To Know God

Acts 22 – 30

“Philosophy” derived from “Philio” meaning love and “Sophia” meaning knowledge.

There were two primary groups that loved knowledge, but understood it differently. Acts 17: 18

Epicureans believed in luxury and indulgence in sensual pleasure.

Stoics, this Hellenistic school of thought, was started by the philosopher Zeno. They believed the path to happiness is found in basically denying our emotions and feelings. 

They believed God was in everything therefore anything could be worshiped.

Paul observed they were very religious.

In addressing them he observed their condition and began where they were, saying: “I perceive that in all things you are very religious.”

Initially they took this as a compliment, not knowing his view of religion. Religion is a system of works designed to gain the favor of a god. The biblical view of religion is that good works are not the way to God…

Religion can lead one away from God.

Sincerity in religion does not gain the favor of God. A person can be sincerely wrong.

He said he had been “considering the objects of your worship.”

They considered this also to be a compliment, praise for their art.

In reality he was speaking of their idolatry. 

In the Ten Commandments is this restriction:

“You shall have no Gods before Me. You shall not make for yourselves any graven images, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water that is under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them….” Exodus 20: 3 – 5a

I Corinthians 10: 14 instructs us to “flee from idolatry.”

Paul observed a statue intended to insure no god was left out. On it was the inscription: “agnostos theos,” (ag–no-stas, tha-os) meaning “the unknown god.”

Six hundred years before Paul, a terrible plague came to the city and a man named Epimenides had an idea. He let loose a flock of sheep through the town, and wherever they lay down, they sacrificed that sheep to the god that had the nearest shrine or temple. If a sheep lay down near no shrine or temple, they sacrificed the sheep “To the Unknown God.”

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, came to reveal the true God to us, and as the Lamb of God died for our sin and guilt. It is through Him God is made known.

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4: 12