Faithlife
Faithlife

Acts 17:22-34

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Notes & Transcripts

Intro

Give each student a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. Guide them to write on their sheet one thing each about THREE different people in the group whom they don’t know. In order to do so, they will have to discuss and ask each other questions. After giving students a couple of minutes to finish their lists, ask each person to share something they learned about another student. After they have shared, point out that we all have different interests, abilities, and experiences. Paying attention to what makes each of us different is important. Paying close attention to what makes other people unique often leads to opportunities to serve them or show them that you care. It may sound like a small thing but if you know that a friend plays in the band then you can ask them how their competition went, or if you notice that someone is really into video games, you can ask them what their favorite game is. When we do this, we communicate we care. Simply paying attention might eventually lead to an opportunity to share the gospel. It did for Paul. Christ calls us to meet people where they are and share the hope of the resurrection with them.

Head

What characters are in the passage?

Paul
Areapagites
People of Athens
God
Jesus
“Unknown God”
Dionysius
Damaris
Others who were saved
“One man” - Adam

Setting

Where: Athens, a city, not a small town. Lots of people and industry and culture there. Lots of barriers to the Kingdom
When: In the middle of Paul’s missionary journey. After Jesus rose form the dead and ascended into heaven. New Testament times.

Retell the story as a group.

“men of Athens” is a respectful address
Even in the language he uses, Paul communicates on their level. He uses Greek grammar that is not common in koine greek.
When he calls them religious, he is not saying they are God-fearers. He is saying that they are zealous about their gods.
Two areas of thought and belief
Epicureans who believed that pleasure was the highest goal. Also did not believe in any kind of resurrection Sound familiar?
Stoics who believed that God was in everything. Believed in the soul living after death, but not the body.
Paul quoted 2 greek poets who were referring to Zeus but he REAPPLIED them to God.
Resurrection of the dead was a hot topic that was polarizing in Greek society. That is why some scoffed and left while others stayed and listened.
Two came to faith in Jesus.

What does this scripture say about God?

He is the Creator of everything
He can’t be formed by silver, gold, rock, or human thought
He calls everyone to repent (turn around) from their sin and Jesus whom he raised from the dead.

What does this scripture say about Jesus?

God raised Him from the dead
The world will be judged by His perfect righteousness
God’s stamp of approval on Jesus is the resurrection, the empty tomb

What does this scripture say about Mankind?

Mankind can worship the wrong thing
Mankind needs to repent from sin and turn to God before the judgement day
Mankind can be easily turned from the truth

Heart

What were the characters experiencing or feeling?

Paul
Love for the people and hatred for the false religion
Areopagites
Some put their faith in Jesus
Some left and never came back because they thought Paul was ridiculous
They probably felt connected to what Paul was saying until he brought up repentance and resurrection.
Some were curious

What do you feel when you read this passage? (Consider your own attitudes or heart toward this passage.)

Sadness for those who wouldn’t believe
Intrigue for what Paul has done here by using Greek thought to tell the Areopagus about Jesus

Hands

Are there any commands to follow?

Repent and believe

What is the scripture asking us to live/practice in our daily lives?

.12 COMPARE AND CONTRAST OUR CULTURE WITH THAT OF ATHENS. HOW MIGHT A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF OUR CULTURE AID OUR MISSION EFFORTS?
.12 COMPARE AND CONTRAST OUR CULTURE WITH THAT OF ATHENS. HOW MIGHT A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF OUR CULTURE AID OUR MISSION EFFORTS?
.13 PAUL USED GREEK POETRY AS A POINT OF CONTACT WITH THE PEOPLE IN ATHENS. WHAT ARE SOME MORE SPECIFIC CONNECTIONS YOU CAN MAKE WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY WHO NEED TO HEAR THE GOSPEL?
.11 WHY MIGHT IT BE HELPFUL TO REMEMBER THAT OUR JOB IS NOT TO FORCE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE BUT MERELY TO SHARE THE GOSPEL?
.14 WHAT IS YOUR CHURCH DOING TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO YOUR COMMUNITY? TO THE NATIONS? HOW CAN YOU BE A PART?
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