Unlimited: All Things
Jun 26, 2023 232
For from him and through him and for him are all things (Romans 11:36a).
In the previous verse, Paul has told us that in an absolute sense no-one can ever give anything to God. In reality, neither do we own anything, nor does God owe us anything. Now he explains why that is. It is because we are utterly reliant on God for everything: even every breath and every heartbeat.
No one likes to be dependent on another. We were dependent on our parents when we were babies. We will likely be dependent on others in our old age. In between, we are proud of being self-sufficient and independent.
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
Just as this statement shows us how Paul considered himself to be utterly dependent on God, it also helps to explain why Paul ascribes everything to God’s action in either what he does in the world, or what he permits. For the same reason, he can write,
Give thanks in all circumstances… (1 Thess. 5:18.)
…we rejoice in our sufferings… (Rom. 5:3, ESV.)
This idea of the total dependence of all creation on God was prominent in Paul’s thinking. In Athens, he had spoken with the philosophers. There, he had quoted the Greek poet Epimendes, in his opening invocation to Zeus, and applied it to the true God:
For in him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28.)
Make these words of Paul a special focus of your prayer today. Focus on each phrase and meditate on who God is, and your relation to him: “For from him and through him and for him are all things.”