Summary: The book of Romans is one of my favorite books in the Bible.
Admin OptionsFeature Edit Discussion Close Discussion Add Tags
Delete Discussion Intro:
1. An elder from the Second Century gave this description of the Apostle Paul:
“A man of small stature, with a bald head and crooked legs, in good state of body, with eyebrows meeting and nose somewhat hooked, full of friendliness…”
2. Since the subject is Paul, we need to do a background study on him.
3. Paul the Man.
Romans 1:1-7 (AMP)
1 FROM PAUL, a bond servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) called to be an apostle, (a special messenger) set apart to [preach] the Gospel (good news) of and from God,
2 Which He promised in advance [long ago] through His prophets in the sacred Scriptures—
3 [The Gospel] regarding His Son, Who as to the flesh (His human nature) was descended from David,
4 And [as to His divine nature] according to the Spirit of holiness was openly designated the Son of God in power [in a striking, triumphant and miraculous manner] by His resurrection from the dead, even Jesus Christ our Lord (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
5 It is through Him that we have received grace (God's unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name's sake among all the nations,
6 And this includes you, called of Jesus Christ and invited [as you are] to belong to Him.
7 To [you then] all God's beloved ones in Rome, called to be saints and designated for a consecrated life: Grace and spiritual blessing and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. For starters, his Birth.
A. His Century – first century.
Saul/Paul – the name Paul is first used in Ac. 13:9 which reveals that Paul was born with two names – a Hebrew one, Saul; and a Roman one, Paul.
A. T. Robertson, “The ‘also’ does not mean that the name Paul was now given for the first time, rather than, he had always had it. As a Jew and a Roman citizen he undoubtedly had both names all the time.” [Word Pictures in the N.T., Vol. III]
1. Saul means “asked” I Sam. 1:20
2. Paul means “little” perhaps indicating that he was born small in size.
B. His Family.
1. Father was Jewish.
a. Of the tribe of Benjamin. Phil. 3:5
b. A Pharisee, the largest and most influential religious-political party during the N.T. times. Ac. 15:5; 23:6
c. A Roman Citizen. Ac. 22:25-28
Thieme, “A Roman colony was a living extension of Rome itself. A Roman citizen residing anywhere enjoyed the same status held by a citizen within the walls of Rome. The rights, privileges, and protection guaranteed by Roman law elevated Roman citizens far above their neighbors. Roman citizens were exempt from local taxes, given special treatment, spared beatings, given hearings and granted access to Caesar himself.”
1. His mother was Jewish but we know nothing about her.
2. His sister. Ac. 23:16
C. His City – Tarsus. Ac. 22:3
It was a capital of a Roman province of Cilicia in Asia Minor [Modern Turkey].
D. His Difficulty.
Swindoll, “In my mind Paul was the blend of a Christian John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and the Hulk. I mean, he got things done! But that false impression began to fade when I made an in depth study of Paul.”
I Cor. 2:1-5/ 2 Cor. 10:10
E. On the other hand he was saved not as the Many.
I Cor. 1:26-29
The truth is Paul being of the tribe of Benjamin, a Roman citizen, well-educated, etc., speaks of a noble or privileged birth.
Lady Huntington was an English noblewoman, who had been converted to Christ under the preaching of Roland Hill. She said that “I was saved by the letter ‘m.” She explained, “Paul said not many wise, mighty, noble are saved. But he didn’t say, “Not any wise, mighty, and noble. So I was saved by an “m!”
II. Next, we have Paul’s Youth.
A. His Education.
1. He was Taught at home and in the Synagogue, the O.T. scriptures. He learned Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
2. He was taught a Trade, as were all Jewish boys, his was that of tentmaker. Ac. 18:3
3. He Thrilled at the feet of the famous rabbi, Gamaliel in Jerusalem.
B. His Persecution of the Church. Ac. 7; 8:1-3; 9:1-2
Reflecting upon this, Paul calls himself under divine inspiration, the Chief of sinners (I Tim. 1:12-16)
“Because Paul tried harder than anyone who had ever lived, to be saved by his own works. He was totally dedicated to coming to God by a law system. The principle of law always assumes human merit, that man can do something to be good enough for God to accept. In God’s eyes the person who tries the hardest, is the one who is insulting the spirit of grace the most!