Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, "It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles.
For the Lord gave us this command when he said, 'I have made You a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.'"
When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were chosen for eternal life became believers. (Acts 13:46-48)
We need to have a good look at this word [tetagmenoi]. I gave you the idea that commentators believe the word is a middle passive which It comes from a military setting suggesting the Gentiles had set themselves in place (by faith) for eternal life and implies personal action. [tetagmenoi] is a perfect participle of the verb [tasso].
[tάσσω] tassō means to arrange in an orderly manner, that is, assign or dispose (to a certain position or lot): - appoint, determine, ordain, set.
[ὑποτάσσω] hupotassō carries the sense to subordinate; to obey – to be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self to.
This use of the word is found in Ephesians 5:21 and inferred in 5:22. Overall the sense is to submit to your place in the overall scheme of things. It is the notion that Paul conveys to us of God’s will being that all be subject under the headship of Christ. All taking their rightful place under Him. You can see how well it fits the military setting of all being in their rightful place of appointment under the Commander-in-Chief. So too with us as believers. The first sense of appointment that we must respond to is to submit to the headship of Christ. We ought to be rightly submitted to the Commander-in-Chief. To do that I must first come under His authority. I must be willing to be ruled by Him. Isn’t that what believing, trusting, being committed to Christ is all about? We talk of two steps in becoming a Christian. There is believing in Him and there is submitting to Him as Lord. Is that idea correct? The simple answer is “No.”
It is not a two step process. The idea of believing in Him followed by a later submitting to His Lordship is not the idea of the Bible. Bible believing has nothing to do with giving mental assent to something. To believe biblically has nothing to do with a mental agreement that Jesus existed, nor believing that He was a good teacher, nor believing that He was a prophet. You can't believe in Jesus and the live as though you don’t. It is not a case of believing He is God and then later beginning to obey Him. That is foreign to Bible thinking. If you come to the point of trusting or committing yourself to Him, you are acknowledging the fact that He is LORD, He is YHWH, He is the Lord of the Universe, He is the One by Whom the universe came into being, and subsequently is upheld by the on going power of His Word. To "believe” that and not submit to His Lordship and your rightly place of appointment in subjection to Him is an anathema. To acknowledge that He is who He says He is and then to seek His will but choose not to do it is the height of the human arrogance and stubbornness. The angels must hold their collective breath in awe and shocked amazement when one of the God’s children acts in a way contrary to the Head.
Now apply that thinking to the idea of us being “chosen”, “appointed”. Are you getting the idea that by choosing Him to take His rightful place in your life as your Heavenly Head you are appointed. Oh not in some Calvinistic sense that some are pre-ordained and some are not. John Calvin’s statement that God preordained a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation is not God’s idea. He wants all to come to a knowledge of the eternal truth that He is the Saviour of the World. None can come to God without coming through Christ. You come through Christ to take your rightful place of appointment – as one submitted to Him. Taking your place in a military sense of being submitted to the Supreme Commander. In one sense of the word you appoint yourself when you respond to Him in obedience and willingly submit to His Lordship. Put another way, there is no believing or trusting in Him without Lordship. You can’t believe in Jesus and later submit to His Lordship. If you trust that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, then to appropriate that Life you submit to the Commander-in-Chief. Simple really.
I have said before in these Gemz it is a puzzle to the angels in heaven how we can sing a song like
“And as we worship build Your throne,
And as we worship build Your throne,
And as we worship build Your throne,
Come Lord Jesus and take Your place.” without realising you're not talking about God building some ephemeral throne in the heavens. That has already been accomplished. By singing that song you are acknowledging His Lordship and saying "make it true in me LORD". Build your throne in my life LORD". God’s Kingdom expands with each individual who becomes a believer and is rightly submitted to the Head.
That’s all I have for you today. I think you will admit that is plenty. There is enough to chew on there for a lifetime.
In the next Gemz I will look at the idea of pre-destination from a more traditional point of view and give you a new slant on that too. It seems to us mere mortals a mystery how election, predestination and divine sovereignty can go together with free will and our right to choose. Doesn’t pre-selection cancel out any notion of free will ever being given to us? A. W. Tozer sums it up in his statement which I quoted in the last Gemz. "God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries or election, predestination and divine sovereignty. These things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God’s omniscience.” I will share with you how I reconcile these mysteries in the next Gemz.
The nano-second before you were conceived, God turned to the angels and said, "Watch this masterpiece!" Rick Godwin
The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart. Ian
Submission must be willingly given. If it is forced it is not called submission, it’s called rape. Ian
The willingness to submit must be at the heart of the woman for it to be called submission; and at the heart of the believer for it to be called Worship. Ian
Worship includes the notion of submission; that is at the heart of the word in both Hebrew and Greek. Ian