Action Zones 

Opening THE Book 17 with Rev John K-S

JOHN KINCHIN-SMITH1st September 2019
 

Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church


Can we trust what the Bible says about Jesus? The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) which tell the story of Jesus’ life and which contain his teaching, are eye­witness accounts and were written within a generation of Jesus’ death. Those who wrote the Gospels were willing to give their lives for their faith and, indeed, many hundreds of the first followers of Jesus were killed because of what they believed. No one gives their life for a lie!
 
St Paul’s Jewish name was ‘Saul’. His life was so changed when he became a Christian that he changed his name to ‘Paul’. He had been a strict follower of the Jewish religion and was a scholar who had studied under the best teachers. The teaching of Jesus and his followers seemed to him to undermine everything he believed and upon which he had built his life. He gave all his energy to trying to destroy this ‘new religion’ and its followers
 
Around AD35, while on an expedition to arrest Christians in Damascus, he had an encounter with Jesus on the journey – an encounter that left him temporarily blind but which, even more, turned everything he’d previously believed on its head. This encounter, known as Saul’s conversion, is described in The Acts of the Apostles chapter 9. Paul, as he was now known, became the foremost Christian missionary to the non-Jewish Roman world. He founded churches in many of the most important Roman cities around the Mediterranean. His travels are described, again, in The Acts. He later wrote letters to these churches in which he applies Jesus’ teaching to everyday life in practical ways. His letters also explain why Jesus died and what it means to be a Christian.  Some of what he wrote can be quite difficult to understand. A good place to start is his Letter to the Philippians
 
Paul truly suffered much for his faith (see, for example, 2 Corinthians chapter 11).  He was eventually executed for his faith in Rome in about AD64. To the Galatians he wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”

as published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 


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