Saturday, May 26, 2012

Acts 17:29-31

Summary retelling of Acts 17:29-31

Paul goes on to challenge the Athenians a little more.  He says that God is not like anything we can make – whether out of precious metals, stone, or wood.  Nothing our hands can make can come close to being like God.  Then Paul begins to talk about repentance and judgment.  Paul is absolutely clear that there will be a day when God will judge the world through Jesus Christ.  We have proof of this because He raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Nothing our hands can make can represent God.  Yet we wear crosses, crucifixes, and Christian T-shirts all the time.  We hang religious art on our walls.  It raises the question about those things being idols – which is really what that line of his speech is about.  The 10 Commandments tell us not to have idols.  An idol is something worshipped.  To worship something means to devote your life (or a portion therein) to its pursuit.  So the question becomes …

How do I know I’ve begun to worship something?  How do I know when I’ve crossed the line between wearing a cross because it reminds me to be faithful to God and worshipping the cross because it makes me feel holy?  Is there anything wrong with having things that remind us to worship the true God?  If so, how do we keep ourselves from eventually worshipping the item?

Second Thought:
God was willing to overlook people’s rejection of Him before Christ came because they had no true example of God.  {By overlook, don’t read “to not hold accountable.”  Overlook there simply means to be willing to forgive – the accountability for trespassing still remains.}  But now that Christ has come and given a real life example of God, God is far less willing.  We know about Jesus Christ.  We know about godly living.  We know what true love looks like.  If we know where to see true love and choose not to look there and let it consume us (See Galatians 2:19-20), we have no excuse and God has every right to judge us and hold us accountable.  Kudos to Paul for telling it like it is and not worrying about what people will think of him for talking about judgment.

Do you look to Christ and really let Him be in charge of your life?  Do you talk to others about the need for them to do the same?   Do you talk at all about the consequences of not telling people what will happen if they don’t follow Christ?

Third Thought:
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead into an eternal body.  Nobody else in the scope of humanity has had that done to them.  Sure, there are even examples in our Bible about people being raised from the dead, but they are raised simply into a temporal body.  Only Jesus Christ has been raise incorruptible.  It is only Him to whom we should look for salvation.  It is to Him that we should look for righteousness.  He is the only one who has been raised incorruptible.  This is why we believe and confess “Sola Christus” (Christ alone).

What does it mean to you to know that Jesus was the only one raised from the dead into an eternal body?  Is that a concept worth giving up the rest of your life in order for you to pursue what Christ offers?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 17:32-35

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