A careful reading of the Book of Acts should make us realize that the Early Church expanded and became strong in a way we do not see today. Though the Early Church went through many very hard times, every event had a positive effect on the church in some way. With the conversion of Saul in 37 A.D., there were changes God brought that would surprise most. (Stay with us to see what these were).Before we get to those changes, consider the effect of Saul’s ‘bold preaching’. “So, the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up” (Acts 9:31).
First, we notice the expansion of the church from Jerusalem went to “all Judea and Galilee and Samaria”. This was a combination of God allowing persecution and the willing hearts of believers led and controlled by the Holy Spirit. They were fulfilling what Jesus had promised would happen just before He ascended to glory and the coming of the Spirit (1:8). Though they had gone through much difficulty, they “had peace and were being built up”. This is the evidence of the Spirit’s work in the church. This became the hallmark of Paul’s ministry (see 2 Corinthians 13:10).
Is there clear evidence in your life, ministry and church of these marks of the Spirit’s work? Often in churches, peace is bought at the price of compromise. Where God is truly at work, peace comes by way of exalting Christ and His truth. This is what Paul modeled and it will build up the church wherever God is allowed to work freely.
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