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Acts 13:46

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Waxed bold - Παρῥησιασαμενοι ; Having great liberty of speech; a strong, persuasive, and overpowering eloquence. They had eternal truth for the basis of this discourse; a multitude of incontestable facts to support it; an all-persuading eloquence to illustrate and maintain what they had asserted.

Should first have been spoken to you - When our Lord gave his apostles their commission to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, he told them they must begin first at Jerusalem, Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47. In obedience therefore to this command, the apostles (in every place where they preached) made their first offers of the Gospel to the Jews.

Ye put it from you - Απωθεισθε αυτον, Ye disdain this doctrine, and consider it contemptible: so the word is frequently used.

And judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life - Was this meant as a strong irony? "Ye have such humbling thoughts of yourselves, that ye think the blessings of the Gospel too good to be bestowed on such worthless wretches as ye are." Or did the apostle mean that, by their words and conduct on this occasion, they had passed sentence on themselves, and, in effect, had decided that they were unworthy of the grace of the Gospel; and God now ratifies that judgment by removing those blessings from them, and sending them to the Gentiles?

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Waxed bold - Became bold; spake boldly and openly. They were not terrified by their strife, or alarmed by their opposition. The contradictions and blasphemies of sinners often show that their consciences are alarmed; that the truth has taken effect; and then is not the time to shrink, but to declare more fearlessly the truth.

It was necessary - It was so designed; so commanded. They regarded it as their duty to offer the gospel first to their own countrymen. See the notes on Luke 24:47.

Ye put it from you - You reject it.

And judge yourselves - By your conduct, by your rejecting it, you declare this. The word “judge” here does not mean they “expressed such an opinion,” or that “they regarded themselves” as unworthy of eternal life - for they thought just the reverse; but that by their conduct they condemned themselves. By such conduct they did, in fact, pass sentence on themselves, and show that they were unworthy of eternal life, and of having the offer of salvation any further made to them. Sinners by their conduct do, in fact, condemn themselves, and show that they are not only unfit to be saved, but that they have advanced so far in wickedness that there is no hope of their salvation, and no propriety in offering them, any further, eternal life. See the notes on Matthew 7:6.

Unworthy … - Unfit to be saved. They had deliberately and solemnly rejected the gospel, and thus shown that they were not suited to enter into everlasting life. We may remark here:

(1) When people, even but once, deliberately and solemnly reject the offers of God‘s mercy, it greatly endangers their salvation. The probability is, that they then put the cup of salvation forever away from themselves.

(2) the gospel produces an effect wherever it is preached.

(3) when sinners are hardened, and spurn the gospel, it may often be the duty of ministers to turn their efforts toward others where they may have more prospect of success. A man will not long labor on a rocky, batten, sterile soil, when there is near him a rich and fertile valley that will abundantly reward the pains of cultivation.

Lo, we turn … - We shall offer the gospel to them, and devote ourselves to seeking their salvation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Jews opposed the doctrine the apostles preached; and when they could find no objection, they blasphemed Christ and his gospel. Commonly those who begin with contradicting, end with blaspheming. But when adversaries of Christ's cause are daring, its advocates should be the bolder. And while many judge themselves unworthy of eternal life, others, who appear less likely, desire to hear more of the glad tidings of salvation. This is according to what was foretold in the Old Testament. What light, what power, what a treasure does this gospel bring with it! How excellent are its truths, its precepts, its promises! Those came to Christ whom the Father drew, and to whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual, Ro 8:30. As many as were disposed to eternal life, as many as had concern about their eternal state, and aimed to make sure of eternal life, believed in Christ, in whom God has treasured up that life, and who is the only Way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought it in them. It is good to see honourable women devout; the less they have to do in the world, the more they should do for their own souls, and the souls of others: but it is sad, when, under colour of devotion to God, they try to show hatred to Christ. And the more we relish the comforts and encouragements we meet with in the power of godliness, and the fuller our hearts are of them, the better prepared we are to face difficulties in the profession of godliness.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 131.3

The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life, He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the word of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.... UL 131.3

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Ellen G. White
A New Life (Revival and Beyond), 37.1

We hear a great deal about faith, but we need to hear a great deal more about works. Many are deceiving their own souls by living an easy-going, accommodating, crossless religion. But Jesus says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [The Signs of the Times, June 16, 1890 (Morning Talk at Basel, Switzerland, September 17, 1885.)] NL 38.1

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Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 66.3

Have you been grasping the precious truths point after point as they have been presented? Or have you been thinking that you follow your own ideas and opinions and read and judge the Word of God by your opinions and theories? Or will you take your ideas and theories to the Word of God and let the living oracles reveal to you where the deficiencies and defects are in your ideas and theories? We cannot take a position that we will judge the Word of God because we believed thus and so. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). FW 66.3

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Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 49.3

We are living in an important and interesting period of this earth's history. We need more faith than we have yet had; we need a firmer hold from above. Satan is working with all power to obtain the victory over us, for he knows that he has but a short time in which to work. Paul had fear and trembling in working out his salvation; and should not we fear lest a promise being left us, we should any of us seem to come short of it, and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life? We should watch unto prayer, strive with agonizing effort to enter in at the strait gate. FW 49.3

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