So Mightily Grew the Word of God and Prevailed
So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed (Acts 19:20, KJV)
What does it mean for the Word to grow mightily and prevail? Let us briefly review the context of this verse before examining the keywords “grew” and “prevailed.”
Luke describes the astonishing activity and results of the Gospel message in the city of Ephesus. When the Ephesians heard the Gospel from Paul, they did not only accept Jesus as the Savior but also responded with a city-wide tsunami of repentance and transformation. For instance, those who practiced magic brought their books to be burned publicly. This response, and its result, is what Luke had in mind when he said the Word grew mightily and prevailed!
“Grew” simply means “to increase in activity or state.” This increase can either be at the community level(as in Ephesus) or the individual level( Col. 1:9). Furthermore, God’s Word increases in two intricately connected ways. First, the Word begins in our lives as knowledge—we read or hear what the Word says and become aware of it. Second, that knowledge bears fruit or causes a change in our character, actions, and words. The Ephesians did not only hear the Gospel and know it. Beyond hearing and knowing, they responded with outward godly changes in their lives and community.
The Word did not only grow, but it prevailed. And the term “prevailed” as used here has two interwoven ideas. The first is that the Word of God is able—it has the power sufficient for any task at hand. Second, the Word subdued or overcame the adversaries it encountered. And what were these adversaries in Ephesus? There was idolatry, witchcraft, sexual impurity, and other sins that plague human communities. God’s powerful Word freed those in bondage, transformed broken lives, and changed the community.
Brethren, this is how God changes us individually and our communities. Let His Word grow mightily in your life and environment.
What does “grew “and “prevailed” mean in this verse?
Apply the Word
Christianity hands on the message of Acts 19:20 above. As you have probably heard me say a million times, the Word of God is the Spirit’s most powerful weapon to change individuals and communities. Let the Word has its way in your heart to grow mightily and prevail.
Ask the Lord to help you make your heart fertile ground for His Word to grow.
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