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Acts 17 v 10 - 34

The journey continues to Berea and again there were large numbers of people converted to Christianity and involving all strata of society: slaves were being saved, but so were members of the middle class and aristocracy. Astounding response and we can note the efficacy of Paul's preaching: Firstly, it had a fully scriptural basis and secondly, he continued to courageously preach in the synagogues, even though he knew that the Jews wanted to kill him. Members of his group dispatched Paul to Athens when things became too difficult and for a while he was alone in that great city, a city of many gods. The Athenians loved to discuss philosophy and theology in public and Paul loved to speak in public, so there was a meeting of minds. There were the Epicureans who believed that everything happened by chance and that the gods didn't care and were remote and then there were the Stoics who believed that everything was God and that everything that happened was the will of God. These groups took Paul to the Areopagus-Mars Hill-and a court of around thirty members listened to Paul's statement of faith, which consisted in summary of: 1. God is not what is made, but the Maker. 2. God has guided history. 3. God has made people in such a way that instinctively they reach out for Him. 4. In Christ the full blaze of the knowledge of God has come, there is no excuse for ignorance. 5. The day of judgement is coming, life is a journey towards God's judgement seat. 6. Christ's resurrection is the proof of His pre-eminence over all things: He is no unknown God! Interestingly, it appears that Paul had less success in Athens than anywhere else. This was a city full of talkers not doers! Anyway, some mocked Paul, others put off any decision and some believed, amongst them two named people-Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus and Damaris, a notable woman.

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