Paul’s Portrayal of Jesus in the Epistles

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

Paul was called to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles after his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Before this he was a hater and killer of Christians. In Acts 22:20–21 he wrote “And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” So as you can imagine his portrayal of Jesus in the Epistles (letters) that he wrote is quite personal. As a matter of fact, Paul describes Jesus differently in every letter (with the exception of Philemon which was a personal letter of appeal to a slave owner). Take a look at Paul’s portrayal of Jesus in the epistles and key verses below. My list includes passages from Hebrews because though it is somewhat unknown I believe Paul wrote this letter.

Jesus the Peacemaker

Romans 5:1–2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Jesus the Lord of Glory

1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Jesus the Only Foundation

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus the Our Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7–8 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Jesus the Destroyer of Death

1 Corinthians 15:24–26 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Jesus the Light of the Gospel

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Jesus Deliverer

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Jesus the Measure of a Perfect Man

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Jesus the Prize

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ

Jesus the Head of the Church

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Jesus the Advent

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Jesus the King of Kings

1 Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Jesus the Judge of All

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Jesus the Redeemer

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Jesus the Captain

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Jesus the High Priest

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Jesus the Author and Finisher of Faith

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Final Thoughts

Paul had a unique perspective of Jesus. He was a devout leader in the Jewish faith and yet God redeemed Him to be the one to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles after the Jews rejected it (Romans 11). He was faithful to preach Jesus and go out to start churches with the mission to do the same. I am so glad God saved Paul for this purpose and because of him the gospel is extended to me!

Read more about Paul here: Apostle Paul Biography and Profile

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version



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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Manda October 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Good job Pam. Thanks

Reply

Pamela Rose Williams October 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Thank you for the encouraging words Steve.

Reply

Ron Bingham October 10, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Awesome.

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