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  • Writer's pictureDanny Domingo

PAUL IN ATHENS


Paul left Berea and went to Athens because the people in Thessalonica went to Berea to cause trouble against him. Athens was considered the center of the Greek empire. This is where Socrates, Plato, and other ancient philosophers came from. They had the temple of the Olympian Zeus, the temple of the goddess Athena (Parthenon), and the Acropolis, which contains several ancient buildings with great architecture. When Paul arrived in Athens, he noticed all the gods that the people worshipped. He even saw an altar with the inscription: To an unknown God. While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him in Athens, he went to the synagogue with Jews and God-fearing Greeks to reason with them. He also went to the marketplace daily to reason with people.


While Paul was at the marketplace, a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Epicurean philosophy believed that the pleasures of life were the ultimate goal and the pleasures of life were the absence of pain and fear. Stoic philosophy believed that the key to happiness is practicing moral virtue and living according to nature. Moral virtue is about living a good life and being kind to others. Paul was preaching to them the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Paul realized that these philosophers did not have an answer to the problem of sin. They could talk about happiness in life on this earth, but without salvation to sin, they would still perish in hell after death. Paul was then invited to speak at the meeting of the Areopagus to hear more about Jesus. Areopagus was a pavilion where people hangout to listen to new philosophies and ideas. (Acts 17:16-21). (Second Missionary Journey Map).


The ultimate problem of humankind is sin. Suffering in this world exists because of sin. No matter how people look for happiness in life, without having faith in the Lord Jesus, people will always be disappointed. Only Jesus can bring true happiness and joy to our life. Jesus came to save us from sin so we could have a new and abundant life in Him.


Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) What can I do to have true happiness and joy in my life? Why is Jesus the only one who can give me true happiness? What is the ultimate problem of humankind?


Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.


Prayer:

Father in Heaven, thank you for opening my spiritual eyes to understand and believe that you are the source of happiness and joy. The philosophies of humankind do not have an answer to sin. However, you sent Jesus as the solution to my sin. Thank you Jesus for coming into this world to show us the way to our Heavenly Father and paying the penalty of our sins with your life. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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