Paul’s Mars Hill Sermon


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Acts 17: 16-34

Paul at Athens

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. 17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. 18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were [a]conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this [b]idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him [c]to the [d]Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is [e]which you are proclaiming? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.” 21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Sermon on Mars Hill

22 So Paul stood in the midst of the [f]Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one manevery nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and [g]exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all peopleeverywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge [h]the world in righteousness [i]through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men [j]by raising Him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you [k]again concerning this.” 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.


Discussion Questions

August 25th, 2019

1. In this lovely passage of Scripture we learn both of the STYLE and CONTENT of the Apostle Paul's ministry in Athens, Greece, and his sermon on Mars Hill (or, the Aeropagus). As for STYLE, verse 17 references his "reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present." Later, when taken to Mars Hill, he preached his sermon, shown in verses 22-31. WHAT DID PAUL DO DIFFERENTLY IN HIS APPROACH, OR STYLE, IN SPEAKING IN THESE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS (THE SYNAGOGUE, MARKET PLACE, AND MARS HILL)? WHY? HOW CAN YOU VARY YOUR APPROACHES IN SHARING THE GOSPEL TODAY (THINK OF SPECIFIC PEOPLE WHO NEED THE GOSPEL)?

2. Note that Paul's CONTENT in his messages was the SAME--WHAT WAS IT? Hint: see verses 18 and 31. COMPARE WITH ROMANS 10:9- 10. WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A GOSPEL PRESENTATION TODAY?

3. Verses 32-34 show that there were mixed responses to Paul's teaching and preaching. THINK OF PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO HAVE RESPONDED TO THE GOSPEL AND THOSE WHO HAVE NOT. PRAY FOR THEM BY NAME.