“The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers” (Acts 9:31, NLT).
With the conversion of Saul (vs. 9:1-19), the Jewish persecution of the Church declined and during this hiatus the Church grew in strength and numbers.
There are three principles of church growth we can glean from this verse:
“And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:17, NLT)
After Peter proclaimed the gospel of Jesus in Caesarea to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, a Roman officer, Peter had to explain his actions to the apostolic leadership and believers back in Jerusalem.
As Peter recounted the sequence of events, he explained it was only by God’s initiative that he took the gospel to the Gentiles.