In the last blog, we saw how churches in Judea and Samaria had peace and were built up through the bold preaching of Saul. But this was not all that resulted from such a powerful movement of God through an unexpected convert. When there is a movement of God, the fruit of the Spirit’s work in persons permeates throughout the church. “And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.” (Acts 9:31).
The word “walking” in the Greek gives us the meaning of ‘living as a continual action, to behave, to go about doing’. In other words, the “fear of the Lord” – the ‘profound respect and awe’ for the Lord was continually lived out by the believers who would soon be called “Christians” by the world (Acts 11:26). It was a transformed way of life. How interesting that through this way of life the believers enjoyed “the comfort of the Holy Spirit”. This is the only reference to this phrase in the entire New Testament, but is a proof of what Jesus pointed to in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 and 1 John 2:1 would be ours in the Spirit, the Helper, Counselor, Comforter and Advocate.
We will never experience this kind of comfort, personally or as a church, unless we allow God to move among us through His Word and we live in the “fear of the Lord”. When these characteristics come together in the church, there will be multiplication of God’s work, even through times of trial and persecution! Do you want God to work where you are or are you content with the status quo?
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