SPECIAL TOPIC: PAUL'S PRAISE, PRAYER, AND THANKSGIVING TO GOD

Paul was a man of praise. He knew the Old Testament.  Each of the first four divisions (i.e., books) of the Psalter end with doxologies (cf. Ps. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48).  People who know God praise and extol Him often.

1. opening paragraphs in his letters

a. opening benedictions or greetings (cf. Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2)

b. opening blessings (eulogētos, cf. 2 Cor. 1:3-4; Eph. 1:3-14)

2. short outbursts of praise

a. Rom. 1:25; 9:5

b. 2 Cor. 11:31

3. doxologies (characterized by use of [1] doxa {i.e., glory} and [2] "for ever and ever")

a. Rom. 11:36; 16:25-27

b. Eph. 3:20-21

c. Phil. 4:20

d. 1 Tim. 1:17

e. 2 Tim. 4:18

4. thanksgivings (i.e., eucharisteō)

a. letter openings (cf. Rom. 1:8; 1 Cor. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:11; Eph. 1:16; Phil. 1:3; Col. 1:3,12; 1 Thess. 1:2; 2 Thess. 1:3; Philemon 1:4; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 1:3)

b. call to give thanks (cf. Eph. 5:4,20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:15,17; 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:18) 

5. short outbursts of thanksgiving

a. Rom. 6:17; 7:25

b.1 Cor. 15:57

c. 2 Cor. 2:14; 8:16; 9:15

d. 1 Thess. 2:13

e. 2 Thess. 2:13

6. closing benedictions

a. Rom. 16:20,24

b. 1 Cor. 16:23-24

c. 2 Cor. 13:14

d. Gal. 6:18

e. Eph. 6:24

Paul knew the Triune God theologically and experientially. In his writings he starts out with prayer and praise.  In the middle of his presentations he breaks out in praise and thanksgiving.  At the conclusion to his letters, he always remembers to pray, praise, and thank God.  Paul's writings breathe with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving.  He knew God, he knew himself, and he knew the gospel.

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