The growth of the church

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The churches throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Acts 9, 31.

Today’s verse from the Bible describes how the church of God flourished in its early days. Although we are no longer living in such a prosperous condition of Christianity, we can nevertheless learn many a lesson from this description.

In different places in the land of Israel there lived believers who gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus. Together they formed the church of God on earth. The Word of God stresses four characteristics of this living organism. 

The church enjoyed peace. This is not automatic, since Satan endeavours to cause confusion through resistance outside and difficulties inside. How thankful we should be for peaceful times when the local church can prosper.

It was edified. By means of the teaching of the Word of God our new life is nourished, so that we grow spiritually. We are given a basis of faith and strengthen our relationship with our Redeemer.

The believers walked in the fear of the Lord. Biblical teaching always aims to encourage genuine godly fear. Our desire is then to enjoy God’s approval.

The numbers increased. It is a mark of grace when further souls find faith and are added to the house of God as living stones (cf. 1 Peter 2, 5). Numerical growth then accompanies spiritual growth.