St. Paul's sermon has many truths
As recorded in Acts 17, St. Paul in his missionary travels came to Athens, Greece. He was grieved to behold the extent to which the city was given to idol worship and he began to preach unto the crowd.
We read his sermon in Acts 17:24-31. I will quote only through verse 27 though I may refer to some later verses:
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
"and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us."
There is so much theology summarized in Paul's sermon. I will list five truths from the portion I have quoted:
4First: Man cannot create his god; the one true God created man as well as all things.
The Bible opens with Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. This one God is eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Note in Verse 29, Paul refers to the "Godhead." St. John 1:14 introduces Jesus Christ as the eternally existent Son of God who was made flesh and dwelt among us. This Son of God according to John 1:1 was with God and was God.
4Second: The one true God controls all things.
Verse 24 reads that "He is Lord of heaven and earth."
How blessed it is to know that God is in control of all things. Kings and emperors rise and fall but God remains in control.
Our world today appears to be spinning out of control, but God still controls. Every generation faces war and conflict.
A minister friend of mine related recently his great-grandfather served in World War I, his grandfather in World War II, and an uncle lost his life in Vietnam. The history of mankind has been that of continual conflict.
In addition to experiencing war, there has been severe sickness and disaster. In spite of all, we must continue to believe God will in his own way and time see that all turns out right.
4Third: The one true God is omnipresent. He can't be limited to one place.
The Psalmist stated this so beautifully in Psalm 139:7-12:
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thouartthere:
If I make my bed in hell, behold, thouart there.
IfI take the wings of the morning,
Anddwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me,
And thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me;
Even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee;
but the night shineth as the day:
The darkness and the lightareboth aliketo thee.
4Fourth: The one true God isn't limited to one race.
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men" The Bible states clearly that all the human race have descended from the first man and woman created, Adam and Eve.
To state it biblically, there is only one race the human race. In Revelation 5:9, we read of a great multitude rejoicing around the throne in heaven.
This multitude is referred to as the ones who have been redeemed by Christ. They have come from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
4Fifth: Each individual can experience a precious, personal relationship with the one true God through his Son Jesus Christ.
We are told in verse 27 that each one should "seek the Lord.and find him, though he be not far from every one of us."
Jeremiah 29:13 reads, "And ye shall seek me, and findme, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Rev. Jim Davis is pastor of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of Strattanville.