Paul Addresses the Areopagus (Part 2)
29 Being then
God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because
he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard
of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from 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.
In today’s reading, Paul continues to reason with the Athenians and what he is teaching them ties into the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before
me.” This is found in the Book of Exodus.
Exodus 20:3–6 (ESV)
3 “You shall have no other gods
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall
not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and
keep my commandments.
Paul is summarizing the First Commandment. What does Martin Luther say about this Commandment? You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.
In this day, there are so many distractions that can squeeze out God or become a god. The
Athenians subscribed to a belief that they believed in many gods so that they are covered. Different gods controlled different things. As a Christian, we believe in only one God (the Triune God). The Post Modern world we live in today subscribes
to the belief that there are many paths to heaven, find the (g)od that you like and belief and you will go to heaven. Paul knows that there is only one path to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus states in John 14:6 (ESV):
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
I pray: O Lord, Help us to reach out to all who do not believe or are misguided.
We live in a twisted world with twisted ideas about God. Help us to teach that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.