • Steven’s vision in Acts 7:55-56 and the beginning of the church age were discussed.
  • Paul was converted in Acts 9:1-9, was baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • Paul was blind for three days, just as Jesus was crucified, buried and rose in three days.
  • In Acts 9:15, God asks Pail to preach first to the Gentiles, then the Jews.
  • Paul visited Jerusalem, Tarsus, and Caesarea, preaching and healing.
  • Humbled, Saul takes on the name of Paul in Acts 13:9.
  • Paul’s three missionary journeys were discussed.
  • In Acts 14:19-21, Paul is stoned at Lystra, tossed out and near death, but turns around and reenters the city.
  • Every time Paul turns to the Jews, he is rejected (Acts 13:46, Acts 18:6), thereby turning back to the Gentiles.
  • Paul is a Prisoner in Caesarea for two years.
  • Paul journeys to Rome, but is shipwrecked on the way.
  • Acts 28:3-6, Paul is bitten by a snake but no harm comes to him.
  • Paul is a prisoner in Rome but is allowed to preach.
  • Paul writes many of his letters; Bernie believes Hebrews was among them since Paul had the legal knowledge to write it.
  • In 2 Tim, Paul appears to be aware he would be killed.
  • Paul is martyred with no certain information in history on how, where or when it took place.

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