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Acts 26:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

To open their eyes - To be the instrument of informing their understanding in the things of God.

To turn them from darkness to light - From heathenism and superstition to the knowledge and worship of the true God.

From the power of Satan unto God - Της εξουσιας του Σατανα, From the authority and domination of Satan; for as the kingdom of darkness is his kingdom, so those who live in this darkness are under his dominion; and he has authority and right over them. The blessed Gospel of Christ is the means of bringing the soul from this state of spiritual darkness and wretchedness to the light and liberty of the children of God; and thus they are brought from under the power and authority of Satan, to be under the power and authority of God.

That they may receive forgiveness of sins - That all their sins may be pardoned, and their souls sanctified; for nothing less is implied in the phrase, αφεσις ἁμαρτιων, which signifies the taking away or removal of sins.

And inheritance - By remission of sins, i.e. the removal of the guilt and pollution of sin, they become children of God; and, if children, then heirs; for the children of the heavenly family shall alone possess the heavenly estate. And as the inheritance is said to be among them that are Sanctified, this is a farther proof that αφεσις ἁμαρτιων signifies, not only the forgiveness of sins, but also the purification of the heart.

By faith that is in me - By believing on Christ Jesus, as dying for their offenses, and rising again for their justification. Thus we see that not only this salvation comes through Christ, but that it is to be received by faith; and, consequently, neither by the merit of works, nor by that of suffering.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

To open their eyes - To enlighten or instruct them. Ignorance is represented by the eyes being closed, and the instruction of the gospel by the opening of the eyes. See Ephesians 1:18.

And to turn them from darkness to light - From the darkness of paganism and sin to the light and purity of the gospel. Darkness is an emblem of ignorance and of sin, and the pagan nations are often represented as sitting in darkness. Compare the Matthew 4:16 note; John 1:4-5 notes.

And from the power of Satan - From the dominion of Satan. Compare Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9. See the notes on John 12:31; John 16:11. Satan is thus represented as the prince of this world, the ruler of the darkness of this world, the prince of the power of the air, etc. The pagan world, lying in sin and superstition, is represented as under his control; and this passage teaches, doubtless, that the great mass of the people of this world are the subjects of the kingdom of Satan, and are led captive by him at his will.

Unto God - To the obedience of the one living and true God.

That they may receive forgiveness of sins - Through the merits of that Saviour who died - that thus the partition wall between the Jews and the Gentiles might be broken down, and all might be admitted to the same precious privileges of the favor and mercy of God. Compare the notes on Acts 2:38.

And inheritance - An heirship, or lot κλῆρον klēronthat they might be entitled to the privileges and favors of the children of God. See the notes on Acts 20:32.

Which are sanctified - Among the saints; the children of God. See the notes on Acts 20:32.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Paul was made a Christian by Divine power; by a revelation of Christ both to him and in him; when in the full career of his sin. He was made a minister by Divine authority: the same Jesus who appeared to him in that glorious light, ordered him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. A world that sits in darkness must be enlightened; those must be brought to know the things that belong to their everlasting peace, who are yet ignorant of them. A world that lies in wickedness must be sanctified and reformed; it is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. All who are turned from sin to God, are not only pardoned, but have a grant of a rich inheritance. The forgiveness of sins makes way for this. None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven we must be first saints on earth. We are made holy, and saved by faith in Christ; by which we rely upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, and give up ourselves to him as the Lord our Ruler; by this we receive the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. The cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, and they were in a rage at Paul's preaching the fulfilling of the Old Testament predictions. Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead; the Head or principal One. Also, it was foretold by the prophets, that the Gentiles should be brought to the knowledge of God by the Messiah; and what in this could the Jews justly be displeased at? Thus the true convert can give a reason of his hope, and a good account of the change manifest in him. Yet for going about and calling on men thus to repent and to be converted, vast numbers have been blamed and persecuted.
Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 109

The will of God is expressed in the precepts of His holy law, and the principles of this law are the principles of heaven. The angels of heaven attain unto no higher knowledge than to know the will of God, and to do His will is the highest service that can engage their powers. MB 109.1

But in heaven, service is not rendered in the spirit of legality. When Satan rebelled against the law of Jehovah, the thought that there was a law came to the angels almost as an awakening to something unthought of. In their ministry the angels are not as servants, but as sons. There is perfect unity between them and their Creator. Obedience is to them no drudgery. Love for God makes their service a joy. So in every soul wherein Christ, the hope of glory, dwells, His words are re-echoed, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. MB 109.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 329.5

Here is our power, our comfort. Of ourselves, we have no strength. But He says, “I am with you alway,” helping you to perform your duty, guiding, comforting, sanctifying, and sustaining you, giving you success in speaking words that will draw the attention of others to Christ, and awaken in their minds the desire to understand the hope and meaning of the truth, turning them from darkness to light and from the power of sin to God. TDG 329.5

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 150.2

Oneness with Christ depends on the renewing of the mind by the Holy Spirit. Thus we are strengthened to walk in newness of life, receiving from Christ the forgiveness of our sins. He who has that faith which works by love and purifies the soul, is a cleansed vessel, sanctified and meet for the Master's use. Self is dead.... TDG 150.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 429.1

A voice said, “Jesus, who is seated upon the throne, has so loved man that He gave His life a sacrifice to redeem him from the power of Satan, and to exalt him to His throne. He who is above all powers, He who has the greatest influence in heaven and in earth, He to whom every soul is indebted for every favor he has received, was meek and lowly in disposition, holy, harmless, and undefiled in life. 3SM 429.1

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Cross References
Paul's Arrest and Imprisonment