Some Gentiles Believe (Acts 13:48-50)
Scripture: Acts 13:48-50
We take up the issue of God’s sovereignty that was raised in Acts 13:48 in the previous class. The issue of compatiblism naturally arises from what the verse states about people being appointed to eternal life. We cite Romans 13:1 where the same Greek word is used by Paul to describe the appointment of civil rulers. In class we cite some material from the early Christian apologists Justin Martyr and Tertullian where they defend Christians against attacks from pagans. They say that Christians pray for the civil authorities and pay taxes no matter how badly we are treated. Tertullian cites a popular saying about “Christians to the lion” based on blaming them for natural calamities. We discuss what evils were happening during those days and how the Christians spoke out against those evils.
Today we face a similar situation. No matter what happens and how evil it gets, we still believe that God is in charge and appoints the civil authorities. We too are blamed when we refuse to go along with the current sensibilities of the pagan culture. God’s rulership over all things including salvation is compatible with human responsibility. We end with a discussion of ordo salutis(order of salvation) and the RC doctrine of prevenient grace.
Here is a link to the D. A. Carson article discussed in class.