Paul’s “Theology 101”

The Apostle Paul preached at Mars Hill has been criticized by some for not being directly based upon the Old Testament scriptures. But upon further inspection it is an amazing compendium of knowledge about the One True God. Notice what all he teaches the theologically inquisitive Greeks about the nature of God here: 

Paul said in verse 23: “What you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you”:

— :24 “The God who made the world and all things in it.” He teaches that He is the CREATOR (In :26 he adds: “and He made from one man every nation of mankind …”

— :24 “Since He is Lord of heaven and earth” He teaches that He is SOVEREIGN, adding in :26 “having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.”

— :24 “does not dwell in temples made with hands” God is TRANSCENDENT, Paul asserts, beyond our ability to contain.

— :27 “though He is not far from each one of us” Although transcendent, He is also IMMANENT, present with us now; as :28 says: “for in Him we live and move and exist”

— :25 “nor is He served by human hands as though He needed anything” God is also SELF-SUFFICIENT.

— :25 “since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” He is the PROVIDER of every good thing.

— :28 “For we also are His children”, “Being then the children of God” The one true God is also FATHERLY in His attitude towards all men.

— :29 “we ought not to think that the Divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image …” Here he teaches the SPIRITUAL nature of God!

— :30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance” He is also PATIENT towards mankind.

— :30 “God is now declaring to men” This God speaks; He COMMUNICATES with us.

— :30 “that all people everywhere …” He is the UNIVERSAL God; not merely some “regional deity” but Lord of all.

— :30 “should repent” God is HOLY; He is moral. Sin is an offense to His holiness  and must be repented of.

— :31 “He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world” God is also the JUDGE of all.

— :31 “through a Man whom He has appointed” He did send His Son Jesus to earth; He is a MERCIFUL/SAVING God!

— :31 “by raising Him from the dead.” He is OMNIPOTENT, miraculous and powerful. Nothing is too difficult for Him!

What a treatise on the nature of God, in only eight brief verse! One might expound these verses in months of sermons and not begin to plumb the depths of this compendium of knowledge of God. It is truly Paul’s “Theology 101”!

 

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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