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Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 24) - Act 10:43; Act 11:14; Act 11:18; Act 13:39

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For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse.

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace

57. Act 10:43
A. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." (Act 10:43)
B. Does this verse teach that belief in Christ is a condition which must be met to acquire eternal forgiveness of sins?
C. No. (See Mar 1:4 - Section III, 15; Act 2:38 - Section III, 55; Act 3:19 - Section III, 56)
D. Furthermore, Cornelius, to whom these words were said, already had eternal life and therefore had his sins eternally forgiven (see Act 11:14 - Section III, 58).

58. Act 11:14
A. "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." (Act 11:14)
B. Did Cornelius and his house get eternal life by Peter telling them words?
C. This salvation was conditioned on works (Act 10:6 c/w Act 11:14).
i. Therefore it cannot be eternal salvation because eternal salvation is not according to our works (2Ti 1:9) (see Section II,7,A,i).
ii. Therefore it must be a temporal salvation that Cornelius and his house were to experience (more on this below).
D. Cornelius already had eternal life when Peter preached the gospel to him.
i. Cornelius was a devout man (Act 10:2).
a. Devout adj. - 1. Devoted to divine worship or service; solemn and reverential in religious exercises; pious, religious.
b. God hates the religious devotion of the wicked (Pro 15:8-9).
c. But God accepted Cornelius' devotion (Act 10:4).
ii. Cornelius and his house feared God (Act 10:2).
a. Unregenerate reprobates have no fear of God (Rom 3:18).
b. Salvation is nigh them that fear God (Psa 85:9).
c. Therefore Cornelius was a regenerate child of God.
iii. Cornelius prayed to God alway and God heard and accepted his prayers (Act 10:2 c/w Act 10:4).
a. God only hears the prayers of the righteous, not the wicked (Pro 15:29; 1Pe 3:12; Joh 9:31; Isa 59:2).
b. Therefore Cornelius was a righteous child of God.
iv. God told Peter to not call common what God hath cleansed (Act 10:15).
a. God was referring to Cornelius whom He had already cleansed before Peter ever met him (Act 10:28).
b. Peter later understood that "in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted (not gets accepted) with him." (Act 10:35).
c. Cornelius was accepted with God before he heard the gospel (Act 10:2 c/w Act 10:35).
v. Therefore, since Cornelius was a devout man who feared God whose prayers God heard, he was already a righteous man who had eternal life before Peter preached the gospel to him.
E. So if Cornelius already had eternal salvation before Peter was sent to him, then what was the salvation he would get when Peter came to him and told him words?
i. Though Cornelius had eternal life, he was ignorant of the gospel of Jesus Christ and he needed to be saved from that ignorance.
ii. Cornelius needed to be obedient to the gospel and be baptized.
iii. This was the purpose for which God sent Peter to him (Act 10:34-48).
iv. Cornelius was saved from ignorance to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to assurance of eternal life, fellowship with other believers, and fullness of joy (see Section II,7,B on temporal salvation).
F. Cornelius already had eternal life, but after he believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and was baptized he experienced that abundant life which Jesus came to give His sheep (Joh 10:10; Act 11:18).

59. Act 11:18
A. "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Act 11:18)
B. (See Act 11:14 - Section III, 58)

60. Act 13:39
A. "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Act 13:39)
B. Does this verse teach that belief is a condition for justification?
C. Notice what the verse does NOT say:
i. "And by their belief all that believe are justified from all things..."
ii. "And by him all that believe get justified from all things..."
iii. "And by him all that believe shall be justified from all things..."
D. The verse DOES say: "And BY HIM [Jesus] all that believe ARE justified from all things..." (Act 13:39)
E. Notice first, it is Jesus who does the justifying, not the person's belief.
F. Jesus justifies His elect by:
i. His grace (Rom 3:24).
ii. His blood (Rom 5:9).
iii. His faith (Gal 2:16).
iv. His knowledge (Isa 53:11).
G. Secondly, the verse states that all that believe are justified.
i. Believe is present tense.
ii. Are justified is a passive voice past participle construction, which shows that the object passively received the justification in the past.
iii. Therefore, the verse teaches that those who presently believe were justified by Jesus Christ prior to believing.
iv. The similar verb construction is used in Joh 5:24 (heareth, believeth, is passed) which shows that passing from death unto life precedes hearing and believing the gospel (See Joh 5:24 - Section III, 41).
H. Rather than teaching that a person is justified by, or as a result of, their belief, it in fact teaches that Jesus Christ alone justifies his children, and their belief is the evidence, not the cause of their justification (See Section II,9 on Justification).

For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace