Loving the Lord with Our Minds — The Apostle Paul in Acts 17 (Part 3)

23 Jan

As we prepare our messages for Emmaus Bible College’s “Christian MInistry screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-5-57-12-amSeminars” for February 6-7, we see Paul here in Acts 17 using his mind to reach his audience with the gospel.  Our text is Acts 17:19-34.  We’ve already noticed that he was “greatly distressed” to see the city “full of idols.”

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-6-30-46-amWe next notice that Paul engaged in reasoning with the groups that were there.  He does not merely proclaim the gospel (fideism), but reasons with them.

Please notice that he is skilled at reasoning with five groups:  (1) the Jews; (2) the God-fearing Greeks; (3) the intellectual loiterers of the day; (4) the Epicurean philosophers; and (5) the Stoic philosophers.  The Jews and the God-fearing Greeks were, no doubt, part of Paul’s own background.  But what about the intellectual loiterers?  Several questions occur to me in considering this third group:
1. Are we present in the “marketplace” to make connections with those kind of thinkers?

2. What about our “day by day”?  Paul consistently was there.

3. “those who happened to be there” — God sovereignly allows people to be at places where believers can engage them with the gospel.  We don’t need to set up formal appointments, but simply BE THERE!

Many of us know the great quote from missionary-martyr Jim Elliot.  He said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  There’s another Jim Elliot quote I love:  “Wherever you are, be all there.  Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

1 Comment

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Acts 17


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One response to “Loving the Lord with Our Minds — The Apostle Paul in Acts 17 (Part 3)

  1. Erwin

    January 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I just have listened to a recommendable sermon by John Stott on the passage. He has structured the text based on a fourfold reaction of Paul as he encountered all those idols: a) What Paul saw in Athens. b) What he felt. c) What he did. d) What he said.

    Here’s the resource I found on the Proclamation Trust website –


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