Sermon: Tuesday 26th May

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Preached on 26th May 2020
by Dr Alistair MacDonald

Acts 17:15-34

15The men who were taking Paul went with him as far as Athens and then returned to Berea with instructions from Paul that Silas and Timothy should join him as soon as possible.

In Athens

16While Paul was waiting in Athens for Silas and Timothy, he was greatly upset when he noticed how full of idols the city was. 17So he held discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentiles who worshipped God, and also in the public square every day with the people who happened to pass by. 18Certain Epicurean and Stoic teachers also debated with him. Some of them asked, “What is this ignorant show-off trying to say?”

Others answered, “He seems to be talking about foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching about Jesus and the resurrection. 19So they took Paul, brought him before the city council, the Areopagus, and said, “We would like to know what this new teaching is that you are talking about. 20Some of the things we hear you say sound strange to us, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21(For all the citizens of Athens and the foreigners who lived there liked to spend all their time telling and hearing the latest new thing.)

22Paul stood up in front of the city council and said, “I see that in every way you Athenians are very religious. 23For as I walked through your city and looked at the places where you worship, I found an altar on which is written, ‘To an Unknown God’. That which you worship, then, even though you do not know it, is what I now proclaim to you. 24God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples made by human hands. 25Nor does he need anything that we can supply by working for him, since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything else to everyone. 26From one human being he created all races on earth and made them live throughout the whole earth. He himself fixed beforehand the exact times and the limits of the places where they would live. 27He did this so that they would look for him, and perhaps find him as they felt about for him. Yet God is actually not far from any one of us; 28as someone has said,

‘In him we live and move and exist.’

It is as some of your poets have said,

‘We too are his children.’

29Since we are God's children, we should not suppose that his nature is anything like an image of gold or silver or stone, shaped by human art and skill. 30God has overlooked the times when people did not know him, but now he commands all of them everywhere to turn away from their evil ways. 31For he has fixed a day in which he will judge the whole world with justice by means of a man he has chosen. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising that man from death!”

32When they heard Paul speak about a raising from death, some of them made fun of him, but others said, “We want to hear you speak about this again.” 33And so Paul left the meeting. 34Some men joined him and believed, among whom was Dionysius, a member of the council; there was also a woman named Damaris, and some other people.

 

Singing the Faith 111 (unable to use due to copyright)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp54EavRrw4

 

Psalm 48:1-8

Zion, the City of God

1The LORD is great and is to be highly praised

in the city of our God, on his sacred hill.

2Zion, the mountain of God, is high and beautiful;

the city of the great king brings joy to all the world.

3God has shown that there is safety with him

inside the fortresses of the city.

4The kings gathered together

and came to attack Mount Zion.

5But when they saw it, they were amazed;

they were afraid and ran away.

6There they were seized with fear and anguish,

like a woman about to bear a child,

7like ships tossing in a furious storm.

8We have heard what God has done,

and now we have seen it

in the city of our God, the LORD Almighty;

he will keep the city safe for ever.

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/bible-search/search:psalm+48/versions:GNB/

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