Understanding Common Grace (Acts 14:12-18)
Scripture: Acts 14:12-18
When God did a mighty miracle in Lystra, the pagan priest of Zeus wanted to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas who responded by tearing their robes in disgust. We describe the nature of polytheism in the Roman empire and why the local religion of various deities is incompatible with Biblical theism. A key issue that Paul brings us to these pagans is that God is the Creator of all things. The class discusses the nature of the transcendent Creator as opposed to imagined deities who have many contingencies. Pagan priests abuse those under them and we lament the error of people making false priests in the name of Christianity. We believe in Christ as the one High Priest and the priesthood of every believer. Though polytheism of the exact type Paul and Barnabas confronted is not common in America, panentheism is. Panentheism also lacks a transcendent Creator whose created the world out of nothing and will bring judgment in the end. We need to address the beliefs of the pagans around us with the gospel just as Paul did in Lystra. We also discuss Paul’s use of “turn” in a way that is synonymous with “repent” in Luke/Acts. The preaching of repentance is properly part of gospel preaching.
Class handout and slides available under Downloads tab.