Key Passage: Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation.”
Big Picture Question: Who deserves our worship? Only God deserves our worship.
Christ Connection: Paul taught the people in Athens about the one true God. He told them that Jesus died on the cross and is alive! People can know God because Jesus brings us into God’s family.
In today’s Bible story, Paul and Silas traveled to Thessalonica and began preaching in the synagogue about Jesus. Some became believers, but others wanted to attack them. Paul and Silas escaped and went to Berea. The Jews in Berea studied the Scriptures to make sure Paul was telling the truth. Many of them believed! But when the Jews in Thessalonica heard what was happening in Berea, they hurried there and caused trouble. So Paul and Silas went to Athens.
The city of Athens was a cultural center. People in Athens loved to hear about and study the latest ideas. Paul spoke with the Jews and the philosophers in the city. Athens was also full of idols to every kind of god. There was even an altar to an unknown god.
Paul began preaching, telling the people that they worshiped a god they did not know. But people can know the Lord God! The one true God made the world and everything in it! God was not like their idols. “We ought not to think that God is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man,” Paul said. Paul told the people that God wanted them to turn away from their sins. Then Paul told them about Jesus and how He was raised from the dead. Some people made fun of Paul, but others believed.
From Athens, Paul went to Corinth. He tried to persuade the Jews in the synagogue that Jesus is the Christ, but they would not listen. Paul spoke to the Gentiles, and many of them believed and were baptized. God continued working through Paul.
The men of Athens worshiped many false gods. Paul explained to them God’s plan of salvation. He said that only God should be worshiped. Paul talked about Jesus and the resurrection. People can know God because Jesus took the punishment for sin that separates people from God. Only the Lord—the one true God—deserves our worship.
Family Activity: Read to your kids Paul’s description of the one true God in Acts 17:24-31. Invite your family members to think of someone at school or in the community who might believe something different about God, or who might believe that there is no God. Set aside time this week to pray for the opportunity to share with that person the good news about Jesus.