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Paul’s Message on “Mars’ Hill” (Part 1)

Acts 17:15-18


We want to focus on what happened before the message.  Paul was ran out of town from Berea, and the disciples escorted him to Athens.  Paul used Greek poets to introduce God as the creator of the world.  They lose interest when he mentions Jesus and the resurrection.


  1. Delaying before the Message (v.15-16)

  • Paul did not go directly into the synagogue.  He waited around and as he waited, he began to see things that bothered him.  He saw a city that was engulfed in idolatry.

  1. Disputing before the Message (v.17)

  • He began to talk about the things he didn’t think was right.

  • When you start disputing things, you open yourself up to criticism.

  • Paul’s mission appointed him to a place and time where he could preach Jesus.

  1. Discrediting before the Message (v.18b)

  • Scholars started to encounter Paul and challenge what he said.

  • The Epicureans and Stoicks were the most powerful people at that time. 

  • Stoicks believed they could find happiness by relying on their inner self.  They believed that God exist in everything and everyone. 

  • God IS everything and IS everyone.  In order for us to receive Him, we have to allow God to come in us.

  • Epicureans were atheist.  They’re doctrine was that humans should live by maximizing your pleasure.

  • They ridiculed the teachings of Paul.  They called him a babbler.  The world hates the Word.  Anytime, you come before the world with the Word, they’ll always try to take you down. 


Acts 17:15-18

15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.


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