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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 2 - Verse 47
Verse 47. Praising God. See Lu 24:53.
And having favour. See Lu 2:52.
With all the people. That is, with the great mass of the people; with the people generally. It does not mean that all the people had become reconciled to Christianity; but their humble, serious, and devoted lives won the favour of the great mass of the community, and silenced opposition and cavil. This was a remarkable effect; but God has power to silence opposition; and there is nothing so well fitted to do this as the humble and consistent lives of his friends.
Added. Caused, or inclined them to be joined to the church.
The Church. To the assembly of the followers of Christ-th ekklhsia, The word church properly means those who are called out, and is applied to Christians as being called out, or separated from the world. It is used but three times in the Gospels, Mt 16:18; 18:17. It occurs frequently in other parts of the New Testament, and usually as applied to the followers of Christ. Comp. Ac 5:11; 7:38; 8:1,3; 9:31; 11:22,26; Ac 12:1,5. It is used in classic writers to denote an assembly of any kind, and is twice thus used in the New Testament, Ac 19:39,41, where it is translated "assembly."
Such as should be saved. This whole phrase is a translation of a participle, touv swzomenouv. It does not express any purpose that they should be saved, but simply the fact that they were those who would be, or who were about to be saved. It is clear, however, from this expression, that those who became members of the church, were those who continued to adorn their profession, or who gave proof that they were sincere Christians. It is implied here, also, that those who are to be saved will join themselves to the church of God. This is everywhere required; and it constitutes one evidence of piety when they are willing to face the world, and give themselves at once to the service of the Lord Jesus. Two remarks may be made on the last verse of this chapter: one is, that the effect of a consistent Christian life will be to command the respect of the world; and the other is, that the effect will be continually to increase the number of those who shall be saved. In this case they were daily added to it; the church was constantly increasing: and the same result may be expected in all cases where there is similar zeal, self-denial, consistency, and prayer.
We have now contemplated the foundation of the Christian church; and the first glorious revival of religion. This chapter deserves to be profoundly studied by all the ministers of the gospel, and by all who pray for the prosperity of the kingdom of God. It should excite our fervent gratitude that God has left this record of the first great work of grace; and our fervent prayers that he would multiply and extend such scenes until the earth shall be filled with his glory.
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