And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders worked among the people…
The blessed effects of what at first is not fully understood. The outpouring of judgment may be a preparation for the outpouring of mercy. The Church has to be made and kept pure; then the deeper the work of grace among God's people becomes the larger the work of the gospel in the world. Notice -
I. An increase in the manifestation of THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT.
1. In the working of miracles, which bad their special value in rousing attention and proving the nearness of God's kingdom.
2. In the separation, and magnifying in the eyes of the people, of the true Church. The rest durst not join them; the people magnified them.
3. In the solidifying of the Church as a society. Solomon's porch; one accord.
4. In the work of conversion. Multitudes - men and women; notwithstanding the awful deaths.
5. In the diffusion of the glad tidings in the surrounding neighborhood, not as mere idle rumor, but as a practical appeal which brought the needy and suffering to the feet of Christ.
II. THE UNFOLDING GRACE OF GOD to mankind. Solomon's porch the place of meeting still. The center of new life in the midst of the old corruption. Invitation to both Jews and Gentiles. Public place, yet connected with the temple. The Divine society inviting all to new life - a life that healed, that cared for the sick and dying, that drew the multitudes, the miracles giving confidence and pointing out the way. The manifest testimony of the world to the Church, speaking of man's preparation for the gospel, The marvelous progress of the truth in the growth of the Church a sign that the grace was being abundantly bestowed. A time of great awakening and many conversions is a time of tremendous responsibility. At least the shadow of the messenger falls upon us, as he passes by. It is not said that the shadow healed, but it may help to the faith which is a prerequisite. The people magnify the work, though they may not receive the blessing. God works generally from the lower to the upper strata of society. All great moral changes have begun among the people. The rich will resist, for it is hard to them to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The Church must look well to itself if it is to be the power of God in the world. The circle of grace will widen if only the force keeps going out from the center. We must avoid the fatal mistake of enlarging that circle by mere human methods. Let God do it in his way. What we want is not large Churches as, communities, or wealthy societies, or great signs and wonders wrought in our cities, but "believers added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women;" and they will be "the more added" because the rest dare not join themselves unto them because the Spirit of God is manifestly among them. Our great danger is impatience and unbelief. Resorting to our own expedients, because we think God's methods fail. Out of the dark cloud of Ananias's and. Sapphira's sin broke forth a new baptism of zeal, devotion, and spirituality. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.