Book of Acts 17 (Part 2)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to discuss the work and ministry at Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens.

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Body:
Read Acts 17:10-15
5. The Work At Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens - continued.
From Thessalonica, Paul and Silas journeyed to Berea. We see in this section of the book of Acts that the people in Berea were known for being nobler.

However, the Jews from Thessalonica came and caused troubled. Silas and Timothy were left behind in Berea, while Paul was escorted to Athens.

Applications –
- Attentive and helpful assistants.
Notice in vs. 10 of the book of Acts that there were some attentive and helpful brothers around Paul and Silas. First, there are too many people who just really don’t pay attention to what is going on.

This is true in the church, our families, and community. The devil is doing all kinds of little tricky things, and too many people are sleeping and overlooking what is going on.

And then second, too many are not helpful. Seeing the problem and even describing the problem is not the same as solving the problem. Especially leaders need people around them who are attentive and helpful.

We should remember that just as when the devil distracts or destroys the pilot, all who are on the airplane are subject to be destroyed as well, when the distracts or destroys those God is using to lead us, we are all subject to be destroyed.

This true in our churches, families, and everywhere God sends humans to lead His people. Let’s work on being attentive and helpful like those in the text.

- The people of Berea. Notice in vs. 11 of this section of the book of Acts that the people of Berea set a great example. They were known for noble character, listening, comparing what they heard with the Scriptures, and believing.

First, no matter how many rules are made, people of low character will find ways to do wrong. Those of noble character will do right, with or without rules. Second, there are too many who don’t listen. They assume they know what the other person will say.

Or they don’t care what the other person will say. And if they do listen, too many don’t compare what is said with the Bible. The lack of comparison may be because of ignorance of the Bible, or it may be because the Bible is not viewed as authoritative truth.

Third, too many never come to the point of believing. Some are always studying but never coming to the truth and surely never coming to sustained obedience. Truly believing is made evident by our behavior, not simply our confession of faith.

Let’s work on being more like the people of Berea – noble character, listening to and comparing what is being said to the Bible, and believing the teachings of God.

- Strength for the devil. Notice in vs. 13 of this section of the book of Acts that the devil is so persistent. He has a reputation of using religious people to cause agitation and trouble in the work that God is trying to accomplish.

First, the need for our daily dedication should be obvious. The fact that we won a battle yesterday doesn’t mean that the devil will not be back today.

Second, we should keep the devil from using us to be the agitator and from being agitated. Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples will help in this area. Let’s work on being strong enough to keep the devil from using us.

- Teamwork. Notice in vs. 15 of this section of the book of Acts how team work is so important. There was the leaving of Silas and Timothy, while Paul was escorted to Athens. And then there was the sending of men with a message for Silas and Timothy to meet up with Paul.

It too many cases, when the leader is gone, there is a drop in the amount of work getting done. However, disciples of Christ are called to love God so much that they give their best with or without human supervision.

The need for people who can serve as unnamed escorts and who can simply go and say what they are told to say is extremely important. In too many cases, pride and passive rebellion prevent those in the church from being sendable.

When all parts of the team work together, we can do great things. However, the more divided we are, the more subject we are to failure. Let’s work on teamwork. This application is helpful in church, our families, on our jobs, and in our communities.

Read Acts 17:16-21
Continued.
In this section of the book of Acts Paul continued to talk about Jesus in the synagogues. Religious leaders brought him to the Areopagus (i.e., ar-e-op’-a-guss).

Applications –
- The spiritual condition of our city.
Notice in vs. 16 of this section of the book of Acts that Paul was distressed by the spiritual condition of those in the city. There are too many church goers who are not distressed by the spiritual condition of those in the city or community that they find themselves in.

The drug seller’s, prostitute’s, burglar’s, and thug’s greatest problem is that without Jesus, they are on their way to Hell. If they were saved, so many of their bad behaviors would be changed.

And on the other side of the coin, no matter how manicured our neighbor’s lawn may be, no matter how valuable our houses may have become, and no matter how neighborly those around us may be, they are on their way to same burning Hell, if they have not accepted Jesus as their savior by faith.

Let’s be sensitive to the spiritual condition of those around us. We must fight the temptation to compartmentalize our spiritual sensitivity. If our city is doing well economically but doing poorly in relation to spirituality then our city is still in grave and distressing trouble.



- Ministering in church and the market place. Notice in vs. 17 of this section of the book of Acts that Paul ministered to those in the synagogue and market place. There is a tremendous need for people who can minister to those in the religious setting and those in the market place.

Some are too Heavenly minded to relate to those in the market place. And some are too unprepared and polished for the religious setting. Paul sets an example of becoming all things to all people that he might be used of God to save some.

Let’s work on being prepared to minister in the church and the world. Prayerful study with a mind to obey and the support of other believers will help us in this area.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.

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