Question: What is your image of God?
Acts17:29 “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.
30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
Paul corrects the Athenian philosophers regarding their idols. He is explaining that if we are the offspring of God, and we are not made of gold, silver, and stone, then why would you think God is made of gold, silver, and stone?
An Indian missionary told me that India has over 300 million gods, many fashioned into idols. The missionary said some Indians believe the idol itself has power, but others think that the idol is an image that represents a god. In many ways Athens must have been similar to India today.
Paul is saying to the Athenians that these raw materials shaped by art and man’s devising do not represent the one true God.
Although Christians may not create an object that is worshipped as the image of God, we all do imagine God in our minds.
What is God like in your mind and in your understanding?
I know some who think He is an angry God wanting to only punish wrong doing. I know some who see Him as a God who will just let all into heaven by overlooking sin. Some think He is like “the old man upstairs”. Some think He is uninterested in the affairs of earth. This can go on and on… Just as India has millions of idols, we may have just as many false images in our minds.
Yet Paul says to repent.
The Athenians were told to repent from their idols. Repent, regret that you had thought this way, turn to the one true God. For us, we also need to repent from our wrong mental images of God. We need to turn to the revealed God of Adam, Noah, Job, Abraham, and Moses. God is so gracious that He even revealed himself by coming to earth in the flesh, Immanuel, God with us – Jesus Christ. Lastly he has given us more revelation through His Apostles. Let us repent and study how God has revealed Himself as recorded in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. Then a more complete and true image of God will fill our minds.
I look forward to that day in Heaven when the family of God will finally see Him face to face.
Holy Spirit, please direct us in truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.