The purpose of this essay is to describe appropriate examples and strategy Paul used for his missionary journey that can be considered for 21st Century missions. The way I plan to structure my essay; I will explore theology books to find out what the author’s say of Paul’s missionary journeys. I will compare the author’s opinions and then I will search the Bible scripture and give reference as evidence. I will begin my essay and describe from the book of Acts the call of God upon the Apostle Paul’s life to the mission fields.
The book of Acts describe how the Apostle Paul became a missionary (Acts 9) says Paul had a supernatural encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul was temporarily with out vision. A disciple named Ananias had a vision of the Lord that he should go and pray for Paul. Ananias prayed for Paul and his sight was restored. (Acts 9: 20) Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and he went out to the Synagogue and preached the Gospel.
The Bible says in (Acts 13: 2-3) the Apostle Paul gave himself as an example to follow Jesus Christ, Paul fasted and prayed when Paul received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he preached in different parts of the world for Jesus Christ. (Acts 16: 13) says when Paul went to Philippi he had a prayer meeting at the riverside. Paul prayed and miracles happened, the Holy Spirit used him.
B. Paul used the name of Jesus.
The authors give reference to scholars who write their opinion of the missionary work Paul did.
J. Louis Martyn, refers to Wilckens and Vielhauer who says how extensively however, did he function as a teacher of the scriptures? Specifically, did he take it as one of his tasks regularly to offer lengthy and detailed exegetical discourses to his congregations? His letters suggest no such thing. .
Geoffrey Harris wrote first, his methods of reaching out to the Gentile world by first creating a Jewish Christian community; then, identifying and training leaders for the nascent churches; third, by deepening understanding of and commitment to the gospel in order to strengthen the churches in maturity. .
Joseph Plevnik gives reference to Fitzmyer, he says what the apostle inherited from his Hellenistic and Jewish backgrounds, what he borrowed from tradition, and what he arrived at through his missionary experience, is all uniquely transformed by his knowledge of Christ, which he received at Damascus. .
I have studied the theories of J. Louis Martyn and Geoffrey Harris, and Joseph Plevnik; The following Bible scriptures say Paul was dependent on the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2: 13) and (1 Corinthians 2: 4) (Luke 4: 16-20) The Bible scriptures say Paul taught from scripture, he preached the gospel in the synagogues. (Acts 17: 1) says Paul preached at a synagogues at Thessalonica, (Acts 14: 9-10) says Paul prayed for a crippled man with faith and told him to stand up the man was healed.
J. Louis Martyn, who referred to Wilckens and Vielhauer goes on to say, that Paul made verbal attacks against scriptural instructions. The book of (Acts 17: 16) says Paul was angered when he saw Athens, because the city of Athens was given to idols.
I have studied the Bible scriptures and compared the author’s opinions and I don’t share the same view as, Wilckens and Vielhauer, however I have found Geoffrey Harris and Joseph Plevnik’s, opinions to be scriptural I prefer their views. Geoffrey Harris describes the strategy, Paul used to establish the churches. Joseph Plevnik says Paul received his knowledge through the experience he had with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.
The Bible say’s, Paul wrote letters to Churches in Rome, Ephesians Philippians and Philemon. Paul would start his letters with a greeting and he would end his letters with a farewell (Act 9: 15) and (Acts 11: 1) say Paul wanted to reach the Jews and the Gentiles with the salvation message of Jesus Christ.
The author’s Martin Dibelius he refers to critical scholars, Joseph A. Grassi and Bernard T. Smyth describe their opinion of Paul’s missionary work in spreading the Gospel.
Martin Dibelius, refers to critical scholars and says scholars have referred for instance to improbability of certain scenes, as for example, to the fact that Paul assumes towards the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem a yielding attitude which we cannot possibly believe he would have adopted. .
Joseph A. Grassi wrote one of the great reasons why Christianity spread like wildfire through the world in the first three centuries was precisely this that it was a proclamation of freedom addressed to a world. .
Bernard T. Smyth, says to get this matter of Paul and prayer into perspective, it is useful to recall how, before the advent of Paul, the young Christian community was already very much a community of prayer.
I have studied the theories of Martin Dibelius and Joseph A. Grassi and Bernard T. Smyth. Martin Dibelius referred to critical scholars who said, they cannot possibly believe that Paul, adopted a yielding attitude.
The book of (Acts Chapter 9) says after Paul had a supernatural encounter with the Lord Jesus on the Road to Damascus, Paul was supernaturally transformed when he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave Paul a yielding attitude that enabled him to carry out his missionary work.
Joseph A. Grassi describes his beliefs why Christianity spread throughout the world and the announcement of freedom in Christ Jesus.
Bernard T. Smyth says that the Early Church was a praying community.
The book of (Acts 14: 23) says the early Church fasted and prayed.
I have compared the views of the critical scholars and Joseph A. Grassi and Bernard T. Smyth, and I prefer the opinions of Joseph A. Grassi and Bernard T. Smyth, in contrast to the critical scholars, they have referred to Biblical scripture.
Therefore the balance of the agreement is in favor with the view of Joseph A. Grassi and Bernard T. Smyth.
Tom Wright, says Paul urges, the many splendoured
wisdom of God must be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. .
‘ Krister Stendahl, says, Paul tells the Church, Jews and Gentiles in Rome, that his call to the mission fields is the plan of God.’ .
I have looked at the views of, Tom Wright, he says Gods word must be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places and Krister Stendahl says, Paul’s call to the mission fields was God’s plan. The book of (Ephesians 6: 12) says the battle is not against flesh or blood but against principalities and powers of darkness in high places. The book of (Acts 13: 1-3) says The Holy Spirit selected Paul for his mission work.
I have studied the views of the authors and have compared them with the Bible scriptures after analysing the scriptures. I prefer the view of both the authors Tom Wright and Krister Stendahl.
C. The Early Church Fasted and Prayed.
The book of Acts describes the strategies Paul used for his missionary work.
Paul took the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles and taught of the authority of Jesus Christ and his power. The strategy Paul used he fasted and prayed and achieved his missionary journey through prayer. The Bible says Paul would minister to groups of people in the Synagogue; meeting with groups of Christians, in Church is a good way of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, today. Paul wrote letters to communicate to the Churches, at that time there was not the technology there is today, such as the Internet, a telephone Christian television, Christian radio, tapes, or CDs, and DVD’s. Today there are Christian organizations, such as Christian training courses, and Bible colleges and Church buildings that can be considered appropriate examples for 21st Century missions.