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? ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
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
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