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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5109 Paul, apostle to Gentiles
5109 Paul, apostle to Gentiles

5109 Paul, apostle to Gentiles

Paul saw his encounter with the risen Christ as a call to apostleship, with a special mission to proclaim the gospel to the Gentile world. Paul’s complete dedication to Jesus Christ made his own personal weaknesses a vehicle for the power of God.

Paul’s calling as an apostle: origins and implications

His calling began with his encounter with the risen Christ Gal 1:15-16 See also Ac 9:3-19 pp Ac 22:6-16 pp Ac 26:12-18; 1Co 9:1

His calling involved his being sent to the unevangelised Gentile world Gal 2:9 See also Ac 22:21; Ro 15:18-21; 2Co 10:13-16; Eph 3:7-9

His calling put him under an obligation to preach the gospel 1Co 9:16 See also Ro 1:14-15; 2Co 5:11-14

Paul’s commitment to his apostolic calling

He supported himself in order to present the gospel free of charge 1Th 2:6-9 See also 1Co 9:3-18; 2Co 12:13

He put the gospel before everything else 2Co 4:5 See also Ro 9:1-3; 1Co 9:19-23; Php 1:12-26

He boasted in his weaknesses 2Co 12:7-10 See also 2Co 4:7-10; 2Co 6:3-10; 2Co 11:21-29

He experienced God’s power at work through him 2Co 12:11-12 See also Ac 13:6-12; Ac 19:11-12; Ro 15:18-19; 1Co 2:4-5; 1Th 1:4-5

He had a confident attitude to death Php 3:10-11 See also 2Co 5:6-10; Php 1:20-24; 2Ti 4:6-8

Paul and the example of Jesus Christ

His appeal to Jesus Christ as an example to the churches 2Co 8:9 Paul here uses the example of Jesus Christ in order to encourage the Corinthians in their giving. See also Ro 15:1-3; Php 2:5-11

His own exemplary imitation of Jesus Christ 1Co 11:1 See also 1Co 4:14-17; Php 3:12-17; Php 4:8-9; 2Th 3:6-9

His sharing of Jesus Christ’s sufferings Col 1:24 Paul is not suggesting here that there is any deficiency in Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Rather, there are some aspects of suffering which Christ could not experience because they arose only as a result of people preaching the message of the cross and suffering because of it. See also 2Co 1:5-9; 2Co 4:7-12; Gal 6:17

Paul and the churches

His integrity in dealing with the churches 2Co 1:12 See also Ac 20:17-21; 2Co 2:17; 2Co 4:1-2; 1Th 2:10-12

His love for the churches Php 1:8 See also 2Co 11:7-11; 2Co 12:14-15; 1Th 3:12

His prayers for the churches 1Th 1:2 See also Ro 1:8-10; Eph 1:15-19; 2Th 1:11-12

His dependence on the prayers of the churches 1Th 5:25 See also Ro 15:30-32; Eph 6:19-20; Phm 22

Paul’s imagery of apostleship

As Jesus Christ’s ambassador 2Co 5:20; Eph 6:19-20

As a builder Ro 15:20; 1Co 3:10

As a farmer 1Co 3:5-9

As a father 1Co 4:15; 1Th 2:11-12

As a mother Gal 4:19; 1Th 2:6-7

As God’s captive 1Co 4:9; 2Co 2:14-16 Paul portrays God as a victorious Roman general, with himself as a captive, bringing up the rear of the triumphal procession.

As Jesus Christ’s slave The word translated “servant” in these verses commonly meant “slave”: Ro 1:1; 2Co 4:5; Php 1:1; Tit 1:1

Paul’s successors were to safeguard the truth of the gospel after his death

2Ti 2:1-2 See also 2Ti 1:13-14; 2Ti 3:10-4:8

See also

2339Christ, example of
3030Holy Spirit, power
7020church, the