“Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers” (Acts 22:3).
If you have started reading in the book of Acts about the life of Saul, better known as Paul the apostle, I’m sure you’ve noted he was an unusual man. I encouraged you to collect by writing down as many details about his life you encounter in your reading. Then start correlating this information into an outline.
I suggested a simple outline: Pre-conversion, conversion and call, and post-conversion.
Another possible outline might include:
1. his preparation for ministry.
2. his launch into ministry.
3. his mission strategy.
4. his legacy.
Doing a study like this takes a fair amount of work, but it is well worth the effort. The outline I suggested first would be an historical sketch of his life.
His pre-conversion life started in Tarsus in the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea. His father was a Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin. Paul probably learned tent-making from his father. He likely had a good secular education before his family moved to Jerusalem where he studied under the renowned Hebrew scholar, Gamaliel.
Paul was bright, dedicated and ready to go all out in defending his faith and opposing those who didn’t follow it as he understood it. He was a zealot, and by his own testimony, a violent man, a persecutor of Christians. He could be called a religious terrorist. Many believe he was a member of the Sanhedrin.
On his way to Damascus to carry out an authorized attack on Jewish followers of the Way he was dramatically confronted by Jesus. Following that confrontation his life was never the same.
Have you encountered Christ? Has your life been changed? If you need help, let me know.