Acts 13:48

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    In the thread on Jude 4 Rev. G asked for my understanding of Acts 13:48. I give it here. The verse says that when Paul preached at Antioch in Pisidia,

    "as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

    It is evident from the text that those who "believed" Paul's preaching were at some time prior to that occasion "ordained unto eternal life." Calvinists say that these people were ordained to eternal life from the beginning of the world and that they became believers when Paul preached them.

    I deny it. I assert that, since the Bible everywhere portrays "eternal life" as the possession of believers and believers only, that these people who believed Paul's preaching were believers before Paul ever went to Antioch.

    There were believers, both Jew and Gentile, scattered all over the world before Christ ever came into the world or the gospel of His accomplished death and resurrection went out into the world. These people were ordained to eternal life as surely as any believer.

    When such people found out that Christ had come, either from Christ personally, or from the apostles after His ascension, they invariably believed it. This is what Jesus meant in John 10 when He said His sheep would here his voice. When He came calling, they heard.

    So the people in Acts 13:48 were believers who, having heard the message that Christ had been crucified and risen from the death, believed it. It's as simple as that.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
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    Mark,

    Would you maintain the same position as you stated above for those Christians in the Trail of Blood?

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  3. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Ken,

    I don't know what you are asking. If by "Trail of Blood" you mean the booklet on Baptist history, I put very little stock in it. If by "Trail of Blood" you mean the fact that the Lord has had a faithful succession of witnesses who have shed their blood for the word of God, I do heartily believe that. Either way, I don't have any idea what you are asking me about how that relates to my interpretation of Acts 13:48.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    One little exegetical problem ... They were ordained to eternal life ... they did not already have it. One other little exegetical point ... the 'ordaining' preceded the believing no matter which was you cut it. So your analysis seems to fall on two points, both exegetical, neither theological.
     
  5. Daniel David

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    Pastor Larry, you are so critical when something isn't interpreted correctly and it violate hermenuetics and theology. Why does it have to line up with theology. It is a perfectly good explanation that doesn't have to have any theological basis. Sheesh!

    Honestly, some of you people :rolleyes: are so interested in theology and what the Bible actually says.
     
  6. KenH

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    Mark,

    Glad to see that you aren't one of the Baptist versions of the Church of Christ/Campbellite types. [​IMG]

    What I am asking is you appear to be saying that those that were saved in Acts 13:48 were already believers, just unsaved believers. So, are people today already believers, just unsaved believers, before they become saved believers?

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  7. Frogman

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    What?? this denies what??

    God Bless.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. Tiger Fan

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    Oh my, you can't be serious.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    I see John the Baptist born again in his mothers womb... What written gospel did he hear?... If you are born again in the first hour or the last what difference does it make in regards to your eternal destination?... None at all!... Isn't unsaved believer an oxymoron!... Your saved or not whether you believe or not!

    Interesting question so if you are saved before you believe... when you believe what are you saved from?... Brother Glen :confused:
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    We need to look closer at Acts 13:48.

    Verse 46 militates against any concept like absolute Divine Agency in the election of human beings. Paul and Barnabas in effect were saying, "It was necessary that the Gospel be first spoken to the Jews. But, since you put the Gospel away from you having taken yourselves away from salvation through Christ, now we will preach to the Gentiles. Notice the human agent negated the benefits of the Gospel. Nothing, absolutely nothing is spoken as to God intervening through an alledged decree.

    This means that Acts 13:48 needs to be looked into on a level other than the Latin Vulgate. Augustine and the Western church were involved in trying to knock down any concept of free will. This concept of theology helped determine the text of the Catholic, Vulgate rendering. The Authorized Version, Revised Version an most English versions concur with the leaders of the Western Church.

    Rotherham translates it this way. ' . . . and they believed, as many as had become disposed for life.

    'Bloomfield asserts that the {passive voice} of 'tasso often conveys the middle sense and that the use of the passive does not necessarily suppose any over-ruling impulse from without.' (meaning a Sovereign Autocratic God who deliberately chooses some for Hell)

    Thus, verse 48 reads this way.

    'And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord, and as many as were disposed to eternal life, believed.' This means that it was the decision of the human being that brought about their salvation. Surely, God the Spirit convicted and convinced the Gentiles to believe, but they had to trust Jesus in order to bring about regeneration. Following the Greek language will cause verse 46 to agree with verse 48.

    Those willing to believe the predisposition of St. Augustine, Calvin and Beza are going to still believe that always, the R.S.V., the Authorized Version and the King James Version are correct.
    Question. Did the Biblical writers jot down God's holy Word in English or in the Greek language that were were taught in Bible schools and seminaries?

    Let's let the Greek scholars teach us something.
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    I am wondering how you are defining disposed? inclined? to give or have a tendency to? Is there something inherent in certain individuals that cause them to have a greater tendency to eternal life? Also how do we deal with the fact that it is not that they were inclined to believe, but that they were inclined to eternal life?
     
  12. Mark Osgatharp

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    Ken,

    Do you really not understand what I said or are you just trying to ridicule?

    I didn't say they were "unsaved believers." I said they were believers. They were saved people. They had eternal life, just like I, as a believer, am ordained to eternal life.

    Are you not aware of the fact that there were believers - children of God - scattered all over the world before Christ ever came into the world? Caiaphas, for example, prophesied that Christ would,

    "gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad."

    Jesus Himself said, "other sheep have I which are not of this fold."

    These were those who were saved under the Old Testament dispensation, looking forward in faith to the coming Christ and thus had eternal life. When Christ came they didn't lose their faith or their eternal life. To the contrary, when they heard the message that Christ had come, been crucified, and risen, they "believed" it, just like Acts 13:48 says.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  13. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    rivaughn,

    Apparently, there are those people who have examined the simple evidence of the Cross, His death and resurrection who believe in Him and others examine the same truth and reject it. I surely don't have all the answers as to why some believe and the rest reject.

    God tells us that people's hearts are described as different types of soil. [Matthew 13:3-8] I do notice that verses 4-7 indicates that 'seed by the wayside,' 'the stony places,' and some 'fell among the thorns' were people who finally rejected Christ and His forgiveness. Only, the seed that fell on the 'good ground,' were people who were inclined toward everlasting life and followed through with His truth and believed.

    We can ask various sinners as to why they do not believe. We will get a lot of different reasons, I'm convinced of this idea.

    Why do you think some are inclined toward eternal life and others are not convinced of its reality?
     
  14. Sovereign Grace

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    Those who believe manifest themselves to be born of the Spirit of God. Eternal life is the possession of believers and believers only. Not that faith is a condition of salvation, but faith separates the sheep from the goats. Salvation and faith are so connected that to deny one would be to deny the other.

    You must be of the Conditionalists.
     
  15. KenH

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    Sorry, Mark, but I am having a difficult time understanding how your argument applies to the differences between Calvinists and non-Calvinists since we all agree that those who are saved must repent and believe.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  16. Mark Osgatharp

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    Ken,

    I'm still not sure you are following my argument. My argument is that when Acts 13:48 says that certain people "believed" it does not mean that occasion is when they first started to believe in Christ; it means that is when they first came to know and thus believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, and that He had come into the world, been crucified and risen from the dead.

    It took some time for all the scattered Old Testament believers who were living when Christ came the first time to find out that Christ had come in the person of Jesus of Nazereth. Acts 13:48 simply records the fact that certain believers heard for the first time that Jesus was the Christ and when they heard that news they "believed" it.

    Acts 13:48 presents a unique circumstance that cannot possibly occur today, because the whole generation of Old Testament saints who were alive when Christ came either heard about that coming in their lifetimes or died before the news got to them. Therefore, there can be no one alive today "ordained to eternal life" who has not already heard and believed the news of Christ's death and resurrection.

    The difference this makes is that Calvinists use the verse to bolster their opinion that people are first ordained to eternal life and then believe. Whereas the Bible teaches that no man is ordained to eternal life till he becomes a believer. Calvinists teach that a man believes because he is elect, whereas the Bible teaches that men are elect because they believe.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  17. KenH

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    Acts 13:48 is not the only verse that says that. There are at least two verses that clearly teach that God ordains those who will believe. And there are plenty of other verses where this has to be the case for the verse to make sense.

    (2 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV) But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite

    [ October 12, 2002, 08:05 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  18. ScottEmerson

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    God chose the Church for salvation - corporate.
     
  19. KenH

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    Scott,

    The church is not a building, it is composed of individuals. If individuals were not chosen, then there would be no church, no corporate body.

    How do I know this? The Bible tells me so.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  20. ScottEmerson

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    Scott,

    The church is not a building, it is composed of individuals. If individuals were not chosen, then there would be no church, no corporate body.

    How do I know this? The Bible tells me so.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    </font>[/QUOTE]Never said the church was a building. God chose the nation of Israel to be a chosen nation. God chose the Church to be a peculiar people. That is what is chosen, the collective group that He chose to give salvation - those who choose to worship Him.
     

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