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Acts Chapter Seventeen part 5, A study of Acts 17:24, Acts 17:25, and Acts 17:26 with our Common Man's Commentary

Acts 17:24

"'The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.'" NIV translation

Paul began his explanation of who God is with the fact that He created all things. We can simply go outside and look up at the sky or look around us and see that it couldn't all be the result of some cosmic accident. Creation itself testifies that there was and is a Creator. Paul goes on to explain that the One that created the stuff is the owner (Lord) and He does not live in some man-made temple. The Athenians had all sorts of temples but did not see that the greatest temple of all was the one that God himself created. There was a time in history where the Temple was the place to perform sacrifices and to meet with God but after Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit (God with us) there was no need to make the trip to a temple. Paul is teaching this to the Athenians but the lesson is just as good for us today. Much of people's wealth is given to build church buildings (modern temples) but we must keep in mind that God is with us and He does not dwell in man-made temples. His presence may be there at times but there is no building big enough to be His house.

Acts 17:25

"'And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.'" NIV translation

Paul continues to describe God to the Athenians as he describes God as the Sustainer. Not only did God create everything but Paul tells them that all their breath comes from Him. This verse may be confusing to us today especially the part about God "not served by human hands". What Paul is saying is that God does not need us to do things for His sake as he owns everything. We do not have to build Him an altar or a temple or anything else that Paul saw as he traveled around the city in fact we can't even walk without Him.

Acts 17:26

"'From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.'" NIV translation

Paul continues his description of God as the Great Planner. He not only explains that all came from one man but that God is big enough to have a plan for all. There are over six billion people alive in the world today and God is big enough to have a individual plan for each and every one of us. That includes those that have gone before us as well as those to be born yet. Before we were born, God set the times and places for each of us!

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