What is Church? – Land of many gods: what would Paul see if he walked our streets? – Acts 17:16-34

What is Church? – Land of many gods: what would Paul see if he walked our streets? – Acts 17:16-34

Acts 17:16-34

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was
greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and
the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace
day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A
group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to
dispute 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. 19Then 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? 20You are bringing some strange ideas to
our ears, and we want 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.)
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus
and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way
you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and
looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even
found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.
Now what you worship as something unknown 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 hands. 25And he is not served by human
hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself
gives all men life and breath and everything else.
26From one man he made every nation of men, that
they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined
the times set for them and the exact places
where they should live. 27God did this so that men
would seek him and perhaps reach out 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 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 man’s design and skill. 30In
the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he
commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For 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 all men by raising him from the dead.”
32When they heard about the resurrection of the
dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want
to hear you again on this subject.” 33At that, Paul left
the Council. 34A few men 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.







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