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Scripture Reading:  Acts 17:22-34

 

Bible Question Box:  "The Unknown God"

(February 2005)

 

Intro.

1.  Apostles preached what people needed to hear – not always what they wanted to hear – Acts 17:16-17 (20:20; 2 Tim. 4:2).

2.  Various reactions:  Rejection, mockery, postponement, acceptance.

3.  Acts 17:18-21 – Paul preached Jesus & the resurrection:  Philosophers reacted with ridicule (17:18) & curiosity (17:19-21).

4.  Had to teach them about the true God before they could benefit from Jesus.  (Acts 17:22-34)

 

Question:  "Does God want to make mistakes & how was he created?"

 

1.  No, God does not want to make mistakes & He does not make them – Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Mal. 3:6; Jas. 1:13, 17 (Heb. 13:8).

2.  God was not created, He is eternal – Psa. 90:2; Isa. 57:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 1:4, 8.

3.  Who is God? – Acts 17:22-34

 

I.  GOD IS NOT…

  A.  God is not Unknowable – Acts 17:23-24.

    1.  Proved in two parts:  Nature (17:24-29) & Revelation (17:30-31).

    2.  Nature – Created by God.  Why believe?

      a.  “Nothing comes from nothing” (First cause, Prime Mover) – Rom. 1:19-20.

      b.  “Design demands a designer” – Acts 14:15, 17; Psa. 19:1-2.

      c.  By observing the universe we can knowPresence, power & righteous judgment of God – Psa. 50:6; 97:6.

      d.  Need revelation to know the mind/will of God – 1 Cor. 2:11-12.

    3.  Revelation – Accomplished in Jesus – Heb. 1:1-2; Jn. 1:1-3, 14, 18.

    4.  Can know this revelation – Eph. 3:3-5; 5:17.

  B.  God is not Limited by Men – Acts 17:24-25.

    1.  God is not the creation of men to be served as men decide best – Jer. 10:1-11.

      a.  Acts 17:24 – Lord (Sovereign, Ruler) – Jer. 10:7, 10.

      b.  Acts 17:25-26 – Self-sustaining Sustainer & Giver – Isa. 42:5; 44:15-20.

    2.  Therefore:  God is not limited to…

      a.  Temples built by men – 17:24 – cf. Acts 7:47-50.

      b.  Men’s provisions – 17:25 (cf. Idols – Jer. 10:3-5).

  C.  God is not Far from each of Us – Acts 17:27; Jer. 23:23-24.

    1.  Universal access – Acts 10:34-35.

    2.  Grope for Him…find Him…not far from each one (Christ).

  D.  God is not an Image made by Man – Acts 17:29.

    1.  God cannot be represented by the art & imagination of man – Acts 17:23.

    2.  Thus, don’t try to “make God” into the image you want Him to be!  (Lev. 26:1)  (Jesus – Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3).

 

II.  GOD IS…

  A.  God is our Creator – 17:24-29 (of all things).

    1.  Therefore, He should be honored & obeyed by man (His creation) as He decides (Rom. 1:18-23).

    2.  Philosophers cannot explain how, who & why of this universe – Bible does.

  B.  God is our Savior – 17:30.

    1.  Calls men (sinners) to repent – cf. Psa. 78:37-39.

    2.  2 Cor. 5:18-21 – God sent Christ to save man.

  C.  God is our Judge – 17:31 (cf. Heb. 9:27).

    1.  Divine judgment is assured by resurrection of Jesus – 17:18 (Rom. 1:4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jn. 12:48).

    2.  This is how Paul preached Jesus & the resurrection (17:18).

 

III.  REACTIONS TO THE GOSPEL OF GOD – Acts 17:32-34.

  A.  Some Mocked – 17:32 (cf. Acts 26:8).

  B.  Some Delayed – 17:32 (cf. 17:21; 24:25).

  C.  Some Believed – 17:34 (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26-29).

 

Conclusion

1.  Creation & revelation teach us about the true God.

2.  We can only find the true God through Christ (Jn. 14:6, 9).

3.  Saved from our sins & its punishment when we repent & obey Jesus – Heb. 5:8-9.