GRACE IN ACTS (1)
1. Acts 4: 32-34
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
A wonderful picture of the life of the early Christians. “Much grace was upon them all”.
2. Acts 6:8
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.
Stephen, one of the Seven Chosen Deacons, was a man “full of God’s grace and power”. The Jews falsely accused him of “speaking words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” They seized him and brought him before the Sanhedrin (the high court of the Jews). After his speech (Acts 7: 1-53), the Jews were furious and stoned him. Stephen’s last words were “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60). That is grace!
3. Acts 11: 22-24
22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
In Antioch, the Christian message was preached not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. When the Christian leaders in Jerusalem heard of this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch in order to investigate the situation. Barnabas saw “the evidence of the grace of God”. God, in his love, sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die for both Jew and Gentile – ‘everyone in the world.’
4. Acts 13: 42-43
42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
Paul and Barnabas were in Pisidian, Antioch on their First Missionary Journey. They urged the new Jewish believers to “continue in the grace of God.” Good advice for all of us!
5. Acts 14: 1-3
At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
Paul and Barnabas went on from Pisidian, Antioch to Iconium. In a wonderful way, God confirmed the “message of his grace”, which Paul and Barnabas were preaching, by “enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.”