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Idolatry vs. the True and Living God

posted Aug 26, 2009, 7:09 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Aug 26, 2009, 7:10 PM ]
August 3, 2008
Key Passage: Acts 17: 16-34

Athens, a city wholly given to idolatry, was often described as the intellectual capital and cultural center of the Roman world. Athens, aptly named for Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was adorned with magnificent works of pagan art and unrivaled for its exquisite architecture and statues. (i.e. The Parthenon ) The city remained the symbol of great philosophical and intellectual debate on theology and education. ( home of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle) Paul was greatly distressed at what he saw when he arrived in Athens and was challenged to handle this missionary journey alone, without the assistance of Silas and Timothy. The question for us today is; where does Athens exist in our lives? Do we worship the creator or the created? Also, are we willing to stand firm on our belief in the risen Savior and to proclaim that truth in the face of adversity?

I. Ministry in Athens – “Introducing the True God” (Acts 17: 16 – 21)

· Paul distressed with a city full of idols (Acts 17:16)

· Paul reasoned in the synagogue/marketplace (Acts 17:17)

· Epicurean & Stoic philosophers dispute with Paul (Acts 17: 18-21)

II. The Areopagus Speech and Its Results (Acts 17: 22- 34)

· Paul affirms them & acknowledges their need for God (Acts 17: 22-23)

· God the Creator (Acts 17:24)

· God the Provider (Acts 17:25)

· God the Sustainer and Ordainer (Acts 17:26-29)

· God commands all to repent and turn to him (Acts 17: 30-31)

The Response to Paul’s message:

1. Some laughed and walked away

2. Some wanted to hear more

3. Some believed (Dionysius, Damaris and a number of others)

Anything that comes before the Lord in our lives is just as offensive as the idols that lined the streets of Athens. Therefore, let us do a self examination to ensure that our trust does not lie in gods, but in the True and Living God. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”