For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Man, with few exceptions, has never been able to believe that he stands alone in the universe, a helpless orphan, surrounded by blind and irresistible forces, and hurried onward by inevitable destiny. Wherever the voice of man's nature is allowed to speak, it asserts that he is God's offspring. This fact is demonstrated by —
I. MAN'S INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY. In his physical nature he is allied to the lower animals; but the intellectual difference between the lowest savage and the highest animal is so great that it can only be accounted for by the text. Man's marvellous powers are seen in his discovery of the laws of the universe, in his forcing from nature her secrets, and in subjecting her to do him service, and above all in his capacity for knowing God. All this raises him immeasurably above all other creatures.
II. HIS MORAL NATURE. In all men there is a knowledge of rural distinctions, and as arising out of them the sense of obligation. In some communities this knowledge is imperfect and even perverted, but it is there. It cannot be the result of education, but must be part of the constitution of our nature, because so universal. This fact again puts an impassable gulf between man and all other creatures, and is inexplicable save on the hypothesis of the text.
III. HIS RELIGIOUS NATURE.
1. His consciousness of guilt, everywhere demonstrated by sacrifice, shows his alienation from a Being with whom he was once in harmony.
2. His struggles after a purer and higher life are but the effort of God's child to recover a lost condition and relationship.
3. His restlessness and dissatisfaction till he finds rest in God is the culminating proof. Conclusion: Christ has come to lead us back to God, to make us true sons in Him, so that His Father becomes our Father.
(J. Fraser, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.