The Cross - what we understand today (Acts 17:16-33)

Stephen Seamer, Monday, September 19, 2011
Part of the The CROSS series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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Acts 17:16-33, NLT

Paul Preaches in Athens

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.

18He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”

19Then they took him to the high council of the city.*17:19 Or the most learned society of philosophers in the city. Greek reads the Areopagus. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)

22So Paul, standing before the council,*17:22 Traditionally rendered standing in the middle of Mars Hill; Greek reads standing in the middle of the Areopagus. addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

24“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26From one man*17:26 Greek From one; other manuscripts read From one blood. he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

27“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your*17:28 Some manuscripts read our. own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.

30“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

32When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33That ended Paul’s discussion with them,

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