The Book of Acts Chapter 17: (pt 7 of 20)

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We got a little sidetracked with some good thoughts, but getting back to our story, there was a great band of unprejudiced Gentiles, Greeks, who were tired of the emptiness of their pagan philosophies. They came to the synagogue hoping to hear the truth about the Living God. They had been attracted by the Jewish Scriptures (those are folks I can relate to). They knew there was something here, but they hadn’t yet become Jews and weren’t yet circumcised. As these Gentiles heard the Truth of the gospel, they were moved by God’s Spirit and believed.

Among them, Luke is careful to point out, was a group of women. You’re going to find that emphasis in several places in this book. I don’t mean to impugn males, but it is a historical fact that the gospel has always had a particular appeal to women. Here in Acts, this is especially true for women of the upper classes who were prominent citizens of these Greek cities. There is a reason for this. These were educated women and they were quite aware of all the philosophies of Greece, but found them dead and empty, offering nothing for the heart, nothing for the spirit inside. They may have stimulated the mind but did nothing for the soul, which is certainly true of all of men’s “wisdom.” They were also philosophies full of voluptuous and degrading practices which left these women devastated and filled with self-loathing if they gave in to them.

So . . . they turned from their philosophies to Judaism. But in Judaism they found themselves burdened with difficult and cumbersome regulations which again left them empty. Then the gospel came with the good news that, in Jesus Christ, there is neither male nor female, bond nor free, black nor white, nor any other distinction, that all the distinctions men make were broken down, all the middle walls of partition removed. These women responded joyously! They found a liberating, fulfilling, and satisfying glory about the gospel and they responded to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, inviting the Lord Jesus to enter their hearts. And that is still true today!  If you are feeling overwhelmed with the restrictions anyone has placed on you . . . find freedom in Christ!

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Book of Acts:
http://home.comcast.net/~nickolas.hiemstra/acts.pdf

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