Palette Day 5 The Father’s Masterpiece: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, The Father’s Masterpiece!

Acts 17:26-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The Questions

1) What is the context of these verses and Paul’s main point?

2) What do verses 26-27 tell us about the purpose of God and our lives?

3) If I’ve already “repented” and become a Christ-follower, how do these verses apply?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is the context of these verses and Paul’s main point?
Paul was in Athens when he was speaking here, a city known for religious pursuits and higher education. They were deeply engrained in worship, but hadn’t heard of the death and resurrection of Jesus. These were Gentile people, not of Jewish descent, which means that there was already a certain stigma that the Jewish God was not for the Gentiles. Paul knows that the freedom of Jesus is held out for Jew or Gentile alike, and doesn’t even bring up any divisive language about heritage in his speech. Rather, because of his audience, Paul is extremely inclusive in his word choices. Paul’s main message is to hold out the truth of the gospel and salvation for all people.

2) What do verses 26-27 tell us about the purpose of God and our lives?
These two verses alone should leave us in awe of the Lord God! Nothing is a surprise to Him, not even the tiniest details of life! He knows your neighbors, knows your street, knows the corners of your house, and the secrets of your heart. And He has designed both our giftings as individuals and our surroundings to complement one another, in order that others might be invited in to the abundant life of Jesus Christ. From the very beginning of time, God has used human agents to be His preferred mode of declaring His truth and purposes. His invitation to use you to reach the lost is open and waiting!

3) If I’ve already “repented” and become a Christ-follower, how do these verses apply?
We are His creation, delighted in and sung over, and passionately purposed to declare the truth of freedom in Jesus while extending grace and love to a broken world around us. If we have already given our hearts and lives over to the Savior, we are called to share this message with the world around us. The world around Paul included people of all religious backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities, but he didn’t allow the obvious differences to dissuade him from extending the reach of Christ.

The Everyday Application

1) What is the context of these verses and Paul’s main point?
These verses are radical for believers because they give us a beautiful model for sharing the gospel. Paul did not make the gospel a political issue; he studied the culture of their city and used what was familiar to them as tools to point them to the heart of God and their need for redemption. Paul wasn’t there to be offensive, and though he held out truth, he didn’t lord it over the Athenians with supremacy. Instead, he came right alongside them and showed them Jesus in the manner they understood best. What commonalities can you use to build bridges and deepen relationships around you for the sake of the gospel? Are you willing to share only with those who are comfortable to you, similar to you, and think the same way you do? Expand your horizons and get to know someone else’s culture to reach them for Jesus!

2) What do verses 26-27 tell us about the purpose of God and our lives?
Not only has God woven our stories together to impact and influence people for Christ, He has created us equal in origin and equal in value. “He made from one man (or one blood), every nation of mankind…” (verse 26). God is the author of every human heart, body, and skin color. Our differences were never meant to pull us apart, but bring us together, pointing to the incredible design of the Father’s Masterpiece!

3) If I’ve already “repented” and become a Christ-follower, how do these verses apply?
“We are indeed His offspring” was the line Paul quoted from Athenian poetry, pointing to the truth that we are God’s, created for His delight and His purposes. If we are His, then we are called to love like Him who designed such breathtaking diversity. Embracing the brothers and sisters who look different, speak different, and enjoy food differently than us is living out the gospel we have been transformed by! To ignore, and only see one race, and live with eyes half-shut, living in ignorance and complacency, has no place in the life of a believer seeking to bring the Father glory. Who can you extend Jesus to today? Now?! It’s thrilling to be invited into such a beautiful purpose!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, The Father’s Masterpiece!
Sign up to receive every Journey to your inbox!

I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Palette Week One!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.

Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Palette!