In his letters to Christians in Rome and Corinth, Paul focused on the Christian blessings in contrast to the state of affairs with the Judaism being the religion of the flesh, law, and strict sin detection regulations. The following discussion will address how exactly Paul represented Christianity as superior to Judaism with particular examples from the letter to Romans and the first letter to Corinthians.
Observing Paul’s writings to the Christians in Rome and Corinth, the readers may notice that Paul speaks of Christianity as the new hope of the humanity for the redemption achieved through the baptism and the blessing from God. Below, each of the sections of interest in Paul’s letters under consideration will be analyzed to derive understanding on how the apostle saw Christianity as the new hope in contrast to Judaism.
The passage the readers find in Romans 7:4-9 is addressed to the Christians who like Paul had the background of Judaism but replied favorably to the preachers of Christianity and were blessed by the God by being redeemed from the burden of the Jewish law and received the new freedom being laid by God’s Spirit. Here is how Paul speak of the blessings that these Christians came to have,
When we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit (New International Version, Romans 7:5, 6.)
These lines by the apostle Paul demonstrate that Christianity opened a new avenue to God through the redemption from sin, help from the God’s Holy Spirit and the liberation from the formalistic Jewish law that constantly reminded people of the imperfection and fleshly sin (Kruse 25).
Romans 8:2-10, 20 continue to develop Paul’s message to the Christians as to the superiority of the Christian way to God to that one the Jewish people had. Paul states that the Jewish people did not mange to please the God because “those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God” (New International Version, Romans 8:8).
In the 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, the audience learns about the hope to be changed and saved from the former imperfections of flesh. Here, the apostle Paul is also speaking about the opportunity to for the dead “to be raised imperishable” (New International Version, 1 Corinthians 15:52). These words remind the Christians about Jesus’ promise to be redeemed from the world and find the everlasting hope for the eternal future as God’s blessing for those who live with Spirit.
As a final point, in his letters to the Christians from Rome and Corinth who used to be the adherents of the Jewish religion in their earlier life, Paul is writing about the better perspective to be in peace and harmony with the God. This is possible through walking the path of the Spirit and rejecting the law of flesh and sin. These writings by the apostle Paul provide more understanding to Jesus’ promises about the hope to become the children of God living by the Spirit for all those who adopt the decision to follow Christ’s steps.
Kruse, Colin. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Grand Rapids, M.L.: Eerdmans Publishing, 2012. Print.
McGrath, Alister. Historical theology: An introduction to the history of Christian thought, New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
New International Version. [ColoradoSprings]: Biblica, 2011. Print.