Summary: Easter 6(A) - Believers know the "unknown god" because our God created all things and our God is not far from each one of us.

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May 9, 2010 -

Easter 6 -

ACTS 17:22-31

INTRO: Believers know God’s will. God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Humans with their rebellious, sinful nature reject God’s free salvation. This is an eternal mystery. How can so many still not know God? Joyfully we remember that we are saved solely by the God’s free grace. "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy" (TITUS 3:4,5a). Only by God’s grace can we confess Christ. Too many others still choose to sit in the darkness of their rejection of God.


I. Our God created all things. II. Our God is not far from us.


A. Paul is on his second missionary journey. He has been proclaiming the resurrection of the Christ.

1. The learned men of Athens are intrigued. They invite Paul to explain further about this man.

2. Verse 22. Religious also means superstitious. Paul said one thing they heard another.

B. Verse 23. They made many statues for all kinds of gods. The unknown god was to cover all bases.

1. Verse 24. Paul knew the unknown god. God had made all things and did not need a temple.

2. Paul was speaking to the crowd in the shadow of the Parthenon: an enormous Greek temple.

3. Verse 25. Paul’s God did not need a temple of human hands to serve him.

C. Verse 26. Paul’s unknown God had determined the times and place for all men to live.

1. Paul wanted this group to think about God. They knew they were bound by natural laws.

2. They did not determine the time of their birth and death. The unknown God created all things..

D. By grace the Christian discovers an easy answer to the beginning of all things. God made the heavens and the earth. For those who do not know God they look to evolution for the answers. From the Biblical (which is God’s truth for us and the world) viewpoint the world and everything in it was made in six days. God spoke and it was. To this very day God still sustains the world by his powerful world. Such is the simplicity of creation for the believer. The theories of evolution fail to find fulfillment. What has happened to the “survival of the fittest”? The saber-tooth tiger and the mastodon have not survived. They were bigger and better than today’s tigers and elephants. Not only has God made all things in this world he has also created faith in the hearts of believers. "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 CORINTHIANS 4:6). By grace we know the unknown God.

E. God’s truth is simple. It is so simple that it becomes foolishness to those who are perishing. Man likes to think he has all the answers. In the end it is really only God who has all the answers. This does not stop humanity from turning away from God. "Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles" (ROMANS 1:22,23). Who worships birds and animals? Our country does. Building projects have been stalled or stopped because of endangered species. The oil spill in the gulf has captured the headlines. It is an ecological disaster. Little mention is made of the loss of human lives.

F. It is only by grace that believers look at the world with eyes of faith. Our Christian faith causes us to see the world around us in a very different light compared to those who do not know God. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (ECCLESIASTES 3:11). Truly, spring is the time of year when God makes everything beautiful! Did you know you have eternity in your heart? The gift of eternal life is God’s present gift to every believer. We will live forever in heaven -- God’s eternal gospel lives in us.


Our God, unknown to some, has created all things.


A. Paul was speaking to the “wise and learned” men of Athens. Paul shows them his knowledge

1. Verse 28. Paul quotes their poets in their writings. Their writers knew of God’s greatness.

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