In Him we live, and move, and have our being

Documentation Published on Friday, 14 October 2022

In Him we live, and move, and have our being: We operate totally under God's control

In Him we live, and move, and have our being: We operate totally under God's control

Last week we learned that we are the exclusive property of Jesus, explained from the point of view of my time working in a foreign country. The bumper sticker I saw at the time, which read “Eu sou propriedade exclusiva de Jesus Cristo”, Portuguese for “I am the exclusive property of Jesus Christ”, is very relevant to the discussion we have this week. We are under God’s control. Some resist this because they want to oversee their own destiny. Others understand that allowing God to take care of them is the more sensible thing to do.

While preaching to strangers in Athens, Paul confronts them with this:

28For 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. – Acts 17:28

When I read this verse earlier in the previous week, I had no idea the past Sunday morning’s sermon would focus on the same scripture. You do not need to be confronted with this truth more than two times to understand that God is trying to tell you something. Let us have a more detailed look at it.

If you study Acts 17:15-34, you find that Paul’s audience was mostly idolaters (Acts 17:16), and Jews (Acts 17:17) so stuck in their ways that neither was willing to listen to his argument in favour of the gospel. He tells them that the reference to the unknown God stated on the altar he saw, is the God who can be known by everyone. He states that in God, and thus in His Son Jesus Christ, we operate in three ways: we live in Him; move in Him; and have our very being in Him. Paul adds what someone else said: we are His offspring, His children.

For in Him we live

In God, and in God alone, we can truly live. To truly live, we need to thrive. We do not just survive from day to day, but live meaningful lives when we know that He is our source of life, our nourishment, and our life. Paul describes it like this in his letter to the Colossians:

4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:4

Those who are outside Christ may claim that they live meaningful lives, yet deep down there is always that yearning for something more. Ask anyone who has recently come to faith in Jesus Christ. Paul states here that Jesus Christ is our life. John writes that in Him was life (John 1:4). This statement is in the past tense but not in the sense that it is over. He merely stated the recorded facts. How can we define the life we have in Christ? The following show our dependence on God:

  • source – the source of life is the Creator of the universe (Acts 17:24)
  • substance – the true believer thinks and lives Christ in his life (1 Peter 4:1)
  • sustenance – Jesus is the one who feeds us, the bread from heaven (John 6:41)
  • solace – we find comfort (solace) in Him (2 Corinthians 1:5)
  • object – we find in Him our objective, our aim in life; to be like Him (1 John 3:2)

and move

In Him we act and operate daily. Those who do not believe in God or His Son, will tell you that they live and operate by their own strength and do not need God. At the end of the day though, their own strength will not be sufficient. How sad it must be to try to live life in your own power, only to realise at the end that you completely missed the true Source of life.

We move in the sense of all our actions and how we think. In Him, we find the energy to go on when life gets tough, and we find the spiritual power to overcome daily temptation.

29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:29-31

Whatever we do and think should be moulded on Him who gives us the power to do so.

and have our being

We are only complete when we rely on God to sustain us. We are in Him, and our entire existence is in Him. The word “being” is present tense and it means to exist. Thus, everything that we are, exists in Him. Outside of Him we have no purposeful existence, and no hope. Nowhere is our reliance on hope better explained than by Paul’s letter to Titus:

11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. – Titus 2:11-14

While in Him we live and move and have our being, our focus is on Him and to meet Him. It does not matter whether this will be when we die as individuals and meet Him in heaven, or whether we all meet Him together at His appearing, the rapture of the church.


If you took note of the previous lesson, that you are the exclusive property of Jesus Christ, is it not wonderful to think that God does not just put you on the Earth to eke out a solitary existence? Instead, He makes it possible for you to live a life now that is worth living, when you place your trust in Him for everything – your entire being. The final part of Acts 17:28 that we have not even mentioned yet, was kept for last: we are His offspring, his children, and He loves us. God’s love for mankind is the central theme of the Word of God.

In this coming week, live, move, and be in Him as if it is your last week on this planet, knowing that He loves you. In Him you have all you can ever need, and need nothing more:

10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: – Colossians 2:10.

Further reading

How did Paul describe his desire for an intimate relationsip with Jesus Christ? [ That I may know Him... ]

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