During the early church, Paul’s influence was overwhelming and impacted many religions, even those who preached another gospel such as the Gnostics. The Gnostics did not believe Christ was a man or that God would fashion Himself in the flesh. They taught that “salvation comes by renewing of the mind” and used Paul’s writings to justify their false and heretic teaching.
According to Capes, Reeves, & Richards (2007), “Irenaeus (c. A.D. 180) countered these “heresies” not by dismissing Paul but rather by referencing him, using passages like . . . to prove that Christ was a man . . . By his obedient life and death, Jesus proved to be the one and only Son of God when he was raised from …show more content…
The special revelation of God is needed and provided by His Word to regenerate one by faith in God. Later, the Protestant theology originated by reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin was influenced by Paul’s writings.
Capes, Reeves, & Richards (2007), authors of our textbook noted these reformers “relied heavily upon Paul for much of their thinking. In fact, it may be safe to say, that, without Paul there would be no “Calvinism”, “no Lutheran theology” (p. 297). Luther could not understand how sinful man is striving to live righteously still fell short of God’s mark and remained to be guilty in God’s court of justice.
His answer is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Justification by faith was believed by Luther as the center of Paul’s teaching and key to the Lutheranism interpretation of Paul’s letters. Calvin centered on Paul’s doctrine of election and predestination. Influenced by Paul’s letters, “Calvin acknowledged that God’s selection of certain individuals for heaven seems arbitrary, but Paul provided Calvin an answer: God “has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses” (Rom. 9:18)” (Capes, Reeves, & Richards, 2007, p. …show more content…
Focusing their preaching and teaching on Paul’s teaching on justification, and the sinfulness of man, they carried the message, and from these two scholars, the term “apocalyptic event takes center stage. The cross and resurrection of Christ are apocalyptic events that took place and present an apocalyptic realization that Jesus Christ’s finished work at Calvary is sufficient to save all humanity.
Here again, “Paul’s theology and his emphasis both on gospel proclamation and our response by grace through faith” (Capes, Reeves, & Richards, 2007, p. 300) was Barth and Bultmann’s main message to be heard. Finally, we arrive at our day, postmodernity. It is in this period that people are more excited about hermeneutics and the interpretation of scripture. Yes, it is agreed that the history of Christianity is important and the Pauline epistles are pertinent to the development of Christianity as we know it today.
But just as pertinent as Paul’s letters are to the development of Christianity, they are just as important to the growth and maturity of every believer. Jesus is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle, and at that time the inspired Word of God found in the Pauline epistles will have completed its course in perfecting the