Sermon preached on Sunday, April 24, at New Life Baptist Temple Church, Asunción, Paraguay, South America.
Text: The main text is Acts 9:31:
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
For context: Acts 9:26-31.
Introduction: There are several kinds of virtues, such as the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love; see 1 Corinthians 13), the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance), and others. In this fashion, we can see Luke giving us three virtues of a victorious church.
- It is a distinct peace; not as the world gives (John 14:27).
- This peace does not refer to the mere lack of conflicts, either internal or external: it is the direct consequence of God’s presence in His church and the individual transformation brought by regeneration.
- This peace is especially evident in the practice of reconciliation and the exercise of brotherly love (verses 26, 27).
- It is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10; see also Proverbs 1:7). It means being wise and even cautious, avoiding carelessness (verse 30).
- This is a way of life. It is a way, and we have to walk through it.
- It is a deep–rooted commitment to obedience at all costs. For these Christians, it meant having to hide their most notorious convert and budding evangelist, ignoring anything that looked like a promising opportunity.
- This is product of the fear of the Lord.
- Is shown by the practice of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23).
- This brings forth a supernatural renewal of the whole being.
- Especially, it is manifested in evangelism (Acts 9:28,29).
Conclusion: So, here we have three virtues of a victorious church: Peace, fear of the LORD, and comfort of the Holy Spirit. These are no-frills virtues, simple yet deeply meaningful. Now, let’s consider prayerfully if we are practicing these:
- Are we preaching boldly the name of the Lord Jesus in evangelism?
- Are we trying to obey God?
- Are we able to to overcome our fear and welcome people that might be not exactly our friends or buddies?
May the Lord bless us as we keep walking in His path of obedience and service. Amen.