Among all the Apostles, Paul was, and still is, the most controversial and misunderstood. There are many people who do not hesitate to call him “a proud man”.
In general, people will always criticise, and where possible, condemn what they do not understand. That is why it is better to gather sufficient information or facts about anybody or anything to be able to make a reasonable decision.
Apostle Paul lived his life by God’s grace; so was all that he did and wrote. His writings are filled with deep things of God, very difficult for many people to understand.
To a group who do not, and are not ready to, understand his life and writings, they do not see anything good and will not want to have anything to do with him and his epistles. To belong to this group is to deny oneself of the rich contents of a good percentage of the truth revealed in New Testament.
To another group, they love his writings but hate his personally for reasons best known to them alone, (2 Corinthians 10:9-11). This group talked about his “weighty letters”. Therefore, whether they fully love him or not, they refer to his letters selectively, especially those that they agree with.
Yet, there is another group who just refer to his letters with little or no understanding of what Apostle Paul really means. This group of people refer to his letters to cage others or antagonise them.
Not only this, because of the grace of God on Paul, there is another group whose activities are revealed by Apostle Peter thus,
“and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16.(New Living Translation).
May you not twist any Scripture to your destruction in Jesus Name.
To a certain group, they love him and his letters. They try to understand who Apostle Paul was and the circumstances which surrounded each letter. They have no reason whatsoever to criticise him and his work. They know very well that he wrote for a very good purpose, to edify the church of Christ and to prepare them for the Lord.
If you will not enlist on any of the group that are not on Apostle Paul side, you must note the following about him and his writings:
1. He was in the tabernacle of flesh; sometimes he struggled with it. Thanks to God who gave Holy Spirit to help him, Romans 7:19-21.
Therefore, it does not suffice to rely on the weakness of the flesh to condemn him and his letters.
2. He planned, pursued and purposed to be a pattern to follow. He wants others who follow him to be a pattern as well. He saw Jesus as his example. He is convinced that what he can accomplish in the flesh,can be attained by anyone who is also in the flesh, with the help of the Holy Spirit, but must allow the Spirit of Christ to control him, Philippians 3:17.
3. He had perfection as his main goal. Apostle Paul at no time presented himself as an already perfect man. He only set perfection as a goal he must achieve, to grow up to the stature of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, he wrote to other saints to have the same goal, Philippians 3:12-16.
4. He understood that it is not a man’s might or will that can attain perfection but by grace. He knew that everyone has his own gift which differ from another’s, 1 Corinthians 7:7.
Still, he wants everyone to ask for gifts that lead to perfection, Romans 5:15.
He assured that we can become what God wants us to become to achieve what He wants us to, 1 Corinthians 15:10.
5. Apostle Paul ended his race well as he proposed; he wanted every saint to purpose to end well. He declared,
“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering
to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
And now the prize awaits me – the crown of rightousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. “2 Tim 4:6-8.(New Living Translation.)
Now, what is your own opinion? Do you want to make a declaration similar to this at the end of your christian race? Apostle Paul has lived for us, there are lots to learn from his life and letters. For those who live with eternity in view.
Therefore, go and learn from him and his letters, the Holy Spirit will help you to follow his sound doctrines.
You can read the next piece tittled “Understanding Apostle Paul’s letters” It will bless you
Stay blessed and rapturable , the Lord is coming soon.