Last edition of this very important series confirms Paul’s ambition to take the Gospel to the whole world. His uninterrupted and unflinching desire to take the goodnews to Rome was a new phase of his missionary effort.
It is with this in mind that he penned his great epistle to the Romans, which contained his nature reflection on the central issue of Law Vs. the Gospel. It is an epistle relevant for Rome and Jerusalem as well. It reflects Paul’s tremendous concern for the unity of the Church. “One lord, one faith, one baptism,” was the watchwords. Conscious of his struggle for unity, he remained it touch with Jerusalem, the acknowledged mother of all the churches and with its leaders there.
At Rome, Paul was seen as the ring leader of a sect preaching a revolutionary international form of Judaism that might undermine the social order. That was the charge against him, so he was tried and a few years later, in 64, he was executed.
During this period, Gentile Christians denounced the Jews as stiff-naked apostates deservedly punished by God when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and burned down their Temple in A.D. 70. A critical stage was reached in the epistle to the Hebrews, which made rejection of Judaism essential for Christians, such that any return to Judaism becomes apostasy. This was how Jewish Christians slipped into oblivion.
Nevertheless, the greatest religious revival in the history of man was the rapid spread of Gospel among the pagans. Meanwhile, the expansion of Christianity owed much to general political, social, and cultural trends as well shall see by next week. The shorter the better.