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Summary: A City full of Idols.

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1. Paul’s Audience vv17-18b

So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. [18] Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him.

Setting – Last week we felt the heart of Paul for the city of Athens, how his spirit was provoked. Because Paul is a man of action, he begins evangelizing the city by reasoning in the synagogue , at the marketplace, and finally at Mars Hill.

Ephes. 6:19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,

A. Jews

They. were the regular attenders of worship services, were familiar with God. were familiar with the Scripture and its teachings, were the ones usually trying to live moral and just lives, were the ones usually seeking truth. In Romans 10:1 – it’s his desire and prayer that his brethren (Jews) will be saved.

B. God-Fearing Gentiles

The second audience for the gospel was God-fearing men and women. There were people who were just sick of the immorality and injustices of their pagan society and polytheistic religions. Therefore, they turned to the Jewish religion, being attracted by the emphasis upon one God and the laws demanding morality and justice for all

C.Epicureans

Central to Epicurean philosophy was the teaching that pleasure and the avoidance of pain are the chief end of man. They were materialists, who, while not denying the existence of the gods, believed they did not intervene in the affairs of men. They taught that, at death, the body and soul (both composed of atoms) disintegrate; there is no afterlife.

D. Stoics

The Stoics or the rationalists, the self-controlled and disciplined. Stoic follows Pantheism: god exists in everything and in everyone. The fiery spirit, the energy of everything and everyone, is god. Fatalism: whatever happened occurred because it was supposed to happen. There is no good or evil in the world. Things are the way they are and happen the way they do because they are destined. There is nothing anyone can do about anything.

2. The Audience Response v18c

And some said, "What does this babbler wish to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"—

Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers confronted Paul because their philosophies clash with Christianity. Remember the Epicurean who believed that

Some mocked him to his face, calling him a “babbler.” Spermologos (idle babbler) literally means “seed picker.” The word evoked images of a bird pecking indiscriminately at seeds in a barnyard. It referred to a dilettante, someone who picked up scraps of ideas here and there and passed them off as profundity with no depth of understanding at all.

Others took him more seriously, saying that he was presenting a new and strange god. This people misunderstand completely.

3. Part 1 0f Paul’s Message- The True Gospel v18d

because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

A. Jesus Christ

Luke here tells us that Paul was preaching Jesus. What does it mean to preach Jesus? The book of Acts gives us a record of Peter’s first sermon, verses 22-36 paints a stunning mural of Jesus, highlighting six truths about Him.

Truth # 1 – His Incarnation - Acts 2:22c Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God.

John tells us in Jn 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. The Word (Jesus Christ) did not cease to be God but became God in human flesh. Furthermore, Paul in Col. 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Christ possesses the fullness of the divine nature and attributes. In Greek philosophical it was unthinkable that God would ever take on a human body. Paul refutes that false teaching by stressing the reality of Christ’s incarnation. Jesus was not only fully God, but fully human as well.

In Philippians 2:5-11 this is more clearly translated “emptied Himself.” From this Greek word comes the theological word “kenosis”; the doctrine of Christ’s self-emptying in His incarnation. This was a self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for humanity. Jesus did, however, renounce or set aside His privileges in several areas:

1) Heavenly glory—while on earth He gave up the glory of a face-to-face relationship with God and the continuous outward display and personal enjoyment of that glory (cf. John 17:5);

2) Independent Authority—during His incarnation Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of His Father (cf. Matt. 26:39; John 5:30; Heb. 5:8);

3) Divine Prerogatives—He set aside the voluntary display of His divine attributes and submitted Himself to the Spirit’s direction (cf. Matt. 24:36; John 1:45–49);

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