ordained to eternal life
13:48 ordained to eternal life. A marvelous and mysterious aspect of God’s purposes in creation shines through here. Most of these Gentiles who believed were probably among those who had already come to “fear God” (Acts 13:16,26), even though they had not been willing to become Jewish proselytes. When they heard that, because of Christ, “all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39), “they were glad,” and responded in saving faith in Christ. God had already “ordained to eternal life” those who would believe, and He had led Paul and Barnabas to come and preach the gospel to these Gentiles so that they could learn how to be saved (just as He had sent Peter to Cornelius), and yet they “believed” on Christ by their own free will. There are numerous places in Scripture where these seemingly paradoxical truths are juxtaposed (i.e., divine predestination vs. human freedom; e.g., Acts 2:23; 4:27-28) without any suggestion that this creates a problem. Our finite minds may be incapable of comprehending and resolving such paradoxes, but that does not mean both cannot be resolved in the infinite mind of God. It may be something like the two sides of a coin. We can only see one side at a time, but both are real and true.
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