Partnering With God's Work in Culture

July 14, 2019 Series: Neighboring 12:31

Scripture: Acts 17:16–34

It's hard to love your neighbor when you don't understand them.

Jesus doesn’t just come as the Messiah to complete the Jewish story. He comes to complete the story of all humanity.


“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
~Luke 4:18–19


Jesus’ message affirmed elements of what people culturally believed was true, good, and beautiful, and yet it also prophetically corrected what was false, destructive, and unhealthy about their cultural stories.

1. He highlights the good already present in their cultural stories

  • He commends them on their religious devotion, even if that devotion is misguided (v. 22)
  • He finds common ground in shared beliefs/values (v. 23)
  • He demonstrates that he cares by knowing enough about their culture/beliefs to be able to quote from their own cultural & religious story (v. 28-29)

2. He reframes the good

  • Paul points out that some of these things they attributed to Zeus didn't need to be thrown out, just reframed into a more true, good, and beautiful story in light of Christ. (v.29)
  • Part of this reframing requires that the false, destructive, and unhealthy ideas be

3. He shares how Christ completes their storythrown out (v. 29-30)

More in Neighboring 12:31

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