Summary: Results of Spiritual Growth


Acts 12:24; 19:20

God created the first humans and He gave to them the command “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28.

Growth is God’s business. He is about the spiritual growth. This spiritual growth comes about as a result of the Word of the God growing in us individually or congregationally (Acts 12:24; 19:20). Spiritual growth is a growth in love for God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:34-40). When we grow in our love for God and neighbor then the results of it will come naturally. The first church grew spiritually in Acts 2:42-47a.

As a consequence of this growth, we see GOD growing the church in Acts in three ways. The church grew:

a. Numerically.

b. Geographically.

c. Cross-racially.

{Let us look at the first way through which the church grew under God’s direction, numerical growth.}


When the Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles, the people were “amazed and perplexed.” While some were in awe, others were mocking saying that they were drunk. Peter stood up and he preached Christ’s sovereignty and lordship. “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (2:41). Their faithful obedience to the Lord in baptism marks the beginning of the reign and lordship of Christ. They were very happy of their new relationship with the Lord and “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” (2:42-47a). This passage gives us some marks of their immediate spiritual growth. Marks of this growth were the devotion to God, fellowship with other Christians and respect from non-believers. As a result of this growth Luke records that “…the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (2:47b).

By Acts 4:4 the number grew to 5000 men, and here women are not numbered. I believe that women were saved also. At Acts 5:14 the counting stopped and we read “…more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.”

Acts 6:1 says that “…the number of disciples was increasing…” This statement introduces a conflict that arose in the Jerusalem church in regard to Grecian Jew widows. The matter was brought to the apostles who proposed the solution. Having dealt with the problem in a godly way, Luke tells us “…the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased RAPIDLY, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”(6:7). So the spiritual growth, that is evident in this case, brings for the church a rapid growth and also priests were coming to believe in the Lord. In likewise 9:31 and 16:5 continues this record of growth in a daily growth rhythm.

We read about 3000 on 2:41. We read of 5000 men on 4:4. Then we don’t have numbers, but we have “more and more,” “increasing.” Why did the numbering stop? I believe that there is a reason behind. God through Luke wants to tell us that the numbers are ends to means. They are consequences of the real growth, the spiritual growth toward God and neighbor. Numbers are God’s business; our business is the spiritual growth. When we grow spiritually, GOD will grow us numerically.

“The only value of numbers is in comparison; that’s why you find statistics in columns.” WAYNE JACOBSEN. People today are so much focused on the numbers, and they miss the nature of true growth. As a minister of the gospel, I am asked many times “How is the church doing? How was worship today?” And guess what the next question is! “How many are coming now? Or, how many were present today?”

If we grow in our love toward God and our neighbor, then GOD will grow the church in numbers.

{God grew church numerically, but He also grew the church geographically.}


Initially the church was growing in Jerusalem. But they were staying there and not going anywhere else. Chapters 1-7 in the book of Acts focus on the work of the body of Christ in this area. The church was doing very well, except for this fact.

But in chapter 8:1 we read that “a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” It looks that they had fallen in their comfort zone, and were enjoying themselves too much. It is possible that they are feeling well about themselves, and God, the author of growth caused “a great persecution” to come upon the church. The church scattered and “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” What they did not do on their own, God caused them to do in the hard way. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed Christ there (8:5). As a result of his evangelistic tour in Samaria “…when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12

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