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Paul – Power, Passion, Paradox

Part 1

Introduction to Pauline Keynotes

The essence of Paul’s Letters


The letters of Paul are difficult for the modern reader to understand. Each letter was written to address concerns and questions of particular believers in special circumstances that were pressing upon them in their communities. Paul, as it was his normal practice, dictated his letters to an assistant who had the challenging task of following Paul’s thought, writing down as faithfully and accurately as possible what the Apostle expressed passionately from his heart and mind. His sentences ran on while his grammar is at best a secondary concern and his use of language is often awkwardly strained.

The keynotes of Paul are an attempt to cull his letters of content and structure which distract from the essential truths that are critical for believers to understand. There are matters of relevance to believers in the Greek-Hebrew communities of the first century which do not apply to Christains in the modern western world. The following summaries are the key teachings of Paul that speak to all believers for all time, regardless of their provincial culture. The keynotes retain the personal nature of the letters revealing the intense love the great apostle had for his brothers and sisters in Christ, although the emphasis is on doctrine and instruction for the body of Christ.

I use the traditional chronology of the letters beginning with Romans and concluding with 2 Timothy. The essence of Paul’s thought becomes eminently clear when He is studied in keynotes. The keynotes are meant to be read in a cursive, leisurely manner. The letters read this way with prayer penetrate deeply into the spirit.