Week 2, Day 4
Study the Culture to Reach the Lost
By: Hayley Clements
“And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?’For you bring some strange things to out ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.’”
The first thing to note of Paul’s arrival in Athens is the context of where he had been and what he had been facing. Paul, Silas and Timothy had previously been visiting Thessalonica and Berea where they had faced great opposition from the Jews. So much opposition, Paul had to flee Berea and leave Silas and Timothy behind. Paul arrives in Athens alone, with little church community to welcome him and yet we read...
“his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogues.. And in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.”
There are two main takeaways from this chapter.
Despite how we feel, God’s call for us, supported by His Word, always brings life even in adversity
This means that even in the seasons we feel alone, unsupported, fearful, doubtful, ashamed, or lost, God is calling us to remember what he did (He sent Jesus), why he did it (He loves us and wants to be in relationship with us), so that we have hope (in salvation through Christ now and in the life to come).
2) Despite what man thinks, we can fearlessly share the Good News relentlessly because the Word of God is true and outweighs human philosophy, mysticism or legalism.
This means that we don’t need to fear our “intellectual” neighbor or our new-age co-worker. In fact we should pray to feel love so that our hearts are equally provoked like Paul’s to share about Christ’s resurrection.
Paul KNEW Christ’s hope. What sorts of situations do we experience where we might forget the Good News of the hope we have in Jesus? What was happening to you?
How have you experienced the word bringing you life even in the midst of adversity?
What ways have you seen or experienced the word of God outweighing human philosophy, mysticism and legalism?
What neighbors are we tempted to ignore or become fearful of and how can we be praying for God to give us a heart of love for them.
How can you counter those lies to go freely into the world sharing the Good News of Christs’ love?