Altar To An Unknown God! Acts 17:22-23
“22) So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23) For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.” Acts‬ ‭17‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭
Paul opens his discourse in the Areopagus by noting that the men of Athens were very religious, but he wasn’t impressed by their beliefs. He also observed an altar with an is inscription “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” They wanted to make sure they were covered… just in case they missed one.
We here discover the problem with man made religion. It can be observed that religion is man making gods to worship. It is a compilation of human values, philosophies and morals that people exalt to the level of deity. It amounts to man making god in his image endowed with whatever attributes serve and perpetuate human morals, pleasure and depravity. It is usually a pathway to excuse sin rather than a means of deliverance from sin.
However, this does highlight an important point; people from all times, places and societies have embraced some form of religious system. There seems to be a religious component in mankind not found in the animal kingdom. It points to the origin of mankind being created in the image of God. Unlike animals, people have both soul and spirit. Every human being has an inner “god consciousness” or “god void.” It is an inner itch that will be scratched in some form or way.
It was at this point that Paul pointed out the altar “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” Religion is man trying to find God. Christianity in God trying to find man. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says; “21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
This is what separates pure Christianity from every other world region or human philosophy. John 3:16-17 summaries unadulterated Christianity well. It says; “16) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17) For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” God has a plan to save lost humanity and it is based on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Notice I said “pure Christianity.” Many denominations and false teachers have changed, distorted and abandoned the simple gospel message and turned Christianity into nothing more than another man made religion. Knowing he cannot stop the gospel, Satan desperately tries to change and distorted the truth.
It is at this point that you must take personal inventory. Are you embracing Jesus Christ and the gospel message or are you embracing a distorted gospel? Have you fallen for the religious trap? Are you embracing “AN ALTAR TO AN UNKNOWN GOD?” It might sooth your conscious, but it has no power to save or change you. Religion is an excuse to live as you please. The gospel message is the power of God to save and change people.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global ‭