19th July 2020

Where’s Your Areopagus? 

“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.”
Acts 17:22-23 (ESV)

It’s fascinating how Christians engage with non-Christians in dialogue about the gospel. So often we fall into one of two ditches. We can accost people with tracts or abruptly tell them about Jesus even when they are not asking; or we can believe ourselves to be a “silent witness” and never share the reason for our hope even in our closest relationships. Both sides are mistaken; both ditches are easy to fall into.

Notice Paul at work. Here he spoke to them at the Areopagus, which was the venue for discussing legal and religious matters. Here people discussed philosophy and other world views. He went there and at the time when these matters were discussed. He didn’t randomly accost people on the street.

This is the beginning of one of Paul’s most famous speeches. He addresses the people of Athens who were constantly hearing new philosophies that came their way. First, he approaches them with respect for their way of life and worth as seekers. Then the conversation takes a turn: “Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man” (Acts 17:29).

Paul speaks the truth with pointed clarity and then let’s them react as they will. Some mock him, some want to discuss it further, and some fully convert. He doesn’t drive the point into the ground; he doesn’t remain silent. He says what he needs to and lets God take over.

Where is your Areopagus? Where can you approach those who haven’t heard the gospel, and speak the truth boldly, yet with respect and love? Then when you’ve said your piece, do you let God do the work from there? 

Prayer
Holy Father, your Gospel message is what everyone needs to hear. But not everyone wants to hear. May we be your means to bring Jesus to their attention. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Presented by Greg Williams

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About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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