*ACTS 17 : 16 - 34 NIV*

16:While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.

17:So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.

18:A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

19:Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

20:You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.”

21:(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22:Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.

23:For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24:“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

25:And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

26:From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

27:God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

28:‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29:“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.

30:In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

31:For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32:When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”

33:At that, Paul left the Council.

34:Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.


Today's text reveals the heart of a man passionate for the Gospel, a man who uses every opportunity to spread the Gospel of Christ. 

Paul was troubled in heart (vs.16) because of the number of idols he saw in Athens. He refused to be deceived that the Athenians were religious as some of us are today confused by the outward religious appearance of some people. 

Rather, Paul took advantage of the situation to preach the Gospel to them which showed that he was in season (cf. 2Timothy 4:1-2).

Paul went to places he could find sinners to witness to (vs.17) because he understood that sinners might find it difficult to come to us as Christians but it is easier to go to them. 

Paul never wavered in his presentations of the Gospel as he even approached the philosophers such as the Epicureans, who taught that pleasure is the highest good and mental pleasure the highest happiness, and the Stoics, who saw knowledge as the highest good and the material world as the sum total of reality (vs. 18). 

Paul engaged them and was not afraid to present the Gospel as they listened to his new knowledge (vs. 20). 

In his interventions, Paul spoke from the known to the unknown, from worshipping unknown gods to worshipping the God Who is known (vs. 23-30).

*QUESTION:* Do you see every situation as an opportunity to preach the Gospel or are you afraid of people?

*PRAYER:* Lord Jesus Christ, help me to make use of every opportunity and situation to preach the Gospel, in Jesus name. Amen.


Previous Post Next Post