StoneBridge Community Church
Summer in the Cities: "Meanwhile, In Athens" Part 2
Associate Pastor Jonathan Lusche
Locations & Times
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  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:15 PM, Sunday 5:20 PM

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Summer in the Cities
In this sermon series, StoneBridge will be journeying through the cities mentioned in the Book of Acts, looking at how the Holy Spirit works through the Apostle Paul in each city. By doing so, we will be able to more clearly see the Holy Spirit at work in our own city.
Ever been overwhelmed by the menu at the Cheese Cake Factory? In anticipation of a great meal, you enter the restaurant on an empty stomach. Then to your surprise, the server hands you a book which upon closer inspection, is actually the menu. An hour later, you’ve read the whole book errr, menu, cover to cover and you still don’t know what to order. There’s a phrase that describes this phenomena - over saturation. This weekend in worship we’ll explore how the Athenians in Acts 17 were spiritually hungry, over saturated by their options, and fed by the Apostle Paul.

Introduction to the Book of Acts

Here is a brief introduction to the Book of Acts.

https://stonebridgesimi.com/resources/acts-intro

A History of Athens

"(Paul) came up from the sea by the new road (North of the ancient) along which were altars of unknown gods, entered the city from the West, and passed by the Ceramicus (burial-ground), which can be seen to this day, the 'Theseum', the best preserved of all Greek temples, and on to the Agora (Market-Place), just North of the Acropolis, a steep hill, 200 ft. high, in the center of the city..." To read more, click link.

https://bit.ly/3Pquadp

The Text in Context

"... this evangelistic campaign in Athens is a kind of 'first-fruits' of what will come..." Click link to read more.

https://bit.ly/3B5GpaY
1. Paul accepted people where they are.
"I see how extremely spiritual you are in every way.” v22

Altar to the Unknown God.

Origins of the "Unknown God"

"Confirmation of these altars in Greece also come from two early writers, Pausanius in his account entiled 'Description of Greece' as well as Philostratus in his work 'Appolonius of Tyana'. They both refer to 'altars to an unknown god'” Click link to read more.

https://bit.ly/3Sn3TP0
2. Paul spoke their language.
"‘In him we live and move and have our being’; … ‘For we, too, are his offspring.’” v28
3. Paul called for the question.
“Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people evrywhere to repent” vs 29-30
NEXT STEPS:
- Honestly examine how well you accept others.
- Prayerfully measure your willingness “to walk a mile in another’s shoes” and understand their cultural background to best relate to them.
- Consider how well you differentiate an individual from their faults and failures.
GROWTH GROUP / PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Have you ever been overwhelmed by the menu at The Cheesecake Factory? Where else / when else/ how else have you been overwhelmed by too many options which may have led to “decision paralysis”?

2. Is it easy or hard for you to be accepting of others? Why or why not? What about when it comes to matters of faith? When others do not share your Christian faith, how do you navigate those relationships? Are most of your friends Christian? How is that healthy? How is that unhealthy?

3. What are the bridges - the things in common - with people of other faiths that allows Christians to enter into respectful, spiritual conversations with them?

Stretch Your Faith- Facilitate or host a growth group this Fall! Starting the first weekend in September, StoneBridge will be launching a new, fall series – called Intended for Good. Intended for Good will insightfully journey through Joseph's story in the book of Genesis. Whether in-person or by Zoom, experience your own spiritual blessing by facilitating a fall growth group or planting a new one. No prior experience is necessary. Sign up on your connection card this weekend or visit the StoneBridge website. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.

Sign-up to Host or Facilitate a Growth Group!

https://stonebridgesimi.com/get-connected/growth-groups

Reformed theologian John Calvin identified three essentials of the Christian faith: The Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus, and justification by grace through faith. This summer, Part 2 of the StoneBridge Essentials podcast series focuses on Jesus’ resurrection. A new StoneBridge Essentials podcast drops every Monday through the end of August!

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