Paul was a Jew and one of an ancient Jewish sect called the Pharisees– they are known for their strict obedience to Jewish traditions. Hence, Paul in his letter to the Philippians said “he was blameless concerning the righteousness of the law” (Philippians 3:5-6).
Paul at the early stage of his life was known for persecuting the church with unparalleled zeal but in ignorance (1 Timothy 1:13, Acts 26:9-11) until he met Jesus on his way to Damascus (Acts 9). He intended to arrest the followers of Christ but he was arrested on his way by Christ himself and that experience changed Paul to a preacher of the faith and an apostle of Christ to the gentiles (Galatian 2:8).
He surrendered everything for the cause of Christ (Philippians 3:7, Acts 20:24); sufferedgreatly for the gospel (2 Corinthians 11: 23-28); established lots of churches such as the Corinthian church, the Galatian church and the Ephesian church; raised ministers of the gospel such as Timothy, Philemon, Onisemus and Titus; performed miracles, did mighty deeds (2 Corinthians 12:12) and wrote more than half of the New Testament.
Paul was passionate about seeing the church of Christ standing in all the will of God (Romans 12:2) and it was on this basis that Paul wrote to the churches, instructing believers to stand in the totality of God’s will (Acts 20:27).
Paul died a fulfilled man. “I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”, he said (2 Timothy 4:7). Although he persecuted the church of Christ at the early stage of his life, he died a follower of Christ and a defender of the faith. His encounter with Christ changed his life forever.