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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 17:16-31

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"KNOWING THE UNKNOWN GOD"
Intro: Paul while in Athens seeing this city given over to idolatry, was provoked in his spirit. He began street witnessing, some of the philosophers upon hearing him invited him to Mars Hill. I perceive you are very religious.
I. ALTAR TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
A. What was indicated by all the idols?
1. Man has the capacity to worship God.
2. Man's worship had become debased.
a. An idol indicates the loss of consciousness of God's presence.
b. Somehow reaching out for that which is lost.
B. Why an altar to the unknown God?
1. There was the consciousness that there was a God beyond them.
C. They were worshipping Him in ignorance.
1. So many doing the same today.
2. Will God accept ignorant worship?
a. There was a time when God closed His eye to ignorance.
b. There may be primitive societies today.
c. God's word for you in this enlightened age is to repent..
D. This is the God I want to declare to you.
II. WHO IS THE UNKNOWN GOD?
A. The creator of all things.
1. He is the first cause.
2. Answer to question of their philosophy "Where did it all start?"
B. Lord of heaven and earth.
1. Ruler over His creation.
a. Some of His creatures have rebelled.
b. He allows this to be.
c. The fruit of their rebellion is the evil we see in world today.
d. He could stamp out this rebellion any time and shall soon.
2. He dwells not in temples made with hands.
a. Nor is He worshipped with the works of man's hands.
1. How many people today are worshipping created things.
2. Their lives becoming totally involved in the pursuit of physical possessions.
C. He needs nothing (self sufficient).
1. This attracted stoic philosophies (Zeno).
2. God doesn't need me.
a. My worship.
b. My acknowledgment.
c. My money.
d. He does want me. Why I don't know.
e. He does allow me to invest with double dividends.
D. He is the sustainer of all life.
1. He has given you life, breath, all things.
2. "The very God in whose hands thy breath is."
3. He has established all the limits and determined the courses of men.
a. Things don't happen to you by accident.
b. The graces and the pains are sent as God's messengers to you. Why? That we might seek the Lord and find Him.
E. "He is not far from us."
1. "In Him we live and move and have our being."
a. I am bounded by Him at all sides.
b. I cannot escape Him.
III. HOW CAN I KNOW THE UNKNOWN GOD?
A. Through His Son Jesus Christ.
1. He came to reveal the Father.
2. He came to make a way to the Father.
B. God has commanded us to repent.
1. Turn around.
2. Not to worship works of hands any longer.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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