Tuesday, November 3, 2015
“O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me” (John 17:25 KJV).
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).
As Paul the Apostle traveled throughout Gentile lands, it was Father God traveling in and through him. These idolaters were strangers from Israel’s covenants. They had never heard of Jesus Christ or JEHOVAH. But, like all people aware of some “mysterious higher power,” they were religious. Take, for example, the Athenians.
Recorded in Acts chapter 17, Paul noticed their various “devotions” (objects of worship, such as idols and altars). One particular altar’s inscription caught his attention, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” (verse 23). They ignorantly worshiped Him. There was no real knowledge of the one true God, but just in case they had overlooked a deity, they put a shrine for him, too. Paul took advantage of that and said, “Him declare I unto you.” The Creator God would be unknown to them no more. Through Paul, Jesus Christ preached a wonderful Gospel message to these lost and dying heathen (verses 24-31). Many mocked and laughed at Calvary’s finished crosswork, but a few believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and received eternal life (verse 34).
“Paul… saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (verse 16). So religious—so superstitious. So educated—so ignorant. They had their religion and their philosophy, but they had no relationship with the one true God. Note! Neither religion nor philosophy is how we reach the Creator God. We approach Him by way of the Gospel of His Grace. Specifically, He sent Paul to preach Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork to us, that we outside of Israel’s program and covenants could approach Him by simple faith. Writing to the former idolaters not far away from Athens, Paul told the Corinthian believers: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9).
As Jesus Christ made His Heavenly Father known to sinners, as Paul the Apostle made his Heavenly Father known to sinners, may we make our Heavenly Father known to sinners.
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we pray for the peace of Jerusalem?”