STARTING POINT Week 1

"Something Happened"

Everything that exists had a starting point . . . including you. You may have started on purpose. You may have started by accident (from your parent’s perspective). You may even have started through the magic of medical science. Whatever the circumstances, you had a starting point and it began before you were aware of it.

Physical life is one of many starting points. Your formal education had a starting point. Your career had a starting point. Your romantic life had a starting point. Your experience as a parent had a starting point.

Faith has a starting point as well.

EVERYTHING HAS A STARTING POINT

  

TRUE THINGS WE BELIEVED:

 

• God is good

• God punishes evil and rewards good.

• God answers prayer.

• God speaks to His children.

  

THREE REALITIES:

 

• ADULTS OFTEN NEED A NEW STARTING POINT FOR FAITH

• “THE BIBLE SAYS” IS NOT AN ADEQUATE STARTING POINT FOR MANY ADULTS

• CHRISTIANITY IS NOT ABOUT A BOOK BUT ABOUT AN EVENT

 

“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.”

Acts 17:16-17 

 

“He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.” v. 18a

  

“When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.

V. 18b

 

“...they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 

“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” . 

vv. 19-20

“(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.) “ Acts 17:21 

 

“So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’

Acts 17:22-23a

 

“This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.” v. 23b 


“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.” ​

​​ vv. 24-25


“From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.” 

vv. 26-27

 

“For in him we live and move and exist.” v. 28a

 

“As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” v. 28b. 

 

“And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.”  v. 29

 

“In the past God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. “ ​ v. 30

 

“For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed [Jesus], and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

Acts 17:31

 

“When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt...”. v. 32a


“…but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” v. 32b 


“...some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

Acts 17:34 (NLT) 

 


 


 


THE STARTING POINT FOR FAITH:  Who Is Jesus?

 

• God in the Flesh

• The Sacrifice for our Sins

• The Resurrected Savior, Lord, and King.

• God and Righteous Judge of the World

 For in him we live and move and exist.” v. 28a

 

“As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” v. 28b. 

 

“And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.”   v. 29

 

“In the past God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. “ ​ v. 30

 

“For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed [Jesus], and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

Acts 17:31

 

“When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt...”. v. 32a


“…but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” v. 32b 


“...some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

Acts 17:34 (NLT)