Understanding Acts | Believers | Acts 17.32-34 | Movementministriesblog.com

by | Mar 5, 2023

“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.” Acts 17.32-34

Paul was in the middle of Greek culture, temples and traditions while in Athens and more specifically while preaching at the Areopagus. The center for thought, knowledge and new ideas in that part of the world. The very fact that God plucked Paul off a dusty road to Damascus, Syria, through a conversation experience and took him to Greece is astounding. Paul was directly opposed to the Gospel but is now one of its greatest advocates.

After his amazing and rousing sermon to the Greeks given previous in Acts, its time for the altar call. A call among altars of idols, literally. A call among the Greek gods, on the “hill of Ares,” to people who knew nothing of Jesus.

But with all great sermons, not everyone ever believes. Yet some believed upon hearing about the resurrection of Jesus. And some “sneered.” Some became followers of Paul “and believed.” Among those were Dionysius, who is recorded as a member of the Areopagus, “also a woman named Damaris,” in addition “a number of others.”

I’m not sure why Paul mentions these two persons, Dionysius – perhaps because of his importance as a member of Areopagus? And what about Damaris? Some suggest she was a temple prostitute, or a wife of Dionysius or a visiting dignitary. Even if we don’t have full explanation as to why they were mentioned or who they were, names matter to God. This story is recorded to strengthen and support the church but also for God’s glory. Mentioning names of these new believers remind us of the significance of our own names. That when we chose to believe in Jesus our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life (Revelation 20.12).

When I gave my life to Christ, God recorded my name in his book. He put his Spirit in my heart as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come (Ephesians 1.14). And he calls us to himself by our names. Just as God named creation in Genesis 2, so God names us. He knows our names, he knit us together (Psalm 139.13-16), he secures our salvation.

This is a call to evangelize, to retell the story of Christ. To give others a chance to believe and find salvation in his name. Who are you telling about Jesus this day?

“O Lord God, it’s Spring in Texas. My favorite season. It’s a time of new birth. Bluebonnets blooming, Red Buds budding, your creation being reborn. And along with the worlds rebirth, so your Church is being reawakened. People are finding life in you Lord. You are saving people, redeeming us by your blood. Come now, Holy Spirit, fall upon us. Help us to be faithful. Save your church. Allow us to walk in newness of life and discover your love once again. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen