The Life of Paul

Acts and the Letters

Life Prior to Conversion – Acts 22:3-5, 1 Corinthians 15:9, Galatians 1:13-14

Encounter with Jesus (36 AD) – Acts 22:6-16, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Galatians 1:15-17.


Three Missionary Journeys

Final Arrest, Imprisonment and Execution (58-64 AD)

 Background for Romans

Paul’s only Letter to a church he had never visited.

Purpose of the letter – introduction, support-raising for a mission to Spain.

What is Paul’s gospel?

Outline of Romans

Introduction – Romans 1:1-17

Universal nature of sin (Jews and Gentiles) – Romans 1:18-3:20

Justification by Faith, not by Law – Romans 3:21-5:21

Living under Grace – Romans 6:1-8:39

The Problem of Non-Christian Jews – Romans 9-11

Our Response to Grace (Sanctification) – Romans 12-15:13

Conclusion – Romans 15:14-16:27

Major/Relevant Themes of Romans

The Roots of Sin


Justification by Faith, not by Works

Original Sin

What good is the Old Testament?

Sin in the Christian life


Jews and Christianity

Obedience to the Government

Differences between Christian individuals and churches

Questions for Reflection

 Central to Paul’s theology is the assertion that we are saved by faith, not by works.  This distinguishes Christianity from all other faith traditions.  We are not “religion.”  What practical applications does this idea have for your daily life?

How do we as Christians wrestle with the sin that is still present in our lives, and at the same time, believe that we are sinless before God?  Are you more likely to over-stigmatize your sin and ignore the forgiveness of God, or are you inclined to excuse your own in-excusable behavior because you undervalue holiness?

Do you consider yourself to be a “strong” Christian or a “weak” Christian?  What does that even mean?  Who are you called to mentor, and who are you called to learn from?