Acts 17

After Philippi, they wind up in Thessalonica, where there is some response to the gospel in the synagogue.  This provokes the Jews and the extort money from Jason.  The believers send Paul and Silas on to Berea.  In that synagogue, they are more open-minded and hold the gospel message up to the standard of Scripture, resulting in many believing.  But the Thessalonian Jews send and turn many against them.  So they send Paul on, though Silas and Timothy stay behind.

Paul winds up in Athens!  He argues in the synagogue, and in the marketplace, bringing him to the Areopagus, out of their desire for novel teaching.  He appeals to their many gods, that (summarizing) "there is One who made all things, and us, who doesn't need temple offerings.  We live in Him, as your poets have said.  He calls us to repent of serving metal idols; He will judge the world by a man He raised from the dead."  Most mock him, but a few believe.

How this is about Jesus
"This Jesus is the Christ/Messiah."  This is the same message, in every synagogue in every city they come to.

It seems Paul was good at introducing the Gospel and arguing for it in a new place, but needed Silas and Timothy to do the quieter follow-up work behind the scenes.  Once you newly believe, adversarial apologetics isn't the need of the hour (Paul), but study and examination of your life for discipleship (Silas and Timothy).  They actually have to hustle Paul out once he kickstarts things, to avoid hostility that interferes with discipleship.  There is a time for a public controversy, and a time to avoid it.  The church needs different personalities, so we don't make these choices based on personality.

Christians today who reject a historical Adam are denying clear Scripture in verse 26.  Whatever the genetics today tell us, all humanity came from one man.

Evangelism should make a connection with people where they are, and take them to Jesus.

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