In Athens, Paul was invited to speak at the Areopagus, a hill approximately 50 feet high at the epicenter of the city where notably, the supreme court met to discuss religious matters.
Since Paul has raised an argument against idolatry in Athens, his public exhortation would hopefully satisfy the curiosity of those present, as was the custom in Athens, a city known for its intellectuality.
“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;” (Acts 17:22)
At the time, Athens was the most cultured city in the world, where philosophers, sculptors, poets and painters flocked to further their studies or craft. Paul felt the need to compliment the men present at the Areopagus for their dedication.
“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: 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.”(Acts 17:23-24)
Paul uses one of the object of worship in the city, an altar to segue his message about Yahweh, the living God, the spiritual being who created the heavens, the earth and everything on it, whom was indeed known by those who place their hope and trust in His begotten Son, the resurrected Christ and Savior.
“25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” (Acts 17:25)
Paul continues to reveal the attributes of God, declaring Yahweh the one who gave each man in the audience life, and a being who cannot be worshipped by human hands, but rather by songs, through works and in prayer.
“26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:26-28)
Paul delivers the true essence of Christianity, as found in the scriptures and revealed in the gospel of the risen Christ. First, that we are all of one blood. Next, that all of God’s creation dwell according to a preappointed, divine plan, devised by our Creator, which we should seek and worship so He is glorified, and magnified, then preached to the four corners of the earth for all men and women to believe and be saved from the wages of our sin.
“29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” (Acts 17:29)
Paul explains how God should be worshipped, not through idolatry but by extending his love, grace and mercy onto others as He does onto us, His creation.
“30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
Now, Paul lays down the law by delivering the Lord’s will for His creation, that all fall short of the glory of God, therefore all should repent of their sins as each one awaits judgment, according to one’s faith and works. But, because God delivered reassurance when He resurrected Jesus from the dead and rose Him up on the third day, those who believe will also be raised from the dead.
“32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” (Acts 17:32-34)
Perhaps because they were intellectuals, Paul’s harvest at the Areopagus was limited to only a few believers, although among those who were born again of faith in the risen Christ, one of them was Dionysius, a noble man and city judge. Though no church was established in the pagan city on this occasion, Paul would return to Athens at a later time and then, God’s plan was revealed as more fruitful. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre