Dr. Jerry Vines
You will notice as you read through the book of Acts that along the way there will be a series of summary statements of the life and the growth and the work of the early church. We found this at the conclusion of the second chapter. After the day of Pentecost and the great ingathering of souls, three thousand people won to the Lord, tremendous power of God expressed on that day. Then we are told in the closing verses of that chapter what the condition of the church was at that particular time in its progress. You find the same thing in this end of chapter 4 and several times all the way through Acts you will find these kinds of summary statements. It's as if the Holy Spirit gives us a snapshot of the inner life of the early church.
Of course, what a church is on the outside is very important. We are always very concerned about the image we have and the testimony we render to those on the outside, but we understand, do we not, that it is very, very important what a church is on the inside. The effectiveness of the testimony and the witness of a church on the outside will be largely dependent upon the inner life the depths of the spiritual life that is found inside the hearts of the believers.
So, we have here one of those snapshots. It shows us beneath the veneer, beneath the outside what the church really is on the inside. It's important what people think about us, but it is more important what God knows about us. So, the Spirit of God, writing through human authorship gives us this beautiful summary of the church at this particular time. There are two aspects I want us to just look together at as we look at this picture of the early church. First of all, I want us to look at the matter of the total church. You will notice in verse 32 it says ''and the multitude of them.'' In other words, the total church. The circumstances of the church in its totality at that particular time. You find here a beautiful pic ...
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