“So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by human skill and imagination. Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has seta day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
Now when they heard about the resurrection from the dead, some began to scoff, but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul left the Areopagus.But some people joined him and believed. Among themwere Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus,a womannamed Damaris, and others with them.”
(Acts 17.29-34, NET)
Continuing the narrative we read in vv.22-28 Paul now moves from knowledge (vv.24-28) to responsibility and accountability. How often we fall prey to the idea that our Christian life is defined by how much we know. Yes, it’s important to know what you believe and why, to know where our faith came from and where it’s heading, but we are never defined by knowledge.
Paul moves into the next phase of his message by calling people to do something with what they now know (So since…Therefore…). Now we know, it’s time to do, and the do is to repent and to turn in faith to Jesus.
Now we know that God is God and we are His offspring, now we know that He has formerly overlooked our times our ignorance but that now He commands all people everywhere to repent, we need to do it.
The proof, the evidence, the motivating factor of authenticity in what Paul is saying is found in v.31:
“…he has set a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
The proof that Paul is telling the truth, that God will indeed judge the world in righteousness, that there is more to come than our few days on earth, is the resurrection of Jesus.
To some this news is laughable (v.32a), to some it is intriguing (v.32b), and to some it stirs belief in the God and truths described (v.34). The resurrection always points to the truths of God, and the call to action it provides is one that is still very true today.