Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad, etc. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save the world. Providence and grace work hand-in-hand. The Church needed to be taught by discipline. Jerusalem a natural center of religious life. But a center of radiation, not concentration.
I. PREACHING THE WORD the greatest function of the Christian Church.
1. The Word preached was the Word given. Apostles gave it. It was pre-eminently Christ's Word. It was given by the Holy Ghost with special gifts and wisdom - "confirmed" unto us.
2. The Word preached was the Word tried. Conversion proved it. Church life illustrated it. The attitude of the corrupt Jewish Church showed that it was a new Word that was required for the world. 3. Preaching preceded writing. Individual testimony. The baptism of persecution followed the baptism of inspiration. The world wants not speculative truth, but practical - the Word of life. "Taste and see," etc.
II. UNIVERSAL RESPONSIBILITY for the spread of truth.
1. The true conception of the Church - a body of believers. They believe and therefore speak. Possession of the Word is responsibility.
2. The state of the world demands activity in every believer.
3. The pastoral office quite consistent with the fulfillment of this universal duty. The primi inter pares should stimulate all to work.
III. THE LEADINGS OF PROVIDENCE are the true guidance of spiritual activity. "Scattered abroad" against their will. Doors opened. Opportunity enlarged. Trouble sanctified.
1. It is dangerous to anticipate Divine preparation.
2. Watch in the night, for the darkest hour precedes the dawn.
3. Keep a true and firm center from which to go and to which to return. Jerusalem still remains the seat of apostolic wisdom and authority. God is not the author of confusion. The greatest activity need not break up orderly religious life. Revivals and evangelistic aggression should always maintain a rallying-point. Seek out not "quiet resting-places," but spheres of labor. Let God appoint the peace. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.