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In Him We Live

When the apostle Paul spoke to the idol worshipers in Athens, he told them about the "unknown God” to whom they had built an altar (Acts 17:22-23).  These men had worshiped a multitude of gods throughout their lives and apparently had built this altar to an unnamed god just in case there were any gods they had overlooked.  Sadly, they had worshiped their false gods in ignorance, and it was the unknown God whom they really needed to know.

In telling the Athenians about the true God, Paul said that "in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28).  The God whom the Athenians did not know was actually very close to them (Acts 17:27), for He was the very Source of their lives.  This message is still true, and it provides an essential perspective to give us a profound connection to the Almighty God and a heartfelt gratitude for our Creator and Sustainer.  Our lives exist only because of God and only for God, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16).  Every motion of our bodies and every beat of our hearts is the direct product of God’s power.  No one lives, moves, or exists outside of Him.

Our lives are proof that God is active among us even today.  If God took His hand away from us, then we would instantly cease to be.  In Job 34:14-15, Elihu stated this thought well when he said, "If He should determine to do so, if He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.”  Indeed, life is the work of God, and outside of Him no life exists.  Even in this age of advanced scientific discovery, medicine, and technology, secular scientists still have no satisfying definition or viable explanation for life without God.  The reason is that there is no life without Him, and He is the meaning of life.

God not only provides the spirit and the breath that gives life to the body (Gen. 2:7), but He also provides all that is needed to sustain life.  When the sun rises and sets each day and when the rain falls on the earth, it is God who makes it all happen (Matt. 5:45).  It is also God who ordains the seasons of heat and cold, summer and winter, and seedtime and harvest (Gen. 8:22).  These things provide the environment and the fruitful seasons needed for man’s wellbeing, and they bear witness of our great Provider (Acts 14:17).  They are proof of His great power and His tremendous love.

In fact, it is God through Christ His Son who "makes the world go around.”  In speaking of Jesus, Hebrews 1:3 says, "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”  God not only created everything by His Word, who is Christ (John 1:1-3), but He also holds it together and makes it function in the same way.  Specifically, it is Jesus whose powerful word gives us life, sends the rain, causes the sun to rise, and gives us the seasons.  He causes the earth rotate on its axis and to revolve around the sun according to His design.  He does so many things by the power of His word that it is too wonderful for man to know.

How blessed we are that the Son of God who created us and sustains us in this material world has also provided for us in the spiritual realm!  When our sins garnered the wages of death, it was Jesus Christ who provided the free gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23).  The Creator came in the likeness of His creation, "taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7).  His purpose for coming to earth in this way was to free us from death and give us a way to live forever (Heb. 2:14-15).  Jesus explained His purpose when He said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  Furthermore, He said, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

In this spiritual sense, the phrase "in Him we live” (Acts 17:28) takes on a whole new meaning.  We were spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:4-5).  This fact changes the meaning of our lives, for in Christ we may truly live for God as He originally intended.  Therefore, every soul who has found new life in Christ must declare, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the 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” (Gal. 2:20).

If you have not fully surrendered your life to the One who made you, sustains you, and truly loves you, then do not delay any longer.  In Him you live and move and exist, but if you are separated from Him, then you will die forever.  Sin creates a separation between the sinner and the Source of his life that can only be removed by the blood of Jesus Christ (Isa. 59:2; Eph. 2:11-22).  This brief life in the flesh is the only opportunity we have to be reconciled to God through obedience to Christ’s gospel, or else we will be separated from God eternally (2Thess. 1:8-9).  Therefore, turn to the Lord today, and "choose life in order that you may live” (Deut. 30:19).

Stacey E. Durham



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