“Hope Givers” - Acts 17:16-34
Paul entered Athens to share the hope of the gospel and was greatly disturbed by all of the idols he saw – Acts 17:16 – While Paul was waiting for them in Athens…..
Paul prepared his heart and mind to be a hope-giver.
1. Hope-givers actively prepare as they wait
Seeds are isolated and not visible, but they actively grow and deepen roots.
2. Hope-Givers refocus their minds on Christ
The culture of Athens had much to distract from the truth. Acts 17:17-21
Epicureans – lived on the feeling level (pursing pleasure and comfort - Like Chris Farley who lived to party).
Stoics – lived on the thinking level – (pursuing logic, knowledge, rationalism – like Mr. Spock).
Both worldviews rejected dependence on God. They loved to learn and debate any new ideas. Paul offered them the good news.
“What consumes our mind, controls our life.”
“The quality of our lives will never exceed the quality of our thoughts.”
3. Hope-givers Share the Good News of Jesus Christ
- Appeal to their Interests – 17:22-23
- Appeal to their Creator – Acts 17:24-25, Rom 1:19-20
- Appeal to their need for Purpose -Acts 17:25-28
- Appeal to their Conscience – Acts 17:29
How did Paul use the Law of God to appeal to their consciences? See Rom 2:15
The end goal was to lead them to repentance –away from sin and to Christ. Acts 17:18
- Appeal to their longing for Justice - Acts 17:31
Some rejected this gift while others accepted it - 17:33
Q: How can we be more effective hope-givers this next week?