Getting to know Paul…

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One thing I love about being a student at BYU-Idaho is that we have religion classes too and learn so much about the scriptures. I am learning about the New Testament this semester and find it so interesting to get to know Paul. He truly was an amazing and important disciple of the Lord. I had heard his story many times before, but never in this kind of depth have I gotten to know him and really learned about him.

Romans 12-16. Live as Saints Should Live

Paul speaks a lot about salvation and the things we must do to accomplish that. In Ezekiel, for example, he explains that if we don’t live righteously we will die in our sins. In Doctrine and Covenants it says that if we keep the commandments and endure to the end we will have eternal life. We are probably closer to salvation than we think, and so we must do what it takes to be blessed. God gave us commandments and guidance so we can return and live with Him again, but we have to do our part. We need to work for it and follow Him in everything. “Faith without works is dead”. We actually discussed that in our group meeting today how living the gospel and working towards our salvation requires action.

In Romans 12-13 Paul gave much counsel that leads to salvation. Here are some of the things Paul taught that would help lead to salvation:

o       Romans 12:1 = present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.

o       Romans 12:2 = be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That way we can prove what is good, acceptable and perfect and the will of God.

o       Romans 12:9 = Love needs to be the key to everything. We need to stay away from evil and focus on the things that are good.

o       Romans 12:13 = We need to be hospitable to the saints.

o       Romans 12:16 = We need to be of the same mind as saints and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

o       Romans 12:21 = We need to overcome evil with good and not let evil overcome us.

o       Romans 13:1 = God is the only power we need to be subject too. He is in charge of everything.

o       Romans 13:3 = We need to do what is good and if we do that we will be blessed.

o       Romans 13:8 = We need to love one another and that’s the only thing we should owe each other.

o       Romans 13:9 = Keeping the 10 commandments is the key for working towards salvation.

In Romans 14:1-13; 15:1-3 Paul gives more ideas, counsel and advice.

o       What cautions did Paul give about judging? He cautions us to leave the judging to God. I love what it says in Chapter 14:8 = “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” It’s true we belong to the Lord and He is the only one who can truly judge us because He can see the whole picture and he can see into our hearts. How can we judge someone else if we don’t even really know the reason and motivations why they do certain things?

o       People may have different opinions and practices, but what is most important to remember? I think it is important to remember that we are all different and that the only thing that matters is that we follow Jesus Christ, have faith, are righteous and listen to the Holy Ghost. Only God can judge us because He can look into our hearts, but we need to be kind, forgiving and just especially if we want Heavenly Father to be the same way to us. With love for those around us and faith in our Savior and the gospel we can truly make a difference and be a good example of Jesus Christ.

o       What additional insight comes from reading Doctrine and Covenants 38:25-27? The additional insight here is that we need to be just and that we need to treat everyone equal. We need to treat those around us the way we want to be treated and we need to remember how Heavenly Father views each and every one of His children.

One of the terms Paul frequently uses in the scriptures is saints. He calls members of the Lord’s church saints and so that means we need to live like such and truly become saints. I looked up the meaning of saint and it says: a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and typically regarded as being in heaven after death. I think a saint doesn’t have to be someone who is dead, but we can work towards being a saint by being a true disciple of Jesus Christ. We need to be holy and virtuous.

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