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I want to continue our introduction with a further look into the life and makeup of Paul, the author of Romans as well as almost half of the New Testament. In order to facilitate our comprehension of this book, it is necessary to explore the author and his reasons for writing it. Paul was a contemporary of Jesus Christ and the other apostles. His given name was Saul and he was born in Tarsus (Acts 9:11), a prosperous city located in what is now the country of Turkey.
Paul was born a Jew. Because his father was Roman, Paul was also a Roman citizen (which would be extremely important at later points in his ministry); and he was raised in a Hellenistic, or Greek culture. Tarsus was a center of Greek culture, and young Saul would have received a wonderful education there as well as later in Jerusalem under one of the greatest rabbis (teacher), Gamaliel. This man would show Saul how to memorize and interpret Scripture according to rabbinical tradition.
We must understand that Paul was a man of principle and of passion, and he had one of the greatest minds the world has seen. Whatever he did, from an early age, he did it right, and he put his whole being into it.
Imagine a pure type A personality and then double it! That was Paul. Because of all these things, MacArthur says, “he therefore had the highest possible credentials both of Greco-Roman and Jewish society.”
By Paul’s own account, he was “…a Hebrew of the Hebrews.” Philippians 3:5-6. This meant that he loved Jewish culture and the Mosaic law. It was his reason for existence, and the excitement which charged his life.
Picture a ferocious guard dog, trained and groomed for but one thing: to protect what he loves and is loyal to. This is Saul's calling, his passion. He exists to protect the Mosaic Law. Anyone who threatens his beloved Law will earn Saul's hatred and recompense, as we will see in tomorrows continuation.
Until then, be blessed in the Beloved...Mike
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