What Can We Learn From Paul In The Bible
The story of Paul in the Bible, well we all can agree that it is a very eventful one. We will be going through some of these stories and also explore some of the characteristics that Paul possessed.
Paul had one of the greatest impacts on Christianity. Paul was always passionate about what he did even before he was used by God. Paul was very religious, and he trained under Gamaliel which was one of the best.
Although he was persecuting the Christians, he thought it was the right thing to do, he thought the Christian movement was dangerous to Judaism. But once Paul met Jesus his life was transformed and was never the same.
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FYI - Before Paul was transformed his name was Saul.
So, let's start in Acts 9:1-17
Paul On The Road To Damascus
Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest.
2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him.
4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!
6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one!
8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus.
9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.
10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now.
12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”
13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem!
14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.
16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.
19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
He’s on his way to Damascus to persecute more Christians when he is confronted by Jesus, and everything changed. He gets saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and baptized. That was the opposite of what he had originally planned to do when he got there.
See how God can change someone’s heart in an instant and put them on the right path? Truly amazing.
Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.
20 And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”
21 All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”
22 Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
23 After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him.
24 They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot.
25 So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
The Conversion Of Saul To Paul
From that moment on Paul lived to please God. He immediately obeyed; it says that he immediately began to preach about Jesus.
These are 2 characteristics that we can learn from Paul, obedience and living to please God. I think we have all heard the phrase that delayed obedience is still disobedience.
When God tells us to do something and we procrastinate, that is disobedience, I’ve been there. The Holy Spirit will drop something into your heart to do and you contemplate it for days, weeks, months, sometimes even years.
That is being disobedient to God. We should all take a lesson from Paul and be obedient immediately so that we can always be in the will of God.
The moment Paul began to preach about Jesus, his life was in danger. The Jews plotted to kill him, but that didn’t stop him because his goal was not to please man, his goal was to please God.
That is my desire every day, I know that I mess up sometimes as we are all human. But truly every day, I tell God that I want to please him in every way that I can, that is my focus to do what God wants me to do no matter what others may say if I am pleasing God, I will be happy.
Acts 16 Summary
16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes.
17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
19 Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.
20 “The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!” they shouted to the city officials.
21 “They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice.”
22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape.
24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself.
28 But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”
32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household.
33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized.
34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
Paul And Silas In Jail
Even though they were stripped, beaten, and thrown in prison, they praised God, praying and singing hymns. Now picture that, after being beaten you still have the mindset to praise and worship God.
You’re in prison and you are still singing praises and worshipping him? Wow. Maybe some would be angry and say Lord imagine I'm doing this in your name and look at what happened to me.
But not Paul and Silas, they took that opportunity to praise the Lord. What is your go-to when you are in a bad situation? Is it anger, frustration, or depression?
We can see here that our first reaction should be to praise and worship God. I know that in a storm you may not feel like lifting your hands or opening your mouth and giving praise to God because all of your emotions are probably pulling you in a different direction.
But let your spirit lead you…once your spirit is connected to the Holy Spirit you can shake off those feelings and do what you were created to do which is to praise and worship Jesus.
Praise God Through The Storm
Look at what happened to them. As they praised and worshipped their chains fell off and the prison door was opened. Now I know that happened to them physically, but can you imagine what also happens spiritually when we begin to praise and worship the Lord?
Whatever chains that were holding us back must fall, whatever prison we may be in the doors have to open, that is when the breakthrough comes. Praise God in difficult times, praise God regardless of your circumstance, and remember how great, how awesome, how magnificent, and wonderful He is.
Praise is your weapon, I think that it confuses the enemy because that is not what he is expecting us to do when something goes wrong. He is expecting us to break down, that’s his goal to wear us out so that we just give up.
But God inhabits the praises of his people so when you praise, your atmosphere changes and when your atmosphere changes the situations and problems change. So, let's all agree to make praise and worship our first reaction in any situation.
Romans Chapter 8
One of my favorite chapters that Paul wrote is Romans chapter 8. I read this chapter every day before I start my day. It's like an outline for me…how I should live that day and every day. I will read a few verses.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.
8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.
11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.
13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Live By The Spirit
In this chapter, Paul shows us that we can live like Jesus and be free from sin if we live by the spirit and not by the flesh. It's just such a powerful chapter that sets the stage for each day.
It helps me to remember on those days that I am tempted to act based on my flesh that I can resist it because I am no longer controlled by my flesh. I am controlled by my spirit which is connected to the Holy Spirit. But my favorite part is how this chapter ends and it always makes me smile as I read it.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It's just so comforting to know that there is absolutely nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love...nothing.
Paul was committed to sharing the Gospel of Christ regardless of difficult situations, he gave himself totally to the work of the Lord. He was faithful and bold, but also humble and caring towards others.
I pray that you enjoyed this Bible study on Paul and that you see how God can use you no matter what you have done because He has a greater plan for your life.
What's your favorite chapter that Paul wrote? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you.
Want another Bible Study? Check out my Bible Study on Peter
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Steps To Spiritual Growth