Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
Many themes are traced throughout the book of Acts. There is the Spirit, Word, witness, courage, encouragement and care, perseverance, etc. One commonly overlooked area is God’s sovereignty (i.e. the doctrines of grace or predestination, election and providence, from here on simply ‘election’). This shouldn’t surprise us as Paul, Luke’s travelling companion, wrote a great deal on these doctrines in his epistles. Yet, election and evangelism are often seen as being in contradiction rather than complimentary. Examining this theme in Acts reveals this as untrue. Election undergirds evangelism, recognizing that this doctrine is not the content of our witness.
Acts, like most New Testament letters, is not written to a general unbelieving audience but a Christian one. Acts is written by Dr. Luke to Theophilus, “to have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Lk 1). We teach election, not preach it. As such, in Acts, the Gospel is always what is proclaimed to unbelievers even while Luke’s narrative is seasoned with election for the teaching of believers.
Election in Acts
We also see this from a simple review of history from recent centuries.
The following all upheld election and are all likewise famous examples of evangelism.
Specifically, it teaches a humble dependence upon the Lord to fulfil such a Great Commission; it grounds us that we preach grace through faith in Christ; it assures us that our mission or fishing for men isn’t in vain, that some will indeed believe the Gospel (2 Ti 2:10- “I endure everything for the sake of the elect”); it produces comfort in affliction; and inspires worship for in the end God alone is glorified.
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