Sermon delivered at Hartstone Bible Camp:
Here in Acts 14 in Lystra and in Acts 17 in Athens where Paul speaks to the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers on Mars Hill, the Aereopagus, we have the two cases in the book of Acts where Luke records a presentation of God and the gospel that is packaged and delivered by the apostle in a very specific way for an exclusively Pagan audience. Now why is that important?
Because in both cases Paul expounds for them the doctrine of God’s Common Grace to all people. That is, God’s goodness and his kindness and benevolence to all His creatures, regardless of their being believers or unbelievers (thus it is common to all – Common Grace). Common grace is real, it is knowable by experience and the intellect, and it is a reasonable and clear apologetic for God’s existence and even some of the key characteristics of the divine nature. That is, not just that the true and Living God exists, but much of what He’s like. God’s Common Grace and our experience of it as humans creates an incontrovertible apologetic for God. For the believer that is a great joy and comfort. And for the unbeliever the stewardship of that knowledge is part of what God uses to draw the elect, and will be a primary basis for severe judgment for those that reject and ignore God and so are subjects for examination at the Great White Throne judgment at the end of history.
Today, I’d like to invite you to explore with me a prolegomena, an introduction and quick overview of the general categories of God’s wonderful graces gifted to us: