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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 14 - Verse 15

Verse 15. And saying, Sirs. Greek, Men.

Why do ye these things?.

This is an expression of solemn remonstrance at the folly of their conduct in worshipping those who were men. The abhorrence which they evinced at this may throw strong light on the rank and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. When an offer was made to worship Paul and Barnabas, they shrank from it with strong expressions of indignation and abhorrence. Yet when similar worship was offered to the Lord Jesus, when he was addressed by Thomas in the language of worship, "My Lord and my God," (Joh 20:28,) he commended the disciple. For this act he uttered not the slightest reproof. Nay, he approved it, and expressed his approbation of others who should also do it, Joh 20:29; comp. Joh 5:23. How can this difference be accounted for, except on the supposition that the Lord Jesus was Divine? Would he, if a mere man, receive homage as God, when his disciples rejected it with horror?

Of like passions with you. We are men like yourselves. We have no claim, no pretensions to anything more. The word "passions" here means simply that they had the common feelings and propensities of men; we have the nature of men; the affections of men. It does not mean that they were subject to any improper passions, to ill temper, etc., as some have supposed; but that they did not pretend to be gods, We need food and drink; we are exposed to pain and sickness, and death." The Latin Vulgate renders it, "We are mortal like yourselves." The expression stands opposed to the proper conception of God, who is not subject to these affections, who is most blessed and immortal. Such a Being only is to be worshipped; and the apostles remonstrated strongly with them on Comp. Jas 5:17, "Elias [Elijah] was a man subject to like passions as we are," etc.

That ye should turn from these vanities. That you should cease to worship idols. Idols are often called vanities, or vain things, De 32:21; 2 Ki 17:15; 1 Ki 16:13,26; Jer 2:5; 8:19; 10:8; Jon 2:8.

They are called vanities, and often a lie, or lying vanities, as opposed to the living and true God, because they are unreal, because they have no power to help, because confidence in them is vain.

Unto the living God. 1 Th 1:9. He is called the living God to distinguish him from idols. See Barnes "Mt 16:16".

 

Which made heaven, etc. Who thus showed that he was the only proper object of worship. This doctrine, that there was one God, who had made all things, was new to them. They worshipped multitudes of divinities; and though they regarded Jupiter as the father of gods and men, yet they had no conception that all things had been formed from nothing by the will of one Infinite Being.

{f} "We also" Ac 10:26; Jas 5:17; Re 19:10

{g} "vanities" 1 Sa 12:21; 1 Ki 16:13; Jer 14:22; Jon 2:8; 1 Co 8:4

{h} "the living God" 1 Th 1:9 {i} "which made" Ge 1:1; Ps 33:6; 146:6; Re 14:7

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