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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 4 - Verse 33

Verse 33. And with great power. See Ac 1:8. The word power here denotes efficacy; and means that they had ability given them to bear witness of the resurrection of the Saviour. It refers, therefore, rather to their preaching, than to their miracles.

Gave the apostles witness, etc. The apostles bore testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This was the main point to be established. If it was proved that the Lord Jesus came to life again after having been put to death, it established all that he taught, and was a demonstration that he was sent from God. They exerted, therefore, all their powers to prove this; and their success was such as might have been expected. Multitudes were converted to the Christian faith.

And great grace, etc. The word grace means favour. See Barnes "Joh 1:16".

And the expression here may mean either that the favour of God was remarkably shown to them, or that they had great favour in the sight of the people. It does not refer, as the expression now does commonly, to the internal blessings of religion on a man's own soul; to their personal advancement in the Christian graces of humility, etc.; but to the favour or success that attended their preaching. The meaning probably is, that the favour of the people towards them was great; or that great success attended their ministry among them. Thus the same word grace (Greek) is used in Ac 2:47. If this is its meaning, then here is an instance of the power of the testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to impress the minds of men. But this is not all, nor probably is it the main idea. It is that their union, their benevolence, their liberality in supplying the wants of the needy, was a means of opening the hearts of the people, and of winning them to the Saviour. If we wish to incline others to our opinions, or to bring them to be Christians, nothing is better adapted to it than to show them kindness, and even to minister to their temporal wants. Benevolence towards them softens the heart, and inclines them to listen to us. It disarms their prejudices, and disposes them to the exercise of the mild and amiable feelings of religion. Hence our Saviour was engaged in healing the diseases, and supplying the wants of the people. He drew around him the poor, the needy, and the diseased, and supplied their necessities, and thus prepared them to receive his message of truth. Thus God is love, and is constantly doing good, that his goodness may lead men to repentance, Ro 2:4. And hence no persons have better opportunities to spread the true sentiments of religion, or are clothed with higher responsibilities, than those who have it in their power to do good; or than those who are habitually engaged in bestowing favours. Thus physicians have access to the hearts of men which other persons have not. Thus parents have an easy access to the minds of children, for they are constantly doing them good. And thus Sunday-school teachers, whose whole work is a work of benevolence, have direct and most efficient access to the hearts of the children committed to their care.

{g} "power" Ac 1:8 {h} "witness of the resurrection" Lu 1:48,49; Ac 1:22

{i} "great grace" Joh 1:16

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