Having spent some time looking at the gift of apostleship I thought it would be worth focusing a little on the apostle Paul and in particular how he dealt with culture and contextualisation. Out of all the apostles in the New Testament we know the most about his life and ministry and this provides us with a unique window through which to look and see how he tirelessly sought to fulfil the great commission.
FF Bruce in his book Paul, Apostle of the Free Spirit has this to say about Paul:
“Nor can I think of any other writer, ancient or modern, whose study is so richly rewarding as his. This is due to several aspects of his many faceted character: the attractive warmth of his personality, his intellectual stature, the exhilarating release effected by his gospel of redeeming grace, the dynamism with which he propagated that gospel throughout the world, devoting himself single mindedly to fulfilling the commission entrusted to him on the Damascus road.”
In this series of blogs, I’ll be primarily concentrating on Paul’s own story and personality rather than giving an outline of Paul’s doctrine. Our lives and the lives of those who we seek to reach with the gospel do not exist in the abstract, each of us lives in our own story, which itself as we follow Christ, becomes a small part of God’s great story.
By looking at Paul’s story it can help us to understand God’s story and our own roles in it, you may not spread the gospel across the Roman Empire, be imprisoned or face so many dangers to your life but if you have become a follower of Christ then you are part of the eternal story that he began in Matthew 28:19-20:
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’