Overview--1 | Overview--2 | Early Paul--3 | Mature Paul--4
The Missionary Heart of the Apostle Paul: Early Paul--3
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.
Paul, the Missionary: The Early Life of Paul
Studies in 1 Thessalonians
Introduction and Background
[Briefly recount the Pauline history from Acts 13-16.]
Largest city of Macedonia, Jewish colony with synagogue. Paul stayed there three Sabbaths. Four unique words describe the process of Paul's teaching in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-4).
Even when they were no longer welcome in the synagogue, the missionaries continued evangelistic activity among the pagans, and by the time they left, it appears that the Christian community was composed primarily of former pagans (1 Thess. 1:9). But due to trouble, riots, and false charges, Paul made a hasty departure. He left reluctantly and eventually saw that the effort was of Satan himself (1 Thess. 2:18).
Paul's Initial Missionary Motivation and Enthusiasm
Our primary interest in this section is in the missionary motivation and enthusiasm of the early Paul. Our primary resource will be the First Thessalonian letter.
In his later letters, Paul deals from time to time with the same topics--resurrection, coming glory, the subjection of all other authorities beneath the authority of Christ--but usually in other terms or concepts. If his anticipation of Jesus' coming was less intense, we can see the development of a maturity that finds additional methods for expressing the Christian hope.
- Paul was motivated by the parousia.
- Paul was motivated by the possibilities of deep relationships.
- Paul was motivated by the presence of God and Christ.
Last updated November 3, 2011