You are on page 1of 8

New Testament Final

I found that there were five major themes of Pauls theology


throughout my readings, the first being the supreme power of Christ. I
believe that this is a major theme because Lord is mentioned
countless times throughout Pauls letters and all of Pauls teachings
were stemmed off Jesus Christ himself. This theme is a part of the
foundation that forms Pauls theology. The second theme I found was
the unity of the church. Unity of the church is one of the most
important points of theology because there is so much disunity that
goes on and causes this problem. There is an existence of disunity in
Romans as well as Galatia. The division of Galatians was such a
problem that they biting and devouring each other1. In Romans, this
city was multicultural which created a multicultural church that would
create some rifts and differences amongst the followers. The difference
in certain religious beliefs2 would create a line of division among a
church that is supposed to be united as one. The third major them of
Pauls theology is the truth of the Gospel. In Galatians 2:16, Paul
mentions that man isnt justified by observance of the law but rather
by the faith of Jesus Christ3. Galatians defends Pauls message and
his authority as an apostle as well as shows how his message works

1 Galatians 5:15
2 There were religious belief controversies that were being argued
such as dietary issues and observance of special days such as the
Sabbath, Passover, and Pentecost.
3 Galatians 2:16

practically in the daily lives of Christians. The fourth theme of Pauls


theology is justification as shown in Romans. This is the basic
understanding that if you believe in the Lord and confess your love as
well as sins, your life is justified by faith. Jesus died for our sins and in
order for us to live our lives with sin but ability to repent. The final
theme of this theology is the basic belief in God. You need to not only
believe but also put your belief into action. The verse For in the gospel
of righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith
from first to last, just as it is written: The righteousness will live by
faith shows exactly how important faith is the Christianity; faith is
everything and without it, you have nothing.
Paul takes a positive approach to the law but his words are often
misinterpreted or twisted and misconstrued. One scripture that can be
taken out of context is in 1 Corinth 7:19, Circumcision is nothing and
uncircumcisions is nothing. Keeping Gods commands is what counts.
However, back in Romans, he says that the law is holy, and the
commandment is holy, righteous and good which shows that the law
is something that needs to be followed and faith is something that
needs to be had. Without the law, there would be no justification. Paul
states that law is necessary in order to fully commit oneself to God.
Christ is essential to salvation because everyone has sinned therefore
everyone needs salvation. The consequence of sin is death4 but since
4 Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus Christ died for our sins, he paid the price for our death. Paul
preaches that we will obtain salvation and everlasting life through our
faith5 as well as bring us to be at peace with Jesus Christ6. Christ is the
reason for our deliverance from sin and its consequences. Its his
sacrifice that makes our sinful lives possible and able to still be saved
from damnation with the greatest sign of redemption and deliverance.
It is explained that man is capable of controlling his own body
therefore he has the personal ability to be faithful or unfaithful to God.
Paul says that the Law of God helps man to realize his own sinfulness
and reminds him that he is a sinful creature. God is righteous and we,
as man, are not so we need to give in and have total faith in God and
his work. The Law is very useful to a person of strong faith but can be
proven unnecessary if that person lives their life out of love for God as
opposed to living out of fear of Him.
There were a few contradicting personal conflicts that Paul experienced
from his own teachings. Theres a dispute between him and those who
forced the estrangement of the Jewish and Gentile Christians. Paul was
pursuing vindication in Christ while simultaneously living his life as a
sinner. Its like saying that his recognition of Jesus Christ guided him to
sin so Christ was the source of it. Paul makes another argument in that
having faith in Christ essentially replaces and supersedes Jewishness
as the determining principle for belonging to a follower of God. Jews
5 Romans 10:9-10,13
6 Romans 5:1, 8:1, 38-39

were considered people of God but Gentiles were called sinners


because they didnt belong to that group of people. However, Jewish
Christians recognized Gods word that someone can be part of the
covenant of people and not basing them merely off of the Jew-Gentile
disagreement. Jewish Christians knew that they were justified by their
faith in Jesus Christ and not just by their customs or advantages. Paul
refuses to promote sin, from the view point of his accusers, eating
amongst the Gentiles was bad and sinful but from his perspective it
wasnt because they were Christians just as he. Eating with them
would fulfill the gospel and what Paul was being judged for as sinful,
according to the law, wasnt sinful according to the gospel. In Galatians
2:16, Paul declares that observance of the law isnt enough support of
justification. In the very next verse7, Paul says that the law cant be
used to criticize his eating with the Gentiles. According to the Bible,
your relationship with God is based on faith, not trying to keep his law8.
This means that you trust God so much that you rely on the Lord and
discover that he really will help you succeed and not fail no matter
what you do or risks you take. The law simply shows one that no
matter how hard you try, you will fail. No matter the intensity of your
attempt, you must rely in order to create a good relationship with God.

7 Galatians 2:17 If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes


evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ
promotes sin? Absolutely not!
8 Galatians 3:6-9

Paul gets the foundation of his theology from the Old Testament and
the teachings of Jesus. Paul was a born Jew, which gave him an insight
into the Old Testament because Jewish theology was based off of this
book. Paul was able to combine his Jewish past and Hellenistic
religions. He spoke in the native tongue of the people he was
preaching to when teaching the word of god to each group of people.
From the Old Testament it can be said the Divine Spirit is also the
foundation of his theology. Pauls letter are responsible for helping
people realize exactly how much they need God in their lives. His
words have a deep and meaningful message that seem to touch a lot
of people and can even be said to be responsible for the New
Testament theology. Paul taught his theology the way the Jesus did and
even by reiterating what Jesus had preached before him9. Paul was a
Jew who was preaching a Jewish Saviors message to everyone that
God was the one and only true God of all.
New Testament Christianity has greatly affected our society and is
apparent throughout history as well as our current days. One example
is one of education and how its made its way into our lives today.
Back during the time of the early Romans and Greeks, there were no
educational facilities or even libraries; it was the Christians who
brought this concept about and introduced it to the world. Becoming a

9 For example, when speaking to Jews, he never told them to ignore


the Law but stated that Jesus had fulfilled it. When speaking to
Gentiles, Paul never said to honor any other gods except for Him.

disciple was so sought after that religious education would begin very
young thus, creating an education system that was religion driven.
Jesus also never discriminated against gender when teaching. His
teachings were for everyone no matter their sex, as long as they were
there under his instruction. During his time, Greeks and Romans were
very sexist so the fact that Jesus Christ taught to men and women was
a revolutionary concept therefore, womens rights and equality
couldnt have occurred due to any other influence. Another example
that is present today is human rights. The early Greeks and Romans
practiced abortion regularly and it was the Christians who stepped in
and condemned it. Pedophilia was also something was not seen as
shameful but today its considered child molestation and is a very
serious offense in the eyes of society. A third example of how the New
Testament has affected our society is in general charity and
compassion. Man is either caring or selfish; there really is no happy
medium. Since the early times in Jerusalem, giving to the poor was
very widespread and that has continued to today in many forms.
Helping the less fortunate has always been an act that is honored by
those with kind hearts and forgiving minds. The American Red Cross
was established by a Christian10 who was wanting to reach out and
help the injured and sick voluntarily. In the 18th and 19th centuries
many other forms of compassion and levels of care are expressed. Its
10 John Henry Dunant who also was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1901

throughout these centuries that slavery becomes abolished and adult


education is offered and encouraged. The YMCA is founded and today
has become a very well known organization for the underprivileged.
The creation of the Salvation Army and Goodwill is a perfect example
of the compassion and charity that exists in peoples hearts that are
willing to give back to others. These charitable organizations help
many homeless and less fortunate souls across the country and is ran
by volunteers willing to do good out of the kindness of their hearts. The
final example is one of science. Modern science is the way it is today
because of the numerous amount of people who wish to use it to
destroy Christianity and other related religions thus creating opposing
religions such as Atheism. During the New Testament times, Christian
philosophers would use a combination of rationality and pragmatisms
to come to the conclusion that existence of the universe is possible
because of the existence of one rational Being, God.
In conclusion, the world is definitely a better place because of Jesus
Christ and the chain of events that occurred after him. It was a building
effect that led to establishment of society today and the morals of the
general population. The world is constantly changing because people
are finding God and want to do acts that will glorify Him. Being selfless
and helping others creates a new kind of person that the world will

always have room for. Anyone has to capabilities to change, after all, I
can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.11

11 Philippians 4:13