This week's FFF was led by Rev Vinny Whitworth from St Peter's. It was a very enjoyable evening. We had a buffet to start the evening with, then Vinny spoke about the hero 'Paul'.
He told us how Paul was a significant figure in the bible. God used Paul to establish the early church. He was a light to the gentiles in the Roman Empire. We are all here as a result of Paul's ministry. We then had a quiz which was very thought provoking and fun.
Vinny posed a question ' What led Paul to being a hero'. In acts it talks about Paul's conversion the road to Damascus. This was a defining point in his life, it is the point in which his life was changed. Paul had a deep hatred of Christians yet became a man who would be martyred himself. He had an encounter with Jesus and saw that Jesus was the Son of God.
We all then watched a clip from the bible series about Paul's conversion, which was really good. Paul often referred to his conversion in his writings. Gal 1 v 15, 1 Cor 9 v 11, 'Have I not seen Jesus as Lord'. Paul's theology is all about Jesus.
Vinny challenged everyone to make time this week for another encounter with Jesus. There were 3 questions posed about Paul which were discussed on tables and then shared with everyone. salvation is made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and it is by grace we are saved. We were reminded Paul devoted his life to proclaiming the gospel of Christ and encouraged the church to do the same.
The question was asked 'how do we proclaim Christ to Bolton and to the Nations to continue Paul's work' It is time for us all to be hero's for Christ.
The evening was very enjoyable, and challenged us to be more like Paul.
Gallery :: FFF :: July 2017
FFF: July 2017
Tonight in our heroes and heroines of the Bible series – we’re looking at one of the greatest heroes of the Bible – St Paul.
Paul is one of the most important figures in Christian history – certainly up there with St Peter.
Paul wrote 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament and is the focus of the book of Acts which outlines much of what Paul did in his life.
Paul was called by God to “proclaim God’s name to the Gentiles’ and God used Paul in establishing the early church as it expanded through the Roman Empire.
In the short time we have tonight; we’ll be looking at Paul’s formative experiences in his life and reflecting on some of the key points of Paul’s theology that he shared through his writings.
But I thought we’d start off with a quiz! Now I know you’ve just had a service on Paul – so you should already know quite a bit about Paul – so let’s see how much you know about Paul!
St Paul Quiz
1) Paul was born in Tarsus, but which modern-day country is this city in?
A: Syria B: Greece C: Turkey D: Israel
2) Which religious order was Paul originally from and born into; his father being a prominent member of the same order?
A: Sadducean B: Essenian C: Zealot D: Pharisean
3) Which tribe of Israel was Paul from?
A: Judah B: Levi C: Benjamin D: Dan
4) What was Paul’s name before he changed it to Paul (meaning ‘humble’)
A: Saul (bonus point if you know what Saul means - asked for) B: Philip C: Thomas D: Simon
5) According to the Bible, which small island off the coast of Malta (formerly known as Cauda) did Paul pass by before he was shipwrecked?
A: Comino B: Rhodes C: Gozo D: Cyprus
6) According to the Bible, which animal bit Paul as he gathered firewood upon his ship’s arrival in Malta?
A: Snake B: Spider C: Scorpion D: Salamander
7) In Paul’s letter to Philemon, whom does Paul say he is a prisoner with?
A: Luke B: Onesimus C: Timothy D: Epaphras
8) According to the book of Acts, the people of Lystra believed that Paul was which Greek God in human form?
A: Zeus B: Prometheus C: Apollo D: Hermes
9) When Paul and Barnabas disagreed about who to take with them on their missionary journey in Acts 15, whom did Paul decide to take with him to check on the churches they had already set up?
A: Timothy B: Judas Barsabbas C: John Mark D: Silas
10) What was Paul’s profession before he became a full time missionary to the Gentiles?
A: Blacksmith B: Carpenter C: Tentmaker D: Tailor
(Review answers and award prize to best table)
What led Paul to being a Hero of the Bible and a Hero of the Christian Faith?
As we look now in more detail at Paul – I want to start with this question: What led Paul to being a hero of the Bible and a hero of the Christian faith?
If you read the book of Acts and indeed Paul’s own writings, it is clear that Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was the defining point that changed his life forever and was the key formative experience in his life.
Read Acts 9 v 1-19
Paul’s transformation was an incredible turn-around. Paul’s life had been completely changed – even his name changed.
Saul – the fierce and aggressive Jewish Pharisee who had a deep hatred for Christians and was responsible for the first Christian martyr – Stephen…..
became Paul – a hero of the Christian faith – the man who God had chosen to proclaim His name to the world – a man who ultimately would be martyred himself.
What was the reason for Paul’s sudden transformation? It was of course an encounter with Jesus. After encountering Jesus Paul could finally see that Jesus is the Son of God – that Jesus is Lord.
If you read Paul’s own words – Paul himself often referred to his encounter with Jesus as being that pivotal moment that changed his life.
In his letter to the Galatians Paul writes enthusiastically about how he has seen Jesus, God’s own son – this is what Paul writes in Galatians 1 v 15 “God, who has set me apart and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal His son in me”.
Elsewhere as Paul pleads with the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 9 v 1 – he reminds them of what He himself has seen with his own eyes “Have I not seen Jesus as Lord?”.
For Paul, his encounter with Jesus was pivotal to the transformation in His life, his encounter with Jesus was key to Paul becoming a hero of the Bible and a hero of the Christian faith. And as we’ll see when we look at Paul’s theology now – Paul’s theology was centred on Jesus!
Pause for a moment: Thinking about ourselves – one question to leave you with is this: have you encountered Jesus? Because it is when we too encounter Jesus that our lives are transformed. And it is through an encounter with Jesus that we too can be a hero or heroine of faith! Make space this week to encounter Jesus – pray to him – ask him to come to you today – and may you be transformed!
Looking at Paul’s writings – particularly his letters – you can see that as a result of Paul’s personal encounter with Jesus – Paul’s theology is very centered on Jesus.
It is difficult to completely summarise Paul’s theology in the short time we have this evening. There have been volumes of books written on Paul’s theology. Paul’s theology is deep and complex and wide-ranging. However there are key themes in Paul’s theology that he repeats again and again in his writings and these themes can be summed up in these points:
- Salvation is made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus – it is by grace we are saved
- Salvation is available to all through Jesus
- We are the body of Christ and we are called to proclaim Him.
Readings and Questions to think about:
Salvation is made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus – it is by grace we are saved
Read Ephesians 2 v 1-10
The death and resurrection of Jesus are central to Paul’s understanding of salvation. How does Jesus’ death and Jesus’ resurrection play their part in our salvation according to Paul?
In 1 Corinthians 15 v 14 Paul says “And if Jesus has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is our faith”. Why is the resurrection in particular so important to Paul’s understanding of salvation?
Why do you think God’s grace is so important to Paul?
Salvation is available to all through Jesus
Read Romans 10 v 1-13
Why is Paul’s desire and prayer for the Israelites to be saved?
How does Paul see the relationship between Jews and Gentiles?
Why was this such an important topic to grapple with for Paul?
We are the body of Christ and we are called to proclaim Him.
Read Ephesians 3 v 1-21
What do we learn about Paul’s understanding of his own calling in this passage?
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul talks about the church being ‘the body of Christ’. Thinking about v 10 what is Paul’s understanding of the purpose of the church?
How can we make known ‘the manifold wisdom of God’ in our world today and fulfil our own calling as the body of Christ?
Paul – a hero of the Bible:
Transformed by an encounter with Jesus
He devoted his life to proclaiming God’s salvation to the world
He encouraged the church to continue his ministry – he encouraged the church to be heroes too to proclaim God’s salvation
In these FFF’s – we have been looking at heroes of the Bible – now it is time for us to be heroes.