The God of Creation Speaks to Us

Acts 17:22-31

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;

23 "for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

24 "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.

25 "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

26 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'

29 "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.

30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

31 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (NKJ)

This message was preached August 25, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com  

 Paul had been on a very successful missionary journey. He has started a number of churches with many converts. But now as he comes to Athens, the college town, and the outcome will be far different. Here he confronts the postmodern of his day. There was no truth as is seen by their continual searching for some new idea. They were very progressive. The Greeks gave great weight to the development of the body and mind. They longed to develop the perfect man.

They also were very religious in that the worshiped thousands of gods. In matters of religion, everyone was right with what ever system of religion they had developed.

Now on to this scene comes Paul the Christian, that new sect that seemed to be sweeping the Roman Empire. But how will Christianity stack up to the philosophies of its day. Can the God of Christianity have anything to offer a people who already have 30,000 gods? And what about the miraculous claims of this new sect. Can the dead rise again? Is there life beyond the grave?

 

  1. The people of Athens were already a very devout people.

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; "for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

  1. They had devoted the Areopagus to the worship of hundreds of different deities.
  2. They even had erected an altar to the unknown god.
  1. Who is this Unknown God?
    1. He has made heaven and earth. "God, who made the world and everything in it"
    2. He does not dwell in earthly temples; "since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands."
    3. He is not blessed by us but we by Him; "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things."
    4. He is sovereign over His creation and actively works to control the ultimate outcome; "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,"
    5. He works in the lives of people to cause them to pursue Him.; "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
    6. He is our benefactor. "for in Him we live and move and have our being"
    7. He is a living Spirit and not physical. "as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.
    8. God requires singular devotion to Him since He is the One true God. "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
    9. He will someday judge the world. "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness
    10. Jesus Christ will be the Judge. "by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."