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2.2 Seeking God – Epicurean and Stoic Philosophers

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not ; remember that what you now have was once amongst the things you only hoped for." - Epicurus
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Stoic Philosophers

Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia for human beings is to act in accord with their nature, meaning being rational and social beings at every moment.

Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason (logos).

Epicurean Philosophers

Epicureanism is a system of philosophy founded around 307 BC based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism. Later its main opponent became Stoicism.

Epicureanism argued that pleasure was the chief good in life. Hence, Epicurus advocated living in such a way as to derive the greatest amount of pleasure possible during one’s lifetime, yet doing so moderately in order to avoid the suffering incurred by overindulgence in such pleasure.

Areopagus

Areopagus, earliest aristocratic council of ancient Athens. The name was taken from the Areopagus (“Ares’ Hill”), a low hill northwest of the Acropolis, which was its meeting place. The Areopagite Council probably began as the king’s advisers.

1. The Bible Scriptures:

– Let’s see what the Bible has to say about Epicurean and Stoic philosophers John:

 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

Acts 17:18-21

 

  • Babble definition: talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way.
  • When the truth is presented to you it might seem like a exited sports commentator bringing across his point.
  • According to your reason of truth what is said to you might be incomprehensible, not understanding what the person is saying.
  • Remember these guys were the most intelligent people of the day. So even the truth might seem incomprehensible to you even if you claim yourself to be intelligent or wise. 
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” – 1 Cor 3:19
  • You must take into consideration that there is a chance that your wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight.
  • Would you like to be called a fool by God? A unwise silly clown person?
  • A Fool’s definition: A person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person or jester or clown, especially one retained in a royal or noble household.
  • Hearing the truth might sound like another Jesus we are preaching. 
  • Now the mere fact that the council did not accept another God was quite strange because they had over 1500 of them.
  • Scary to think that this was a new teaching to them having 1500 gods. 
  • Sharing the gospel might sound new to you because 99% of people do not know their Bible’s. 
  • In essence it is a new teaching but not based on traditions and opinions which so many people believe. 
    • Let’s look at the definition of strange.
    • Unusual or surprising; difficult to understand or explain.
    • Not previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien.
  • Do you throw out Bible teaching if it is difficult to understand or unusual?
  • Any new thing that you begin is normally difficult because you do not have experience in it, do you do the same with the Bible?
  • Have you studied your Bible like you did at school or university?
  • If your eternity is dependant on it, I would say it is the most important thing to do.
  • Can you name 5 verses about salvation in the Bible?
    • When we cannot do this simple thing how will we be able to explain difficult subjects like grace, the Holy Spirit and Baptism; why is it that you question all new teaching?
    • Can you even explain your own beliefs / doctrine out of the Bible?
"Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance."
    • Are you a seeker of the truth?
  • Do you just believe anything that anybody tells you?
  • If you want to buy a new house, will you not do a proper investigation of which one is the best, looks the best and is the best for your circumstances?
    • If you cannot substantiate what you believe in the Bible you are most probably following a lie.
  •  “16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” – 2 Pet 3:16
    •  Will this scripture be true about you?
    • Is the Bible hard to understand for you?
    • Are you the guy that ignores studying the Bible to find out the truth?
    • How would you know your thinking is distorted if you do not know the Bibl?
    • The scary thing is if you do not know your Bible it is very easy for satan to mislead you.
    • If you are mislead it will lead to your destruction, going to hell. 

"Stupid is knowing the truth, seeing the truth, but still believing the lies."

2. Close

John so are you stupid or a student of the truth?

Francois I know that seeking the truth takes time and most people are not prepared to spend that time, but rather choosing to be ignorant which they think will take them off the hook. 

–  John can you please close us out in a prayer?
  • My pleasure, Francois.
  • Good Morning Jesus.
  • Thank you so much for dieing on the cross for me.
  • I pray that I will be worthy of your sacrifice. 
  • I pray God that I will study out my Bible to know the truth and not be stupid or ignorant which will lead to my destruction.
  • Amen.
Tomorrow’s Study – The Unknown God
  •  If you would like to study the Bible and learn more, get a mentor, please feel free to contact me by whatsapp me +27 79 481 8989. Join our find your greatness meetup group.

4. References

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