Summary: From Acts 17, how we witness to our culture. Who God is.
Title: The Unknown God Becomes Known
Text: Acts 17:17 - 31
It has been an historical two weeks. A little over a week ago the church gathered together to show its support for Emmanuel AME church and its 9 victims.
Then this week we hear the ruling of the Supreme Courts on Gay marriage.
What does this mean for our nation? This is just the tip of the iceberg.
What does this mean for the church? We still must stand for Biblical truth.
(Act 17:16) Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.
Provoked “stirred” “irritate” “provoke to anger”
Jesus in the temple.
He felt like he had to do something.
There was estimates up to 30,000 idols in the city.
Idolatry – a distraction from the truth.
(Act 17:17) Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.
Reasoned “disputed” “discuss”. In a way of respect to others.
(Act 17:18) Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
Epicureans – believed in the gods but believed that they were distant. Did not believe in the after life. What we have is what we have here so we better live it up.
Stoic – believed the body and soul are separate. We must discipline the body. Self control is the key.
Idle babbler – as one who would pick different philosophies together to build a new religion.
Preached Jesus and the resurrection. This idea of the resurrection was a stumbling block to them.
1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks  foolishness,
(Act 17:19) And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak?
Areopagus - ar'-i-os pag'-os
(Act 17:20) For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean." (Act 17:21) For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
This is where they went to debate.
(Act 17:22) Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;
If they got anything right it was the fact that they were religious. KJV - superstitious
1.a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of theominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence,proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4.irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.
(Act 17:23) for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:
They were so religious that they made a monument “To The Unknown God”. They were so selfish and self-absorbed that they missed who God really was. He had become “unknown” to them.
“without knowing” - ignorance
In the next few verses Paul makes Him known. This is what we must do, make God knows to the world.
Who is this God??
Making God Known
God of Creation.
(Act 17:24) God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This God is not limited to temples or places made by hands.
Create – baw-raw” – to shape form out of nothing. To bring life to. This is not evolution. This is not the big bang this is God speaking the world into existence. Throughout the first Chapter we read “and God said”.
(Act 17:25) Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
God does not need men’s hands to take care of him.
(Joh 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:2) He was in the beginning with God. (Joh 1:3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (Joh 1:4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.