God 's Plan For Paul Essay

God 's Plan For Paul Essay

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The Lord had completed an entire 180 on the Apostle Paul. He used to persecute the church, and looked on in approval when Christians were persecuted. Then, God opened his eyes and revealed the truth of Christ to him. He took Paul’s education and gift of rhetoric for the advancement of His church. Part of God’s plan for Paul was Paul’s stay in Athens, a city of intellectualism and paganism. Here, Paul was “greatly distressed” by the number of idols around him. He tried to reason with the locals, to show them the same Truth that had been revealed to him. Some Epicureans and Stoics heard him, and did not understand. So, they brought him to a “meeting of the Areopagus,” so they could hear about this new teaching. Paul took this opportunity to communicate the gospel.
The Epicureans
The point of life to the Epicureans is the absence of bodily pain and mental anxiety; it is to experience pleasure. To achieve this pleasure, one must both reduce their own needs and withdraw from public life and competition. They must “live hidden.” Then, they must obtain friendship, which is the most important human utility to the Epicureans, and of upmost important to obtain. These are the ways in which one gains earthly security, and freedom from troubles (Diano)
The Epicureans do not believe that the human soul perishes with the body. Therefore, there cannot be any afterlife. Unfortunately, the afterlife in Christ seems to be the fulfillment of their desires. They seek the absence of worry, pain, competition, and the gaining of pleasure, which sounds a lot like heaven as described in Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the for...

... middle of paper ...

...phical system in one.
Paul’s Approach
Paul stood before Areopagus and started his sermon. He first appeals to their culture and existing belief system. He says, “I see that in every way you are very religious,” (17:23), and that that he found their alter to an unknown God, and he says he knows who that God is! This is the perfect lead-in to “recommending God.” So, Paul then tells the Athenians who God is by defining God’s nature and His plan. God is Lord, and reigns supreme over all other Gods (17:24). God is not served by human hands cannot be manipulated like the Grecian gods (17:25).
The presence of a statue to an unknown God seems to indicate some kind of inadequacy in the Athenian belief system. There was some kind of hole that remained to be filled, and so they filled it with the statue of an unknown God. So now Paul can recommend Christ as fully sufficient

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