Between the Book of Acts (in which Paul appears in 19 of 28 chapters) and the letters ascribed to Paul (13 in all), after Jesus the Apostle Paul appears more in the New Testament than any other person. Jesus aside, Paul is clearly the most significant first century Christian
This passage is called the Christ Hymn because when I was in seminary I learned that this set of verses was something that Paul would have heard from some place else. The way the words are put together in the Greek and even the words used are not words or structure that Paul uses in other parts of his writing, so scholars believe from this, that this passage was something that Paul would have heard, and quite possibly could have been a hymn. As I prepared to construct this lesson I read or watched some videos on how it could have been an early creed. This makes sense because a creed is a statement of belief and it is a statement of who early believers and followers of Christ thought he was. It was their statement of belief. And it could have been sung so it could be a creed and a hymn.
Article IV: Of Justification.
Art1] Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for 2] Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. 3] This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.
Epistle is not a word you hear pretty much anywhere but church. At its most basic, it means “Letter”. I don’t know if anyone gets letters much any more. Not personal ones anyway. We get Christmas letters, but those are usually copies of the same exact letter that goes to a bunch of people. I get emails, but not even that many of those are really personal either. Most of that happens on social media or text messages. But when I do get a letter, a handwritten letter, it means something. Someone took time to write it, get a stamp out and mail it.