The Requirements of Truth Acts 17 22-34 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this passage Paul finds himself in Athens, a place described as “having more gods than people”. The Athenians were very careful not to leave out even one god in their statues and monuments. Therefore Paul found the altar with the inscription, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” who they ignorantly worshiped. He was compelled to declare to them the truth. This passage shows us the requirements of truth.
Truth Requires a Reference (verses 22-23)
Paul knew who the “UNKNOWN GOD” was personally. He had a reference for the truth. We have a reference for the truth because we have God’s words. It is the only reference that we need, [John 17:17]. When writing a term paper in college you must use footnotes to identify your reference. If done correctly you teacher then assumes your paper is based on truth, because it has references. I used my roommate as a reference one time on a paper. I received a very good grade. But the truth is my paper was based on, what I thought and what he told me. How often in life we base our truth on those two things and not on, what God thinks and what He told us. Truth requires a reference and you have it, that King James Bible.
Truth Requires a Resource (verses 24-32)
The resource for truth on Mar’s Hill that day was a “man” named Paul. God left you here after salvation to be a resource for the truth. God also uses “creation” as a resource. Paul showed the all powerful, omnipotent God in verses 24-25, as he did to others before [Romans 1:20]. Paul preached that God is omnipresent or everywhere in verses 26-28, as in [Ps.19:1-3]. Paul was again a resource of the truth in verses 29-31 showing that we will be judged by an all knowing, omniscient God. Not only man and creation are used as resources of truth by God, but His Holy Spirit is a great resource for truth. The “first mention” of the word truth is found in Genesis 24, which is a perfect type of the work of the Holy Spirit, who reproves the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, what a great resource, [John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13].
Truth Requires a Response (verses 33-34)
Isaiah 55:11 states that God’s words will not return void. This passage shows the three responses to truth:
Verse 32, “some mocked” The meaning of mock, in your Bible means make fun or light of as in [Prov.14:19], to envy (Isaac was mocked of Ishmael), to deceive (Herod was mocked of the wise men), or basically to have the incorrect response by refusing the truth.
Verse 32, “others said, we will hear thee again of this matter”, or just put it off. Felix, after hearing the truth from Paul, put it off, and probably is in hell this day as a result, [Acts24:24-25]. Have you ever put off something God has showed you as truth?
Verse 33, “some believed” The perfect response to the truth.
The requirements for truth, a reference (God’s words), a resource (you), and a response (mock it, put it off, or believe it). What is your reference for truth? Are you a resource for truth? What is your response to truth?