And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke…
I. THIS GOSPEL IS THE WORD OF GOD'S GRACE because —
1. It is the revelation of His grace. Its very errand is to make known that "by grace are ye saved, through faith" etc.
2. It is the history and delineation of the grace of God. Study the Bible with this key, then, from the first promise to the last you find that the keynote of grace sounds through the whole glorious concert.
3. It is the great instrument of grace; for God works by His gospel; and it is "the power of God."
II. THE LORD GAVE TESTIMONY TO THE WORD OF HIS GRACE, AND HE DOES SO STILL.
1. God has given testimony to the Word of His grace —
(1) In that wondrous chain of prophecy of what was come upon the world. The chain is still unbroken, though we may not always see it — as is the case sometimes in a chain across a river, the two ends are visible, but the chain is in the depth of the river — but it is not the less knit together because you cannot trace it.
(2) By miracles.
2. But it is said with some plausibility, these supernatural signs were wrought in times past; show us some now. Now, this challenge may be fairly met. Surely every reflecting and reasonable man will admit that, as far as mind surpasses matter, so much further must the mighty power put forth in the mind surpass that put forth in the body. Therefore, whether is it the greater miracle, to make the deaf spirit to hear, the dumb spirit to sing, the dead spirit to have life return to it, or to raise the bodily infirm or dead? But were these miracles confined to the past? Could we not show these scornful philosophers who tell us there is nothing wonderful or preternatural now, the infidel, who has become devout and humble? not the drunkard, who has become sober, the publican and the harlot, who have become just and pure?
3. God bears testimony to the Word of His grace, and to that only. It is natural that He should be jealous of His own blessed specific, lest it should be either marred or corrupted by human traditions, or macerated by man's vain and subtle explaining it away, or destroying its miraculous nature. Wherever the simple grace of God has been set aside by self-righteousness on the one hand — as it is largely by the Church of Rome — or, on the other hand, its mysterious and miraculous character denied by those who deny the divinity of Christ and the efficacy of the atonement, there may have been some moral influence; but where are the results that show the new creature? The apostles, reformers, martyrs, with one voice proclaimed that God bears testimony to the Word of His grace. Application: It is in the power of the humblest and plainest to give one of the very best evidences of the power of the gospel that ever can be given, by leading a holy life.
(H. Stowell, 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.