Faithlife Sermons

Truth & Love

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When I was twelve, my best friend got glasses for the first time. For the first time he saw the tops of trees. For the first time he saw street lights. The world didn’t change - the way that he saw it did.
As Paul took the message of Christ to the people of Athens, he sought to change the way that they saw their own world. His speech on the areopagus is acknowledged as one of the greatest pieces of cross-cultural ommunication in history.

Key speeches in Acts

Around 1/3-1/2 of the book of Acts consists of speeches
Jesus, Peter, Stephen, Paul
Mark turning points in the story of the early church.
In this place, Paul has come right to the heart of the aTruth & Lovencient view of the world - Athens

Paul in the market place of ideas

The Areopagus was the market square in Athens at the foot of the Acropolis where thinkers and philosophers would gather to discuss their understanding of the world.
picks up on existing culture - very religious, altar to an unknown god
This is who I’m going to proclaim to you
In living and sharing God’s love, he starts by identifying with what he already sees around him.
Same for us. There are many things in our culture that do not reflect the love of God, but there are also many things that do reflect his love.
As we seek to live and share God’s love in our community, we must start by identifying the points that we have in common. These are the places we can build trust, relationship, affinity and love.
First question:

What values do you see in our culture that are in harmony with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Kindness
Caring for one another
self-giving
dis-ease with injustice.
Beginning from these points of connection Paul goes on to open up what he has learned of the Truth of God’s love for us and the world

What are the idols in our culture that are leading people astray?

deficit mentality - there’s not enough to go around
extreme individualism = self-centredness expressed in wanting everything just the way I want it.
If it doesn’t go my way, then there must be someone out to get me.
the belief that the world revolves around me. - there is a humility that comes from acknowledging that this is God’s world, not mine.
Paul doesn’t just point out what is wrong, but points people toward the truth

What is the Truth we have to offer the world in this day and age?

We are not in this on our own.
There is hope.
The brokenness can be made whole - even the brokenness of the world. Even our own brokenness
The is what Jesus did on the cross. This is what changed when he rose again. This is what he offers us from the right hand of the Father.
The final lesson we can learn - not everyone will see what we have been shown. Don’t beat yourself up - leave it to Jesus. Continue to share and grow with those who seek more of what we have to offer.
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