“Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.” (Acts 17:29)
When he referred to the Greeks in particular, and all mankind in general, as God’s offspring (quoting from the Greek Poet Aratus), the Apostle Paul was not teaching the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. Rather, he taught that all mankind are a result of God’s creation. Every human being, whether converted or unconverted, is dependent upon the sovereign and biblical God in whom mankind lives, moves and has its existence.
This understanding of God being the creator should prompt humans to no long view God from a human point of view, but rather from a divine and biblical perspective. In other words, God should not be fashioned into an image of gold, silver or stone. The Athenians had done so, as others before, at an unprecedented level. It was time to stop.
God should no longer be formed by the artistic and imagination of man’s thoughts of what God is like in appearance. Exodus 20:1–6 (ESV)
Exodus 20:1-6 says, “And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
In his classic work Knowing God, Dr. J.I. Packer writes, “The realization that images and pictures of God affect our thoughts of God points to a further realm in which the prohibition of the second commandment applies. Just as it forbids us to manufacture molten images of God, so it forbids us to dream up mental images of him. Imagining God in our heads can be just as real a breach of the second commandment as imagining him by the work of our hands.”
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “If man is the offspring of God, as the Greek poet suggested, it is foolish to think that God could be nothing more than a man-made idol. Such reasoning points out the absurdity of idolatry (cf. Isa. 44:9–20).”
Take the time today to worship the Lord in your thoughts, emotions and will and also do so according to His inerrant Word. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!