“Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” Acts 9:31 (KJV)
Chapter nine begins by telling us of Saul. He is known as Saul of Tarsus a Pharisee, passionate about the Hebrew religion, and the death of any who spoke of the Christ as the Lord Jesus.
In his endeavors of religious lust he set out to kill, and destroy the Christian faith, and was very aggressive in doing so. This chapter deals mostly with his glorious conversion to faith in Christ Jesus, believing in His death, burial and resurrection.
The early Church was fearful of Saul. They fled from Jerusalem because of him; not knowing it was the will of God to scatter the Gospel of Christ into the world. It is amazing and wonderful and marvelous how the Spirit of the Lord moves and works in our lives.
I have, for many years, found verse 31 of chapter 9 fascinating, and enlightening. After Saul’s conversion the churches of Judea and Galilee and Samaria experienced “Rest” – the persecution had lightened up.
I want you to notice what happened, and this is a lesson for the Church of all ages;
- They were walking (the Church was walking) in the fear of the Lord;
- They were experiencing the comfort of the Holy Spirit;
- The Church was multiplying in number – people were coming to faith in Jesus.
What does that mean for the Christian Church today? We must walk in the Spirit of God; that means with reverence, fear of God, His Spirit and His Word; believing His Word, loving His Word, and applying it to our lives, in daily living.
If we are to experience the “Comfort of the Holy Spirit” that comes also loving God, and His Word. How can a child of God through Jesus Christ grow in faith in Him without a daily diet of God’s Word? We cannot. Neither will their be any comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, the Christian Church today can only rightly increase in number as people come to Christ, not necessarily “To Church”, but to Christ Jesus through His death, burial and resurrection.
When the Church; which is the Body of Christ – has Reverence and Rest, then there will be Results.