Reading: Acts 17:22-34; Romans 1:18-25
God Is (2)
The words in verse 28: ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’ are probably from Epimenides of Crete, while ‘For we are also his offspring’ come from Aratus’s poem ‘Phainomena’.
Paul argued that God has put it in our hearts to seek Him. The way in which He governs this world should make mankind think and make them seek for God. Paul even says that we are His offspring. It is natural that human beings are seeking for their ancestors. We see it in the interest so many people have in researching their ancestry. Where do we come from? Some even go that far that they believe that they come from the animals (Theory of evolution). This desire to seek, to go back to our origins, is given to human beings by God. But this seeking is misguided, because of the power of sin in our lives. Paul states that God put this desire in the heart of human beings so that they would seek the Lord. However, because of the fall in sin, this creation is not sufficient anymore for human beings to find God.
In Romans 1:19-20 Paul writes that we can know God from this creation. What can be known of God, has been revealed and perceived from the days of creation. But the reason that mankind refuses to see it and believe it, is that they suppress the truth by their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
The proof is there. However, mankind refuses to believe it. They reinterpret the facts which are visible in God’s creation and develop another ‘truth’, which is no truth.
God in His grace does not leave us to our own devices and in our own unrighteousness, but He decided to reveal Himself to us, not only in the creation and in the way He upholds this world, but even more clearly in His divine Word. He speaks to us, not in signs, not in events, not in miracles, but in clear words, human words. These words were spoken by God through the mouth of prophets and apostles, even God’s own Son. God also made sure that these words were not only spoken but also written. He now gives us His words in the Bible, the Word of God.
God is not a vague higher power, which we must personify by making statues of gold and silver. No, He is the personal God, Who speaks to us.
We are His offspring, Paul says. We are created by Him, we live in Him and move in Him and in Him, we have our being. This means that everything that God created, can only exist in relationship with God. Without God, there is no existence possible. Even the order in this creation is determined by how God is. God is the God of order and therefore this creation is not chaos or coincidence, but it shows the order of God.
Even though many may vehemently try to deny the existence of God, that doesn’t change the truth: God Is. He is and He was and He is to come. He is not a static being, but He is the God Who works, the God Who loves, the God Who creates. He is our God.
God in His grace has given us, who believe, His Holy Spirit. The Spirit works in our hearts to give us faith so that we do believe the truth which is so plainly visible in this creation. And now it is our task, as Christians, to tell the truth also to others. Not to try to convince them. Just tell them. In the hope that the Holy Spirit will also break their resistance to the truth and they may believe as well. Because God will come to judge the world in righteousness.
Key text: Acts 27:28: “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.’”
Meditation: How can the study of science increase our knowledge of God? And how can the enjoyment of the beauty of nature increase our knowledge of God?