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Our passion is to help people discover Truth for themselves by using the Inductive Bible Study method. We strive to accomplish this by offering Inductive Bible Studies, Training Workshops, conferences, and events for men, women, and students.


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Saint Patrick the Man - Not the Legend


Saint Patrick the man not the legend,precept ministries,kay arthur,inductive bible study,green beer, slavery

Saint Patrick the Man - Not the Legend

Sold into Slavery

St. Paddy’s Day! (Yes we spelled it correctly)The international holiday where we celebrate all things Irish! Green beer, corn beef and cabbage, dancing in the streets, and pinching people who aren’t wearing green (or orange if you’re an Irish protestant) all represent what was actually once a religious holiday. It seems the holiday has lost its religion.

Originally the holiday was actually a celebration of St. Patrick the Apostle of Ireland. March 17th, was the day of his death.

Oddly enough Patrick was not Irish, he was English. In the mid-fifth century, as a teenager, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders from England and sold into slavery in Ireland. While a slave, the Christian teachings he had heard as a child took root in his heart and he gave his life to Christ.

Became a Priest

Eventually he escaped and returned to England. After becoming a priest he had a vision which changed the direction of his life. In the vision he saw a man, Victoricius, who brought him letters from Ireland, begging him to come over and help them. He interpreted the vision as a divine mandate from God and devoted the rest of his life to sharing the gospel with the Irish.

The opposition was fierce. The Druid priests were powerful, and demonic. But it is hard for darkness to put out light. Patrick stayed. The demons held no sway over him, the attempts to kill him failed, the intimidation only made him resolute! He had a mandate from God and he would not be stopped.

St Patrick's Prayer

In his prayer, the “Breastplate of St Patrick” you can almost feel the opposition against him. His prayer or hymn is long and this is just portion

"I bind to myself to-day,—
The Power of God to guide me,
The Might of God to uphold me,
The Wisdom of God to teach me,
The Eye of God to watch over me,
The Ear of God to hear me,
The Word of God to give me speech.
The Hand of God to protect me,
The Way of God to go before me,
The Shield of God to shelter me,
The Host of God to defend me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the temptations of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against every man who meditates injury to me.
Whether far or near,
With few or with many.

Patrick was such a powerful figure that it is difficult or maybe impossible to separate the man from the legend. The impact of his ministry would be hard to overstate. He was

  • the Apostle to Ireland, 
  • the founder of the Irish church
  • the one God used to bring thousands of Irish to salvation
  • Or, as Patrick described his own ministry:

“I am greatly a debtor to God, who has bestowed his grace so largely upon me, that multitudes were born again to God through me. The Irish, who never had the knowledge of God and worshipped only idols and unclean things, have lately become the people of the Lord, and are called sons of God.”

Wrapping it up

There is lot to celebrate when it comes to someone like Patrick. His courage in the face of death threats and demons, and his determination to share the good news of the light of the world in a place of deep darkness are two. It would be a breath of fresh air to have a few Patricks in the US today.

But, perhaps the most amazing part of the story is that a slave who found freedom went back to the place of his slavery to rescue those still in slavery.

Something to ask yourself:

When was the last time you helped someone escape from the slavery of sin into the marvelous freedom of the light?

We always want to leave you with resources which will help you in your personal growth. Well this time we want to recommend a resource which will help you disciple others. God, Are You There? is a great tool for learning and teaching both inductive Bible study skills and the Gospel of John. Written with evangelism in mind, it is a self-contained study with the Gospel of John included in the back of the book. If you are looking for a study you can use to set the captives free from sin then check it out by clicking the button below.



David Lawson has been involved with Precept Ministries since 1981, first as a student, then as a leader, and later as a Trainer. On staff with Precept he has served as Co-Director of Transform Student Ministries, as an author of various Bible studies, a featured teacher on several Precept videos and currently is working in Social Media. David is passionate about helping people learn to study the Word of God for themselves. He firmly believes the Word of God is what the Spirit of God uses more than anything else to mature the children of God.


thank you for sharing...I may just share this with my students tomorrow to enlighten them on St. Paddy's Day! ;)
Posted @ Saturday, March 16, 2013 9:34 PM by Marsha Metzger
Wonderful! I'm going to pass out copies of it after prayer meeting tonight!
Posted @ Sunday, March 17, 2013 6:11 AM by Alice Jordan
AWESOME! Modern Day Slavery exists! Human Traffiking for one.  
watch and order the full movie today . Pray for the darkness to be exposed.
Posted @ Sunday, March 17, 2013 6:30 AM by sharon
Great article. Also, encourage people to rescue others from actual slavery as he did. There are still over 27 million actual slaves in the world, including the U.S. 
Check out, and
Posted @ Sunday, March 17, 2013 9:23 AM by Rusty
I have studied St. Patrick, and there is no evidence that he ever became a priest in any church. His beliefs were very strictly Biblical, as judged from his own writings. And he may have actually come from the coast of Wales. Additionally, it seems that he was actually kidnapped to be used as a human sacrifice for the Druids, but was given to a farmer to pay a debt. He was a slave,trained to care for sheep, before escaping to return to his home country. 
Posted @ Sunday, March 17, 2013 8:21 PM by Caroll Aleshire
Great info and encouragement David! Thank you!
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 10:29 AM by Glenn Hejny
I strongly agree with Carol that Patrick knew the Biblical Gospel and WAS NOT a priest. Not sure about having a vision either. I WOULD NOT PASS THIS ON TO ANY STUDENT,
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 6:04 PM by Bernadette
Carol, Bernadette: 
Patrick studied for the priesthood under and was ordained by Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre. Pope Celestine consecrated him as a Bishop and sent him to Ireland, at Patrick’s request of course.  
There are a great number of biographies available on Patrick as well his own writings which will confirm the details of this short post. Remember, Patrick’s life and ministry were centuries before the European reformation. There were no protestants, and in the west there was only what we would call the Catholic church.  
Posted @ Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:12 AM by Precept Team
I have been taught the same, but that he was not catholic. Have any others heard this? See  
Posted @ Monday, March 17, 2014 11:24 AM by Darlene Scott
From Saint Patrick's Confession: "But I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever has deigned to accept this document, composed in Ireland by Patrick the sinner, an unlearned man, that none should ever say that it was my ignorance that accomplished any small thing which I did or showed in accordance with God's will; but let it be believed, that it was the gift of God."
Posted @ Monday, March 17, 2014 12:58 PM by Church History Timelines
The man who ordained Patrick for ministry was the Bishop of Auxerre ( a Catholic). Patrick was made a Bishop by Pope Celestine. Technically speaking the Catholic church as the denominational entity you would think of today did not exist. The east / west division was not yet in place so no one was thinking in terms of Orthodox (eastern) or Catholic (western). And this was a thousand years before the Protestant Reformation. So, the answer to your question could be that Patrick made a bishop by the Pope. Church history is a little more complicated than our denominational lines today.
Posted @ Monday, March 17, 2014 1:05 PM by Precept Team
Yes, Bible believing Christians can see visions. Desperate times/ circumstances require desperate measures.
Posted @ Monday, March 17, 2014 10:05 PM by Kaisu Doerksen
Christianity further teaches that once a person is "born again" (becomes saved) that the Holy Spirit lives in that person and the person is changed: "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come," (2 Cor. 5:17). This means that God actually lives in the person and the Christian then experiences a true and living relationship with God.  
Posted @ Friday, May 09, 2014 8:03 AM by alex@lccgrail
Christianity further teaches that once a person is "born again" (becomes saved) that the Holy Spirit lives in that person and the person is changed: "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come," (2 Cor. 5:17). This means that God actually lives in the person and the Christian then experiences a true and living relationship with God.  
esoteric christianity 
Posted @ Friday, May 09, 2014 8:05 AM by Amanda walton
Alex, Amanda 
Thank you for posting the same quote, but what are you getting at? 
Posted @ Friday, May 09, 2014 8:26 AM by Precept Team
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