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Acts 9:31

Acts 9:31…”Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” The local church is a powerful gospel witness if healthy. The reason that caveat (“if healthy”) exists is because churches that don’t reflect God’s character actually give the world a false impression of what God is like. In verse 31, we see an increase in the number of believers as a result of the way the church lived. When non-Christians see authentic believers living in the fear of the lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it can be very attractive. This is especially true in community, when fellow church members care for each other’s needs, and love those they wouldn’t normally love outside the context of a local church. There is a massive, cosmic purpose in Christ’s church, and in fact, Paul, in Ephesians 3:10-11, says, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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