26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:26-31
What I noticed from reading today’s chapter – Paul does not talk about himself at all. He talks about God and also addresses people in Athens by making reference to an altar to an “unknown God” that he has observed among their many objects of worship. He has not changed the message of Jesus and resurrection. But he has put the message in a form suited to the thought patterns of his listeners (contextualized).
This seems to be what Jesus meant when he said “deny yourself and follow me.” Paul is different from many contemporary pastors who talk about themselves a lot in their sermons.
Paul is true to the course. And spoken straightforward like this, his preaching becomes a life giving message from God addressed directly to his listeners without the messenger’s interference.