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Summary: Can God be known to the Athenians?

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The Unknown God – Part 2 Acts 17:19-28

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

When we started this series I thought that it will only take 2 weeks to complete, but the more I get into it, the longer it seems to take me, because the passage is so rich in theology and application. Through the process of teaching this series on the Unknown God, I realized that Cornerstone also worship the Unknown God.

Matthew 15:8 ’This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. Romans 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Is your spirit or your heart provoked about what you see in your own life (idols) and in what you see in our Nation and our State. Are you living a life of idolatry.

Acts 17:17-18 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. And some said, "What does this babbler wish to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

Setting: They Requested to Hear More

Acts 17:19-21 And they took hold of him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? [20] For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean." [21] Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

After preaching Jesus Christ and the Resurrection, the crowd reacted by asking him to make a public presentation at a place called Mars Hill, where things were a little quieter. By reading verses 19-20 you might think that they were interested in the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but they were the least interested.

1 Tim. 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything.

1. Part 2 – Paul’s Message “The Unknown God”

Acts 17:22-23 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. [23] For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ’To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.

Paul with no time to prepare, used the subject of religion and their altar to an unknown God as a transition to the subject of the Living God whom they worship but did not know. He didn’t start with a debate on creation vs. evolution, Old Testament Scripture, Christ, sin, but on religion. The people of Athens were very religious, so Paul tells them let me tell you about the Living God.

2 Tim. 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Paul uses the Greek word Oida (know) carries the idea of knowing with certainty. The word “Whom” refers to God the Father (v. 8) to Jesus Christ (vv. 9–10). Pisteuō (I have believed) is in a perfect tense, indicating something that began in the past and will continue. In addition, Paul is persuaded – totally convinced (nothing will distort Him of who God Is).

A. Recognizing that God Is

1. The Creator

Acts 17:24a The God who made the world and everything in it,

2. The Ruler

Acts 17:24b being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man

3. The Giver

Acts 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to

all mankind life and breath and everything.

4. Sovereign (v26)

Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

5. Revealer

Acts 17:27-28 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, [28] for ’In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, " ’For we are indeed his offspring.’

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