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24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell, in temples made with hands.


Having argued from the doctrine of God, Paul now went to the principle of God’s sovereignty over creation, contradicting almost everything the Athenians believed. The apostle was scriptural but did not reference Scripture in his address to the Athenians.

since He is Lord [sovereign] of heaven and earth,

The second statement about God is that He is sovereign over everything in heaven and earth. God is on display everywhere in the universe. We can see Him everywhere (Ro 1:18-32). Everything in the world has the stamp of God on it (Ps 104:24).

Paul began to speak about the Creator of the world in contradistinction to the Athenians, who could not distinguish between God and the universe. The Athenian philosophers were “gropers” after truth. They could not give the “unknown God” even a name. The God of the Bible is sovereign and rules over creation (Ge 14:19; Ps 24:1; 103:19; Dan 4:34-35).

does not dwell in temples made with hands.

Paul identified the “unknown god” as the God of all creation. As “Lord,” He is supreme over everything in heaven and earth. This God cannot be restricted to physical temples (1 Kgs 8:27; Ps 139:1-12; Acts 7:48-50). He is a transcendent God who is a “Spirit” and not a physical being. God does not live in a location such as a temple. He is distinct from creation. The Stoics were pantheistic, where God and the universe were one. God’s presence cannot be restricted to a location.


God cannot be domesticated.


God cannot be contained in a location or building. When Solomon built the Temple, at the dedication he said that God could not be restricted to the Temple (1 Kgs 8:27). Other passages assert the same thing (Isa 66:1-2; Ps 115:3).