7 Timeless Lessons from St. Paul

by Daniel Harrington, SJ

June 29th marks the end of the Year of Saint Paul. Although the jubilee year dedicated to St. Paul is at an end, several of St. Paul’s key teachings can continue to help you to live out your faith in years to come.

1. Christ

Saint Paul insists that Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection have made possible a new and better relationship with God and with one another. We are no longer under the power of sin and death. We have been freed for life in the Holy Spirit.

2. Church

Our faith in Christ’s saving power and our experience of the risen Christ bring us together into the Body of Christ. As such we are the people of God, while living out our continuing relationship with the Jewish people through Jesus and Saint Paul.

3. Sacraments

Baptism is the sacrament of initiation by which we have come to share in the saving action of Jesus. The Eucharist is the sacrament of ongoing Christian life in which we all stand as equals before God in the Christian community.

4. Spiritual Gifts

Each Christian has been gifted by the Holy Spirit and must use those gifts for the common good and for building up the body of Christ. In response we can and should worship God in and through our everyday lives.

5. Ministry

Ministry is service on behalf of God’s people. Saint Paul places a high value on collaborative ministry, and women are prominent in Paul’s mission and ministry.

6. Hope

We must rejoice in our present blessedness in Christ and look forward to the future and definitive glory of God’s children.

7. Word of God

In proclaiming Jesus as the Word of God, Saint Paul often uses the words and images of the Jewish Scriptures. Paul knew and loved those texts and found Christ to be the key that opened up their many mysteries.

Bible study topics to explore the writings of Saint Paul:

Colossians and Philemon: New Life in Christ

Romans: Amazing Grace

Galatians: Free in Christ

1 Corinthians: Living as Christians

1 and 2 Thessalonians: Stand Firm in Faith

Philippians: A Letter to Friends

2 Corinthians: Power in Weakness

 Daniel Harrington, SJ

Daniel Harrington, SJ

Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, is professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Cambridge, MA.

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