Posted by: SandreS | February 2, 2010

The Sovereignty of God Among All Men – The Message of Mars’ Hill (Acts 17), Part 7

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent: because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance unto all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

Repentance

… God … now commands all men every where to repent …

The Pauline call to “repentance” is the call to rethink everything we think we know in light of the truth of God. It is the call to accept the divine viewpoint over human viewpoint – a radical change of mind.

The word “repent” in this passage is Strong’s Greek Lexicon #3340 metanoeo, meaning “to think differently … i.e., reconsider.”

The word repent, from the Greek word metanoia, actually means a change of mind – a radical revision and transformation of our whole mental process … receiving a new mind. – Jim Palmer, Wide Open Spaces (2007), p. 75.

The word “commands” is Strong’s Greek Lexicon #3853 paraggello, meaning “to transmit a message, i.e., (by implication) to enjoin.” Noah Webster says of enjoin:

As a parent enjoins on his children the duty of obedience. – American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828.

In the context of Paul’s words here, he is telling his hearers that their Father is enjoining them to have a change of mind about Him! Surely the words of Paul to the Athenians constituted a completely different way of thinking! This repentance was not just needed for the men on Mars’ Hill. I suggest that even for those who think we know our Bible today, we are finding that we too, are in many ways worshipping a God that we do not know very well, that we have been quite ignorant of Him ourselves.

Worldwide Righteousness

… Judge the world in righteousness …

We are often led to think of the word “judge” as a term of condemnation. The word “judge” here is Strong’s Greek Lexicon #2919 krino, meaning “to distinguish, i.e., decide.” The fact is that the word for “judge” simply means to “rule.” It is the same Greek word translated “judging” in Matthew 19:28, where the Twelve Apostles will sit on twelve thrones “judging” (ruling; governing) the Twelve tribes of Israel. It is just in the same manner that Old Testament Israel had “Judges” in the past as their national leaders.

For now, “the whole world lies in wickedness (I John 5:19); but,

He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge [govern] the world in righteousness by that Man [the Lord Jesus Christ] Whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance unto all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).

Faith to All Men

… He has given assurance unto all men …

The word “assurance” here is so translated only twice in the King James Version from the Greek word pistis; but it is translated 241 times as “faith.”

Thus, the Concordant Version translates it as,

Tendering faith to all.

William Tyndale translated it,

… faith to all men …

God has “given faith unto all men”“according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). It is the blindness of ignorance that keeps this faith from embracing the true nature of its Father. One day, the ignorance will be completely dispelled and this “faith” will “repent” (think differently), so,

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

What a message of hope. What a message of confident assurance. Paul’s message on Mars’ Hill faithfully represents the glorious good news given to him for all mankind of God’s work in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, committed to Paul the Apostle, is truly better good news than any of us could ever have imagined! It is far more glorious than religion would ever have us believe!

God’s sovereign purpose of the ages will not be complete until His full creative bounty is restored so that He is,

All in all (I Corinthians 15:28).

I trust that you will be at liberty to set aside religious paradigms and enjoy the amazing riches of Christ’s finished cross-work!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2009, 2010

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