Paul is considered one of the greatest apostles of Jesus who evangelized Christianity across the world. He inspired and motivated the early Christians who were experiencing persecutions and religious divisions brought about by competing interpretation of Christ teachings. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul appealed to the community of believers there to be united in mind and purpose and avoid divisions and disagreements (Corithians1:10-11). He preached about Christian virtues of love, perseverance, faith, obedience and reconciliation throughout his ministry. These virtues have been observed by Christians since early Christian era. Paul’s conversion to Christianity played an important role in the growth of Christianity. His conversion is regarded by some scholars one of the most important events beside death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul was a violent and unsympathetic prosecutor of Christ. He experienced divine presence and spiritual transformation as he travelled to Damascus. Paul did not object to God calling but proceeded to the city as was instructed by God. He became convinced that he had met risen Christ and resolved to serve the Christ. God referred to Paul as an instrument that he has chosen to bring his names before Gentiles and Kings (Acts 9:15). The transformation demonstrated that sinners had a place among Christ’s chosen people. Therefore, Christianity was a universal church that welcomed both believers and non believers. Paul made significant contribution to the writing of the New Testament. He wrote a total of thirteen letters to Hebrews, Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Thessalonians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Timothy, Philemon and Titus. These letters referred to as Epistles have great influence on Christian theology. The doctrine of brotherhood and sisterhood in Christianity was borrowed from the teachings of Paul. Paul referred to early Christians as brethren that mean brothers and sisters. This term ‘brethren’ has been used throughout Christian history to refer to Christians. In his address to the Corinthians, Paul used the term ‘body of Christ’ to refer to the church at Corinth. The concept of the ‘body of Christ’ is strongly embedded in catholic theology. Catholic believes that the church is united in Christ through Eucharist or body of Christ (Walsh 65). Consequently, the church is considered holy by the catholic irrespective of whether it is composed of sinful worshippers. Soon after the Christ ascension, the disciples went out to preach about the Christ who had risen and the gospel of the risen Christ to people within and outside Jerusalem. Paul travelled to Asia and Europe where he converted many gentiles to Christianity and set up Christian communities (Schnabel, 40). Paul was born in Roman Empire and had a good education. It was believed that this citizenship was granted to him because he was born during an era when it was very difficult to obtain Roman citizenship (Polhill & Paul 15). As a citizen of this great empire he travelled to many countries evangelizing the Christ’s message. Consequently, he contributed a lot to the spread of Christianity in the world especially in Southern Europe. Paul was a dedicated servant of Christ who was committed to fulfilling the mission of setting up united and universal community of Christ followers. He preached to about Christ and holy kingdom to gentiles and non gentiles, poor and rich and women and children. According to Paul, all people were accepted into Christianity and race or socioeconomic status did not matter. His actions demonstrated that Christianity was a universal church.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (NRSV) - " Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that " - Biblia.com. (n.d.). Biblia. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://biblia.com/books/nrsv/1Co1.10
Acts 9:15. (n.d.). Biblia. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://biblia.com/bible/nrsv/Ac9.1-22
Polhill, John B. Paul and His Letters. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1999. Print.
Schnabel, Eckhard. Paul the Missionary: Realities, Strategies and Methods. InterVasity Press, 2010. Print
Walsh, Milton. Into All Truth: What Catholics Believe-and Why / Milton Walsh. , 2013. Print.