Overview--1 | Overview--2 | Early Paul--3 | Mature Paul--4

The Missionary Heart of the Apostle Paul: Overview--1
compiled by Bob Young
Note: The lessons in this series were originally developed for presentation at Seminario Baxter (written in English to be presented in Spanish). The lessons treat the life of Paul with an introductory overview, a survey of the early life of Paul, and conclusions drawn from the later, more spiritually mature Paul.
Because of the context for which the lessons were prepared, the focus is on evangelistic and missionary endeavors. Paul's letters served as a primary source of information, coupled with background knowledge of early Christianity, and selected missions resources.
Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free, by F. F. Bruce, was used as a primary resource in determining the outline of the series and much of the content.

The Apostle Paul, Who Is He?

The God whose grace Paul proclaimed is the God of great wonders. He creates the universe from nothing, he calls the dead to life, he justifies the ungodly. For Paul, the third truth is greatest wonder of all. Creation and resurrection are consistent with the power of the living, life-giving God, but justifying the ungodly is an obvious contradiction to the character of the righteous God, the judge of all the earth who by his own declaration in Exodus 23:7 will not justify the ungodly. This foundation is at the heart of understanding God, and is essential for understanding Paul's overwhelming gratitude in God's actions. In His divine grace that extends salvation to undeserving sinners, God demonstrates that He is both just and justifier (Romans 3:25-26).

I. The Initial Message of Paul--Jewish Leader Now Christian [Acts 13]
Paul ties God's work in this world into history; this is the message he must proclaim. In Acts 13, Paul sets the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus into God's work in history, perhaps in parallel to Jewish struggles and persecutions. This is the universal message to both Jew and Gentile. This is the message of the cross.

II. The Motivations of Paul
What drove Paul?

III. The Mysteries of Paul
When we come to study Paul, we see a marvelous transition from the historical Jesus to the exalted Christ. It is in relationship to the exalted Christ with whom Paul claimed personal, profound acquaintance, that we best introduce the heart and soul of Paul the missionary.
At least four foundation truths about Jesus provide an understanding of Paul's King and Lord. We must begin with the early Pauline history and see the understanding that undergirded his life once he became a Christian.

These four things Paul knew well as he reflected upon the Damascus road experience. These concepts are reflected in his earlier writings. These were the foundation of (1) his vibrant hope and expectation in early ministry, and of (2) his mature certainty in later ministry.

IV. Summary
Consider Colossians 3:4. When the people of Christ in resurrection share fully in the glorious light and image of their exalted Lord, the Spirit's ministry is fulfilled. The Spirit who fulfills this ministry is the Spirit who empowered Jesus without measure, and for Paul, the exalted Lord whose risen life and power are conveyed to his people by the indwelling Spirit thus dwells in our hearts by faith (Eph. 3:17).

Return to Young Home Page
Last updated November 3, 2011