Monday, April 05, 2010

Eternal Appointment

Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

48 Ἀκούοντα δὲ τὰ ἔθνη ἔχαιρον καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν λόγον τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἐπίστευσαν ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον·

This was the result of Paul's public preaching.  It's hard for us to imagine how glorious this news was to the Gentiles.  They continually had to look at the temple from the outside.  They figured that they could never be God's chosen people and, therefore, had no chance of the kind of relationship the Jews enjoyed.  Paul taught otherwise.  This resulted in great delight for the Gentiles.

There are two things that really strike me about this short verse.  First, there is a sense of divine appointment.  The word τεταγμένοι is a perfect passive participle.  A rule of thumb for the perfect tense is that there was some past action with present effect.  It is a participle to show the nominative nature of it.  It is in the passive tense to show that something was done to the subject.  In this case, it refers to those who had previously been appointed to eternal life.  They could now believe, which was the present effect.  This is a very strong verse in support of the doctrine of election.

The other thing is that it refers to ζωὴν αἰώνιον.  This is once again a defense for the orthodox view of eternity.  Those who believe will spend eternity in life.  What a glorious promise that we have to hang onto!  I pray that those of us who believe would hang onto that.  And I pray that those who do not yet believe would come to faith.  I don't know who is elected, so I'm going to keep writing as if everyone who reads this is.

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