Type: History
Pages: 4 | Words: 952
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The Apostle Paul‘s religion was centered around the teachings of Moses who believed in keeping the laws of Moses. Paul started his education in the synagogue at the age of five under the greatest Rabbi Gamaliel, learning Greek philosophy and the Traditional Hebrew Education. In his studies, he learned of a promised messiah, who was to be a son of David and would, therefore, be a liberator of the Jewish people, just as King David had been.

He began his work for God as a committed opponent of Christianity. After the resurrection of Jesus, there were many who believed in Jesus as the Christ and were turning away from Jewish traditions and Judaism, of which he was a teacher. According to the Law of Moses, any Jew who turned away from God was to be killed. Paul actively persecuted Christians and threw them in jail. Additionally, he was present at the stoning of Stephen and gave his approval. However, Stephen’s message must have impacted him since the man asked for forgiveness for those who were killing him. After his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus identified himself as He whom Paul was persecuting. Paul converted and acknowledged Jesus as the expected Jewish Christ that had been prophesied.

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His missionary teaching techniques from his conversion to Damascus portray him as an intense and well-motivated man. His teachings were broadly focused on the studies of religion and were not limited to Judaism practices only but covered the wider world of the Gentiles. Paul preferred to preach to responsive people; so, he preached his teachings to the people who wanted to listen to his teachings. He was in constant contact with his church at home; this was evident since, at the end of each journey, he always returned to his church at Antioch to report on his journeys. When he had trained mature leaders, he would move on leaving the leaders in charge. Paul was also a firm believer in teamwork and had companions in all his missionary journeys.

His reasoning for the new converts was that they did not need to keep the Jewish laws. He based his arguments on the fact that Jesus Christ had opened the door of salvation to all people, including the Gentiles, and that anyone who was in Christ was counted as a perfect law-keeper in God’s eyes. Paul believed that Jesus was the messiah, the liberator of the Jews not from the oppression of the Romans, but from death.

Paul is considered the co-founder of Christianity because he focused on proving that both the Jews and Gentiles are equal before God. Moreover, they both believed that God had significant roles for everyone, be one Jew or Gentile and that there was need for mutual understanding in respect of each groups’ customs and traditions. Additionally, most of the New Testament scriptures were written by Paul.

Paul’s contribution to Christianity focused on modern-day issues and concrete human experiences. It would be considered extrapolation because most of the teachings derive from traditional Jewish law, but they were expounded to relate to the issues affecting early Christians.

A sacrament is an outward sign given by Christ to give Grace. The first is Baptism, which means to immerse in water, symbolizing the union of the person baptized with the death of Jesus. The second is Confirmation, the anointment of the forehead and laying of hands. The recipient gets the strength and character to be a witness of Jesus Christ. It may also refer to receiving of the Holy Spirit. The third sacrament, Holy Eucharist is the means by which the Christian gives thanks. It is celebrated through the breaking of the bread and taking wine: representing the body and blood of Christ respectively. Fourth sacrament is Penance that involves one’s acknowledgement of sin, confession of the sin to a second party, and giving assurance of forgiveness. Anointing of the Sick is the fifth sacrament offered to sick Christians. The sixth sacrament is Holy Orders, where the priest lays his hands on the Apostle as a sign of asking God to pour the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the apostles’ ministry. Finally, Matrimony or Marriage is God’s way of blessing a union; this is symbolized by the union between man and woman.

Over the years, different Christian sects have administered and recognized these sacraments differently. The Baptists do not accept the baptism of infants. The Catholic priest is supposed to be celibate, while the orthodox priest may be married. Lutherans allow for the ordination of women into ministry, while Baptism restricts the office of the pastor to men qualified by the scripture. The Catholics embrace prayer to the saints and use of icons and symbols in prayer, which is highly rejected by the Lutheran and Presbyterian.

Today, the rituals of the sacraments, as portrayed in Baptism and Eucharist, have brought helped believers relate to the Christian way of life. For instance, baptism is a symbol of dying and resurrecting with Christ; thus, may help converts feel like new creatures. The Eucharist, on the other hand, is a reminder of Christ’s work for the believers and anticipation of his second coming; while in some cases, it is taken in the supper after the heavenly and spiritual event and manner. The believers are meant to adopt certain behaviors to be able to partake the Eucharist, thus, making them follow the way that is in line with the teachings of Christ.

The administration of the sacraments is indeed valuable in the teachings of the church today. However, many churches doctor the teachings to suit their whims. However, the original teachings should be followed and adhered to if the true meaning of the sacraments is to be achieved.

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