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Acts 17:16-34

Sunday, 26 September 2021

“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’”  -Acts 17:28

Paul gets an opportunity to share the gospel in Athens as he observed one of the altars to this "unknown god" and used it as a cultural analogy in presenting the gospel. History says, around 600 B.C. a terrible plague hit Athens and it was believed that one of the many gods of Athens had been offended thus bringing a plague. They identified this god as the "unknown" god, for whom an altar was built.

In our key verse, Paul by referring to two quotations, (i) "In him we live and move and have our being” and (ii) "We are his offspring," Paul was able to meet the Athenian intellectuals on their common ground. From there he led them to the heart of the Christian gospel, pointing them to Christ (Acts 17: 31). People down the ages have had many ideas about gods; there is no shortage of belief in gods at any given time. The problem is to help people see that there is truly only one God.

The expression "in him" means “by him”; by his originally forming us, and continually sustaining us. No words can better express our constant dependence on God. He is the original fountain of life, and he upholds us each moment. For a child of God, it is no longer you living but Christ lives in you—you live for Him and His will! Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.”

“And move” means that our strength to move is derived from God Himself; we have a constant and absolute dependence on Him which extends to all dimensions of our life. The desire of our Father is that there should be a progress in our life too. We need to refuse to be stuck at one level in life and need to move from one level to another level of glory. 2Cor 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

“And have our being” denotes our "continued existence and our divine nature" is owed to Him. We will have His divine nature when the creator God is “tabernacled" in us. 2 Peter 1:4: “by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature……” Our life, power to move and our continued and prolonged existence is a gift from Him. Thus, Paul traces our dependence on Him from the lowest pulse of life to the highest powers of action and of our continued existence.

“We are God’s offspring”: Paul is not saying that the people in Athens are all His redeemed children or in the sense that they all possess an element of deity, but he is saying that they are created by God and receive their very life and breath from Him (Acts 17: 25). By creation we belong to God, but only by redemption we become His children.

God has a great purpose for creating men—that men might find and know God. We receive a revelation of God the Father only by living, moving and having our being in Christ and Christ in us.

Do you know Him?

Prayer: Thank You Lord Jesus for Your living Word which enables me to move from strength to strength, glory to glory. Thank You for making me Your own -I owe it to You. In Jesus Name. Amen



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