ACTS 26:18, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
The Apostle Paul is recounting his meeting with Jesus while on his way to Damascus to take Christian prisoners. It was while journeying, that Christ appeared to Paul, Paul trusted Christ, and received his marching orders from Christ. God wanted Paul to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. The impact of our Gospel witness has the results described in Acts 26:18.
Paul did not hesitate to become obedient to God's commission, he states before King Agrippa, "I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." (Acts 26:19-20)
Notice with me four results God purposes to accomplish when we witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others:
- The first result God purposes is that people may have their eyes opened to spiritual truth. I love the impact the Gospel has had on my life to turn my eyes from darkness to light. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
- The second result God purposes is that people would be turned away from the power of Satan unto the power and dominance of God. The word "power" in verse 18 is the Greek "exousia" which speaks of the power of authority. Under whose authority do you desire to live? A tyrannical despot or a gracious and merciful king. Victory over sin and Satan is only realized through the Lord Jesus Christ, through our submission to the power of His authority.
- The third result God purposes is that people might receive forgiveness of sins. We know without the forgiveness of sins a person experiences eternal death in hell. For the Bible declares, "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). Forgiveness can only be received through Christ sacrifice on the cross. Ephesians 1:7, "In whom (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins..."
- The final result God purposes through our witnessing of the Gospel is that we might enjoy the privilege of inheritance. Inheritance in this verse speaks of our acquiring or securing of a portion of something from someone. We know the someone in this case is Christ from whom we acquire or secure the inheritance of everything spiritually good. We receive a portion of what other believers receive because we become a part of God's family. Romans 8:16-17, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ..." The idea of being joint-heirs with Christ is that we are participating with Christ in the things assigned to Him. I have a hard time understanding what all that entails, but it sure is exciting!
If we can learn what God purposes to accomplish in our sharing the Gospel, maybe we will become more involved in embracing and obeying the Commission God has given to each of us. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott