God's Word for Today
Acts 17b

December 14, 2011

 
 

Paul went into the synagogue discovered a group of people very interested in the study of the Old Testament Scriptures. They met daily to search the Scriptures to determine whether or not what Paul was saying was true. God used His Word so that many people trusted Christ. One of the men who was saved was Sopater, who later assisted Paul on the third missionary trip along with men from Thessalonica

We must admire the people of Berea, they spent time studying the Word of God, checking to see if what Paul had to say was true or not.  Christians today must do the same; we must be people who study this Book.  It is our authority for faith and practice.  We don’t live the Christian life based on our opinions, ideas, feelings, emotions, and experience or based on what other people say.  We must base our Christian life on what the Bible says.  These people searched the Scriptures, and a church was formed in Berea.

Once again, Satan brought the enemies to oppose the work, these were unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica.  The believers in Berea helped Paul escape these enemies by taking Paul to the sea and putting him on a ship to Athens.

The Areopagus or Mars Hill is a rocky hill, 113 meters high, northwest of the Acropolis in Athens   It was the meeting place of the city council. This council, also called the Areopagus, was responsible to watch over both religion and education in the city, so it was natural for them to investigate what Paul was teaching. They invited Paul to present his teaching to them on Mars’ Hill. Paul was not on trial; the council members only wanted him to explain what he had been telling the people in the agora or marketplace.

Paul started where the people were by referring to their altar dedicated to an unknown god. He then explained who that God is and what He is like. He concluded the message with a personal application that called for a decision, and some of them decided for Jesus Christ.

Paul shared four basic truths about God.  First the greatness of God: He is Creator (v. 24).

Many people ask, “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?” Paul tells them, “In the beginning, God!” God made the world and everything in it, and He is Lord of all that He has made.  Second, he told them of the goodness of God; He is our Provider (v. 25).  God gives us what we need.    Third he told them of the government of God: He is Ruler and He is with us (verses 26-29).  God is not distant, people should then seek God and come to know Him in truth. God made us in His image, so it is foolish for us to make gods in our own image.  Fourth, he spoke of the grace of God: He is Saviour (vv. 30-34).  As he brought his message to a close, Paul summarized the clear evidences of God’s grace.. In due time, God sent a Savior, and now He commands all men to repent of their foolish ways. This Savior was killed and then raised from the dead, and one day, He will return to judge the world. The proof that He will judge is that He was raised from the dead.

It was the doctrine of the Resurrection that most of the members of the Council could not accept. They believed in immortality, but not in resurrection.

There were three different responses to the message. Some laughed and mocked and did not take Paul’s message seriously. Others were interested but wanted to hear more. A small group accepted what Paul preached, believed on Jesus Christ, and were saved.  How about you, will you believe in Jesus today?  For more see www.wdbydana.com/sermon.html