“In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1st Peter 3:15).
In our last study we crystallized one practical application based on studying Paul’s life: pray that God gives me the passionate desire Paul had to know Christ more intimately and fully. A second application is to make Christ known to others.
Paul wept when he thought of those who didn’t know Christ personally. Together these two applications form his mission statement: To know Him and make Him known! This captures what the study of his life was all about.
From this grew his realization that one person alone couldn’t reach the whole world with the message of Christ. And this led to his reproducing himself in others, stated in 2nd Timothy 2:2: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
He put everything he had into implementing this strategy: We are born to reproduce! Read Colossians 1:28-29: “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect (or mature) in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” He labored to the point of exhaustion, relying on the Holy Spirit for strength to go on.
Having now studied Paul’s life we’re better prepared to study his major book, Romans. Never forget Paul’s mission statement: To know Christ and make Him known!