This is our God!
Acts 17: 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.”
Paul’s gospel presentation commences with saying the unknown God they worship is the God he worships. His beliefs have some similarity to theirs, there are obvious differences, but he builds bridges and doesn’t alienate. Their unknown God is THE creator God, THE sustaining God, THE ruling God and now through the use of the lyrics of their historical poets Paul announces that this is THE God who is the father of all. Brilliant! It doesn’t get any better than this, well, it does actually, but that’s for the next few days for us to discover!
This is not necessarily a model for evangelism but may God grant us the ability to know more of the beliefs and the culture of those around us before we begin to speak our evangelistic mantra.
I love to see my friend share his faith with Muslims. He knows the Koran very well indeed. As he shares Christ I often hear him say something like this, “It says in the Koran …” My friend has planted over 100 churches in difficult countries and led thousands to Christ and he has done it through not only the knowledge of the Bible but the important knowledge of the Koran and the Islamic culture.
So what does Paul say? He says this, “All of us receive our life from him and it is ludicrous to think of him as some statue. This unknown God of yours shows you do not know everything. What you do not know is who I present to you now. This is our God.” Paul has found a way to connect their unknown god altar and statue to the divine being God. He is yet to connect God with what he has been preaching and why he is indeed standing in front of the Areopagus, that is, Jesus and his resurrection (v18). He is nearly there, the finale is coming. We are in this crescendo of a presentation. It is exciting and thrilling and may God grant us wisdom to learn from him.