19 June, 2016

Acts 13:46—“… but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life …”



Then Paul and Barnabus waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46 KJV).


(I)

Rev. Herman Hoeksema


Certain it is that [a general and well-meant offer of grace and salvation] is mentioned [here] with not so much as a letter, and that there is nothing in the text that points to it. Paul and Barnabas had preached God’s Word, and that, too, first of all to the Jews. Now it appeared that some of the Jews contradicted and despised that Word of God. And to them Paul and Barnabas are speaking here. They say to them that it has appeared that they judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life. Where is the general offer of grace here? Only in this: that the Word of God was proclaimed also to those who went lost. But the question is not whether the Gospel must also be preached to all who come under it; but the question is whether that Gospel is a well-meant and general offer of salvation. The question is therefore: did Paul and Barnabas preach the Word of God in such a way that it could be called an offer, a general offer of salvation? And to this we can find the answer in the same chapter. What they preached the previous Sabbath is described in verses 16-41. And in brief the content of this preaching is Christ who died and was raised again, and forgiveness of sins through Him. And then you read in verse 39:

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.

There is no offer here, therefore, but a proclamation of the forgiveness of sins. And there is nothing general here, but a limitation of justification to everyone who believes. And since only the elect ever believe, therefore you have also here the sure promise of God only for the elect, and not a general and well-meant offer of grace. And the outcome was also entirely in accord with this preaching. For some of the Jews and proselytes believed and followed Paul; but others were filled with envy and contradicted those things which were spoken by Paul and Barnabas, verses 43, 45.


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(II)

More to come! (DV)


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