And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke…
I. THE PROPRIETY OF THIS APPELLATION: "the Word of His grace." The gospel is so called, because —
1. It originated in unmerited mercy, and was sent to us as a matter of free favour.
2. It is a proclamation of grace and mercy. The law is a ministration of wrath, accusing, convincing, and condemning the sinner. The gospel reveals the grace of God, as abounding in our salvation.
3. It is grace alone that renders it effectual. Sinners own their conversion, saints their edification, mourners their comfort, and the oppressed their relief to it. But it derives all its influence and energy from the grace of the Holy Spirit. The gospel reaches only the ear; grace renews and sanctifies the heart. The gospel is a means, but God performs the work, and to Him we must ascribe the glory.
II. THE WAY IN WHICH GOD BEARS TESTIMONY TO THE WORD OF HIS GRACE.
1. By miracles wrought in confirmation of it.
2. By raising up a constant succession of ministers to propagate and defend it. He who sends the message, can be at no loss for want of messengers. As soon as one earthen vessel is broken, the heavenly treasure is put into another; and though the grass withereth, and the flower thereof fadeth away, yet the Word of the Lord endureth forever.
3. By the awe impressed upon the consciences even of wicked men. God will magnify His Word, whether it be a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death. Felix's trembling, Agrippa's being almost persuaded, and Simon Magus's hypocritical profession, were so many testimonies, though involuntary ones, to the truth of the inspired Word.
4. By rendering it effectual to the salvation of all them that believe. Having tasted its sweetness, and felt its power, the believer has the witness in himself. When the dark understanding is enlightened, the conscience awakened, the heart softened, and the sinner truly converted, what greater proof can we have of the power and efficacy of the gospel, or of its being worthy of its Divine Author?
5. By the life and conversation of such as walk worthy of the gospel. The grace of God revealed in the gospel, teaches "men, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, they should live soberly" etc. What can be a stronger confirmation of the reality of religion, than the change it produces in the lives and manners of its professors?
6. By the triumphant deaths of His saints. To see a Christian exulting in death is an amazing instance of the power of faith, and of the reality of true religion. Many an unbeliever has turned pale at this, and been confounded with the evidence which he had not power to resist.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.