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 Lord gives Paul his mission statement in Acts 26:18. In regard to Jews and Gentiles he was to…
Open their eyes…Paul preached both among Jews and Gentiles, but his specific work was to be an apostle to the Gentiles. His preaching was always to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles. (Romans 1:16) He would preach to the Jews and when they rejected the Gospel, then he turned to the Gentiles. By preaching to the people Paul would instruct/enlighten the people so they could see their lost condition. Cf. Ephesians 1:18. He was able to accomplish opening their eyes only by preaching the gospel of Christ.
…turn them from darkness to light…They were walking in the darkness of ignorance and sin, but Paul’s preaching would bring them to knowledge and salvation. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In 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. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-6.
…and from the power of Satan unto God…Only two spiritual realms exist. There is no neutral position in reference to Satan or God. One is either serving the Devil or God. Romans 6:16 teaches, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” When one heeds the Gospel, he turns from Satan to God. Colossians 1:13 described those who had obeyed the Gospel, God had “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son…”.
…that they may receive forgiveness of sins…When those to whom Paul preached and had their eyes opened, when they gave heed to his preaching, i.e., obeyed the Gospel, they would receive 2 blessings. They would also be forgiven of all sin. Colossians 1:14, points out that when a person has been translated into Christ’s Kingdom (previous point), “In whom (i.e. in Christ – JDS) we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27 teaches us that to get “in Christ” we are baptized into Christ. That is the reason that the message preached on the day of Pentecost was to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Acts 2:38.
…and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. The inheritance those who obey the Gospel can look forward to is eternal life in the hereafter. “”And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” To be sanctified is to be set apart for God’s service. These blessings are shared by all who are sanctified by faith which is in Christ. One is sanctified, not by faith only, but by the faith of Christ.
Paul preached the Gospel by inspiration in the 1st century, and these were the blessings those who obeyed that Gospel would enjoy. Today, we preach and teach the Gospel, not by inspiration, but according to the Inspired Book, The Bible. When people obey that same Gospel Paul preached, they enjoy the same blessings as those in the 1st century. – Jerry D. Sturgill