Paul did not just preach the gospel and move on. While he himself was imprisoned and persecuted, he continued to write letters to encourage and build up the new believers and churches he had established.
Each of these Epistles is a teaching letter. In each the Holy Spirit is speaking to communicate, to the believers of the first century and to us today, basic principles on which our lives together as God’s people are to be based.
Paul wrote letters to 7 churches: Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica.
Church – Body of Christ
Although Christ taught that the Church is an organism, through Paul was given the detailed revelation of the body of Christ in its heavenly calling, promise and destiny. The fact that Christ is coming for His Church was revealed more fully through Paul.
He teaches that we shall not all sleep, that the dead in Christ shall rise first, and that believers living at His return will be changed and meet the Lord. Paul, converted by the personal ministry of the risen Lord, is distinctively the witness to the glorified Christ, the Head of the Church which is His body.
Doctrine of Grace
Paul expounds the nature and purpose of the law; the ground and means of the believer’s justification, sanctification, and glorification. It was inevitable for a man of Paul’s intellect and training, a devoted Jew who had been such a bitter enemy of Christianity, to seek the underlying principles of the Gospel.
This explanation was given to Paul “through a revelation of Jesus Christ .” The result was that he taught salvation through faith wholly apart from the works of the law.
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12
Furthermore, the Gospel proclaimed by Paul brings the believer into great relationships – to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit, and to the future purposes of God. It brings not only salvation from sin and its consequences, but also salvation into the blessed place in the divine counsels. C. I. Scofield, New Scofield Study Bible New American Standard
After conversion, he ran like a runner on a short track with total focus and zeal. A tireless missionary and prolific theologian. The letters he wrote became essential parts of the Bible, the words of God, still speaking and awakening us.
While writing the teaching letters, Paul himself was instructed by the Holy Spirit. The act of writing when guided by the Holy Spirit seems to take us on a mental journey to discover the truth already programmed in our mind.
Philippians, Paul’s short epistle of four chapters, has never failed to pick me up in my weakest moments. My 5 minute energy drink :)!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Yes, you did. We got the memo.