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St Paul

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St Paul, an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world was an important founder of Christianity and played a major role in its spread across Asia and Europe.

Paul was born around 5 A.D. into a wealthy Jewish family in the port of Tarsus. He was given the Hebrew name Saul and was sent to Jerusalem to be trained by Gamaliel, a prominent Pharisee.

Saul became a Pharisee and was respected for his intellect and zeal for the Jewish faith. He travelled to synagogues, flogging, killing and imprisoning Jews who accepted Jesus as their Messiah. He even assisted in the stoning of Saint Stephen.

Saul and his men were on their way to Damascus when they were struck down by a bright light. This famous conversion of Christianity is related in the Acts – Chapter 9. ‘A voice from heaven said: ‘Paul why do you persecute Me?’ And Paul said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.’ When Saul opened his eyes, he was blind. God then sent a disciple to restore his vision, fill him with the Holy Spirit and baptise him. Saul changed his name to Paul and spent the remainder of his life spreading Jesus’ message.

Missionary Journeys

The New Testament records three separate missionary journeys, each several years in length, where Paul spreads Christ’s message in Asia and Europe.

Paul’s second missionary journey, described in Acts, chapters 15 and 18, was to proclaim God’s grace, spread the Gospel and establish the Church. During this journey, Paul visited cities such as Tarsus, Derbe and Lystra. He spent time in Athens and Corinth, two major places of Greek culture. Along the way, Paul preached to Jews in synagogues, ordinary people in market places and wealthy people in lecture halls. At Phillipi, the missionaries were imprisoned but God created an earthquake to free them. This key event increased and strengthened the followers of Christ.

During Paul’s third journey, he revisited many of the Christian communities he had established. His third mission, described in Acts, 19-26, was to increase Christ’s followers and establish the Church. He travelled to Galatia, Phrygia, Troas and Ephesus to teach the believers. In, Acts 20:7-12 when Paul preached the gospel at Troas, a man tumbled out a window. He was considered dead, but Paul revived him. This key event strengthened the faith of the Christ’s followers.

Teachings

Throughout each of these journeys, Paul preached to all those encountered. One of his teachings states, “For all of you… baptized into Christ have

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