Refer: http://www.desiringgod.org/labs/unconditional-election http://www.desiringgod.org/labs/the-chosen-choose-god Principle for Bible Reading Cross-referencing Most Study Bibles have cross-references which point us to other texts that connect to the current text of study. Whether pointing to texts that connect thematically or grammatically, cross-referencing enhances our study when we take the time to look the verses up. Study Questions What does unconditional election mean? Some say that God predestines us based on his knowledge that we would choose him. How does Acts 13:48 contradict this? Often, we can articulate a certain doctrine and argue for it but fail to be spiritually nourished by the truth of it. Spend some time thinking about how the doctrine of unconditional election can be sweet to our souls Principle for Bible Reading Turn Bible Study into Prayer We all need to be reminded from time to time that the Bible is not a text to be merely dissected, analyzed, and mined for new insights. God dissects us through his Word: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” ( Hebrews 4:12 ). Therefore, our Bible study must be inseparable from prayer. Our engagement with a text is not complete when we understand the passage. Pray God’s Word. Pray prayers inspired by God’s Word. Pray that God would change you by his Word. Study Questions Is God’s choice of his people based upon his knowledge that they would choose him first? What Scriptures confirm your answer? Does God appointing his people cause them to believe or does their belief cause them to be appointed in Acts 13:46–48 ? Does God’s election mean that we shouldn’t share the gospel with everyone? Read Acts 13:38–39 and watch the lab. Do you agree with Pastor John’s answer?
Wider Cross Reference Context
Acts 13:46-47 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.
Acts 13:38-39 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
John 10:26-27 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord,
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Observations and thoughts:
1. Unconditional election means that God chooses us not because of anything in us but because of His own choice.
2. Acts 13:48 contradicts those who say we choose God first before God chooses us because only those who were first appointed or chosen to eternal life believed. This can be seen by how the actions by God (marked in red text and beige highlight) occurs first before the actions by people (blue text and highlight).
3. We know that the above two ideas are faithful to the Bible because of other passages as seen in the section above under "Wider Cross Reference Context."
4. God's choice, calling, election, appointing is what enables us to believe in Him.
5. This does not mean we do not share the gospel with everyone because we do not know who God has chosen. It is God who wants us to share the gospel with all. It is not for us to determine who to share with beforehand.
6. The doctrine of election is so wonderful to me because it frees me from carrying a burden of getting people to be saved. It also encourages me to trust God and out of that trust to freely share the gospel and depend upon Him to do so as well as He and I work together to do so.