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What Does the Bible Say About..Paul Learning to Preach?

We are studying Paul. A question came up in Acts 9:19-20 , that after Saul was baptized did he stay with the disciples to learn to preach the word or did he, after he received the holy spirit, start preaching right away? Thank you for any info that you can give me.


The passage to which you refer says that he immediately started preaching (v. 20). Later, in his letter to the Galatians he emphasizes that it was seventeen years before he went to Jerusalem and told the other apostles what he was preaching. They agreed at that time that what he had been preaching agreed in all things with what they also taught. (Galatians 2:1-10) In Galatians 1:16-17 he confirms that he did not learn what to preach from any man.

Two thought immediately come to my mind. First, Paul didn't need to be trained how to preach or what to preach by men. As a student of the great Rabbi Gamaliel he already knew how to teach. He also knew the prophecies about the Messiah. God apparently directly taught him how those applied to Jesus. So Paul was unusual in that he was taught by God.

Second, though, Paul is an example that new converts don't need to "learn how to preach," but are often better teachers than those who have spent a lot of time learning how. They want to tell others about the joy and relief they have just experienced, and that is often the best teacher. They haven't lost that joy through a lot of book study. Sometimes, perhaps, we spend too much time learning to teach and not enough time remembering why we teach. What is important is not how we present the gospel, but the gospel we present.