A quick survey of the book of Acts in the Bible and you quickly realize that the early church grew. No they increased, make that multiplied. Last night after looking at the early chapters and the growth of the church in Acts 2:41, 47; Acts 4:4; Acts 5:14; Acts 6:1, 7; and Acts 8:4 we moved on to the verse that is key to their growth:
Acts 9:31, “And the church in Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.”
There it is! The is a simple Biblical formula that made growth possible.
1. They had peace. Not peace with Judaism. Not peace with Rome. Not peace with the world. Definitely not peace with Satan. But peace with God through Christ and therefore with each other.
2. They were being built up. Encouraged, edified, taught by God’s word and by each other’s example.
3. They walked in fear of God. Yes, fear as in reverence and awe. But also fear as in “this is Creator who spoke the world into existence and who caused the immediate death of two who lied to His Spirit (cf. Acts 5).”
4. They walked in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. They had the promise of Acts 2:38-40. They understood the seal of guarantee that Paul talks of in Ephesians 1:13-14. Their spirit in tune with His produced the fruit of Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
5. All this lead to the final words of this verse “it MULTIPLIED.”
How is the church growing where you are? Are you part of the problem or the solution?