People in Athens Worship Unknown God

Acts 17:21-23.. 21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Vv.19-20 Paul was called to explain the new doctrine he was teaching. The people of Athens spent a lot of time talking about the newest idea or happening. This sounds like social media today which explodes several times a week with revelations that are usually superseded by the next new thing. Unfortunately large parts of the USA university systems have been taken over by the pursuit of frivolous pursuits and new fads rather than real knowledge leading to productive jobs.

22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

The Areopagus refers to the hill of Mars, where the temple of Mars stood and where the court of Areopagus ruled over men like Paul. This counsel had been called to hear from Paul and his teachings about the resurrection of Jesus. Paul started off by observing the many temples for worship of false idols and saying they seemed to be very religious.

23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

As Paul was reviewing the many objects of worship he found an altar ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Paul did not start off insulting his audience, but tried to engage them in their hearts. Paul will quickly move to describe God.

Henry Luke 1/16/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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Summary/Application Acts 16:

  1. Paul and Silas set the example for disciples today as they were faithful to proclaim the gospel of Jesus and trust Jesus for the response and their safety.
  2. O God help me to access everything His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” [2 Peter 1:3 CSB]
  3. Be prepared to proclaim the gospel of Jesus when the opportunity is presented no matter the circumstances.

4. Resolved in the New Year and beyond to be obedient to the great commission.

5. The example of Paul suggests disciples today should use all righteous means afforded by our courts and governments to secure our rights under the US constitution.

6. Scripture Memory Acts 16:25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;

Henry Luke 1/15/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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Whosoever will may come to Jesus!

For the “Red Card” for evangelism click here

Through faith in Jesus, sinful human beings can know the one true God.

God does not need anything from people because He is self-sufficient and infinite.  Instead of needing something from people He “gives all people life and breath and all things.” [Acts 17:25c] God’s word further says “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever.” [Psalm 136:1 CSB]

“Jesus answered and said to him [Nicodemus], “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” [John 3:3]

Jesus died for me while I was a sinner: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:8]

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16 ESV]

God is so good that He gave Jesus to die for the sin of every human being on earth. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” [2 Corinthians 5:21]

But to access this free gift a person must recognize the sin that separates each person from God. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” [Romans 3:23]

And recognize the penalty for sin and the free gift of eternal life: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 6:23]

And accept that Jesus died, was buried and was raised from the dead: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” [1 Corinthians 15:3-8]  A

“God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,” [Acts 17:30b] Repent – 180O turn from sin and self to Jesus as Lord.

if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” [Romans 10:9,13]  

 Pray: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord of my life, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 Next Step: Make your salvation public at a local Bible believing church and follow the example of Jesus by being baptized.

 How to Know That Christ Is in Your Life

The Bible Promises Eternal Life to All Who Receive Christ

“The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11-13).

Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the very moment you invite Him in. He will not deceive you.

An important reminder…Do Not Depend on Feelings

The promise of God’s Word, the Bible – not our feelings – is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word.

This train diagram illustrates the relationship among fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).

The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we as Christians do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.

Now That You Have Entered Into a Personal Relationship With Christ

The moment you received Christ by faith, as an act of your will, many things happened, including the following:

  1. Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20 and Colossians 1:27).
  2. Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
  3. You became a child of God (John 1:12).
  4. You received eternal life (John 5:24).
  5. You began the great adventure for which God created you (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what He has done for you?

By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith. Source: click here

Notes: A- Jesus appeared 14 times after His resurrection to more than 500 people to prove the resurrection is a fact. For “8 Proofs the Resurrection is a settled Fact” click here.                                                                                  

Henry Luke 1/14/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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Paul invoked his rights as a Roman citizen

Acts 16:35 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, “Release those men.”

The Roman officials must not have been all that concerned about the actions of Paul and Silas. When day came they sent word to the jailor to release them “Therefore come out now and go in peace.” However Paul and Silas were Roman citizens and they invoked their privilege for a trial in vv.36-39. They said they had been beaten in public without a trial and thrown into prison and now you want to send us away secretly. The officials were afraid because of what they had done and came to Paul and Silas and begged them to leave the city.

V.40 records that Paul and Silas left the prison and went to the house of Lydia and encouraged the disciples and departed Philippi. Paul never missed an opportunity to provide encouragement to the disciples. Dr. Henry Morris said in his introduction to Philippians: “It soon became the church that gave the Apostle Paul more personal satisfaction than any of the others, and his epistle reflects his deep love for them. Note, for example, [Philippians 1:3-8; 4:1,15-19], as well as his testimony concerning them in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.

The letter to the Philippians does not reveal any serious problems in the church, in contrast to the problems that had developed in Corinth and Galatia, although there was a certain amount of disharmony that Paul sought to correct before it could develop into something serious [e.g., Philippians 2:2-3; 4:1-3].” A

The example of Paul suggests disciples today should use all righteous means afforded by our courts and governments to secure our rights under the US constitution.

Notes: A- Type any verse, chapter, book, “Introduction to book name” or phase in this link here

Henry Luke 1/14/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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The Jailer Converted –

Acts 16:31-32.. 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.

The jailer ask in v.30 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”   Immediately Paul and Silas responded with the gospel of Jesus to the jailer and his household. Later Paul described the gospel ” 3C Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” A The resurrection of Jesus was witnessed by Peter, the 10 other Apostles and 500 witnesses before His ascension to the right hand of God after 40  days. His resurrection is a settled fact. Click here for nine proofs of the resurrection of Jesus.

An interesting fact in history is that the resurrection of Jesus occurred on the anniversary of Noah’s Ark landing on Mount Ararat after the flood receded. B  This is just one of 100’s of New Testament events that picture or fulfill Old Testament scripture.

Yet knowing all these events are not necessary to be saved. Paul must have said something like; ” 9 if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” C

The jailer and the members of his household responded to the gospel and were saved. At least four evidences of salvation are recorded in vv.33-34; [1] the jailor took Paul and Silas and washed their wounds as evidence of a changed heart, [2] the new disciples were baptized, [3] he fed Paul and Silas and [4] rejoiced greatly.

The gospel of Jesus changed families and households then and changes people today. The government has proven it cannot change people no matter how much money, laws and resources are applied. However, if disciples go and make new disciples, baptize them and teach them a multiplication will occur. When there are enough true disciples to reach critical mass then the culture can be changed and the government will be changed.

Psalm 73:23-25..23 Yet I am always with YouYou hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me up in glory. 25 Who do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You.  [You and Your is God, together appears 7 times in this scripture]

 Resolved in the New Year and beyond to be obedient to the great commission.

Notes: A- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 5-8; B- click for Source; C- Romans 10:9,13;

Henry Luke 1/13/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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The opportunity to glorify Jesus –

Acts 16:25  But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;

In the midst of very tough circumstances including physical pain from a beating with rods Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. The disciples were not behaving as expected and they were a witness for the power of Jesus. This was characteristic of the early church.

Rodney Stark in “The Rise of Christianity” gives 5 compelling reasons for Christianity increasing to 56.5% of world population by 350 AD in a hostile and non-receptive environment. Including: “The pagans were afraid and deserted their sick and discarded them to die unburied during plagues. The Christians fearless of death cared for their sick and buried their dead and the pagans dead. This care resulted in wide differences in deaths in favor of Christians.” I wonder do disciples today live self-centered or Jesus-centered?

Vv.26-29 records a great earthquake and miraculously the prison doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. The jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open and drew his sword and was about to kill himself. He knew that if his prisoners escaped he would pay with his life. But a second miracle occurred because the prisoner’s did not escape and Paul said with a loud voice we are all here!” don’t harm yourself.

The jailer responded in v.30 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  All disciples must be ready to answer this question as Peter said sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts a, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”   aset apart Jesus Christ as Lord and Master in your life! [1 Peter 3:15]  

Be prepared to proclaim the gospel of Jesus when the opportunity is presented no matter the circumstances.

 Henry Luke 1/12/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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 Paul preaches a sermon to the men of Athens.

Acts 17:22-34

So far this week we have examined the idolatry and religiosity of the Athenians. Though they worshiped, they did not worship the true God. Though they were religious, the truths of the gospel were to them foreign gods. Vv.22-23  How do we effectively share the gospel with a society of people who worship false gods and are completely ignorant of Christianity? This is an important question for us as our culture becomes more and more post-Christian. While we should not view Paul’s sermon in this passage as an exhaustive guide to preaching the gospel to pagans, we would do well to observe that he answers three key questions in his sermon:

1) Who is God? Paul begins at the beginning: God is the transcendent Creator of the universe who cannot be limited or restrained by human structures or systems. God is the imminent Creator, holding everything in the universe together by the power of His will. V.24

2) Who is man? Paul describes mankind in relation to God. Mankind is created by God and is responsible to God. Because mankind has rebelled against God, they deserve His judgment and eternal wrath. Vv.25-29

3) Who is Jesus? While Paul doesn’t name Jesus by name in his sermon, he does proclaim the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Vv.30-34 Though we don’t see the familiar gospel language of the forgiveness of sins, we do see the clear call to repent. We can imagine that Paul ironed these things out in more private settings with the Athenians who wanted to hear more from Paul. We have already seen this to an extent in Acts 17:16-21.

  • What details stick out from Paul’s sermon to the Athenians to you? Which ones strike you as odd or unique? Can you see the shell of the gospel in Paul’s remarks? ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
  • How might today’s passage be instructive to you as you contemplate sharing your faith with friends, co-workers, or family members? ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

PRAY

Adore God for being the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Confess that you have fallen short of His glory and that you have a great need to repent.Thank Him for forgiving you of your sins through the power of the cross. Pray for your friends, co-workers, and family members who do not know Christ. Ask that they would come to know Him and that God would open the door for you to share with them.

Source: page 49 of Winter PSG click here

Henry Luke 1/10/2018

For how to have peace with God click here, how to have peace of God click here, and how to disciple/teach others as described in 2 Timothy 2:2 click here.

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