Paul is one of the most remarkable Christians and the main figure in the New Testament who converted to faith in Jesus because of a series of extraordinary events which occurred to him. He had Jewish parents and was named Saul; during the time in his native Roman city of Tarsus, he learned to become a tentmaker (Biblica, 2018). Despite the fact that Paul is considered as an individual who made immense efforts to spread Christianity and persuade others that Jesus was the Messiah, initially, he was an enemy of the faith. He persecuted the people of the early church and wanted to destroy it, which he recognized in Galatians 1:13-14 (King James Bible, 2021). Nevertheless, after being addressed by Jesus on his trip to Damascus, Paul repented and became a bearer of the gospel. One of the key messages delivered by Paul concerned salvation, which according to the apostle, was possible only by faith.
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People, especially those who are not acquainted with the teachings of Christ, tend to have different ideas of how one can atone for their sins. In Romans 3:23-24, Paul insisted that all humans are sinners, and it is of no importance what they did, yet, everyone can receive forgiveness and be saved if they believe (King James Bible, 2021). Individuals should not try to work in the hope of gaining approval from God, instead, they must commit to their faith in Jesus, which is enough to be granted absolution. Paul further explained in Romans 5:1 that becoming a Christian means establishing a connection with God and living under his protection (King James Bible, 2021). All sinners are enemies of God, but through faith in Jesus, everyone can make peace with him. Similarly, Paul himself was a sinner when he persecuted the church, but his conversion changed him, and he was justified and made righteous by faith.
In his teachings, Paul also covered the topic of death and eternal life, which are particularly important aspects of the concept of salvation. In Romans 6:23, he writes that sin leads not only to physical death but separation with God in hell, yet the believers receive the gift of eternal life (King James Bible, 2021). This does not imply that they will live forever on earth but means that they will be resurrected from death. Moreover, in Romans 10:9, it is stated that for a person to be saved, they have to believe and acknowledge openly that Jesus is Lord (King James Bible, 2021). This demonstrates obedience and grants people protection from God, again, there is nothing else needed, especially any work (Barton, 2001). Finally, Ephesians 2:8-9 contain the most important message that salvation and even faith are not people’s doings but gifts of God (King James Bible, 2021). Belief must not be perceived as work, rather it has to be considered God’s gift, similarly, salvation cannot be earned; it is bestowed upon those who believe. Paul spent thirty-five years of his life conveying these ideas to people and showing them the right path to salvation.
Paul is one of the key figures in Christianity, and his life is the proof of how faith can radically transform a person. His message concerning salvation is extremely important because many people still believe that to become saved, they need to work hard. Paul clearly stated that salvation is not a reward for toil but a gift from God. Similarly, faith in Jesus Christ should be perceived not as a form of work but God’s gift. Paul is an example of the fact that no matter how sinful a person was and how evil his deeds were, after conversion to Christianity, they are forever united with God and protected by him.
Barton, B. (Ed.). (2001). Life application New Testament commentary. Tyndale House.
Biblica. (2018). 7 things you didn’t know about the apostle Paul. The International Bible Society. Web.
King James Bible. (2021). King James Bible Online. Web.