Summary: Paul on Mars hill preaching about the "Unknown God"
God knows a lot of people, as a matter of fact God knows everyone. But how many KNOW GOD?
The Setting – Acts 17:16-21
16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
• The Whole city was given to Idolatry
• Some say that they had over 30,000 different idols in the city
17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
• Paul was sharing his faith
o In the Temple
o With the Devout Persons
o In the market
18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
• Epicureans believed in doing whatever you wanted to
• Stoicks believed in keeping your body under control
• They thought the resurrection was another god
19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
• They wanted to know more
20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
• They thought what he was telling them was weird
21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
• They spent all their time telling or hearing something new
• Very sophisticated
The Sermon – Acts 17:22-31
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
• Paul knew what to say to get their attention
• They were too religious
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
• Paul found an altar with the inscription “To the unknown God”
• He Told them that they were ignorantly worshipping
• Paul said I am going to tell you about Him
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
• He is the Creator
• He is the Lord of Heaven and Earth
• He does not dwell in Temples made by hands
o He dwells in temples that are not made by hands
25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
• You cannot worship him with your hands
• HE does not need anything
• He gives life to all
• He gives breath to all
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
• He made all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the Earth
• He determined the times before they came
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
• Seek the Lord
• HE is not far from us
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
• We Live in Him
• We Move in Him
• We have our Being in Him
• We are His offspring
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
• If we are God’s offspring then
o We should not think that the Godhead is like Gold or Silver or Stone or is made by the hands of men
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
• In times like this God commends all men, everywhere to repent
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
• The reason he commands all men, everywhere to repent is because he has appointed a day inn which he is going to Judge the world