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43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 


This verse is the first of eight summaries in the book of Acts that describe the early church’s faithfulness to the Word and its numerical growth.

43 Then fear [awe] came upon every soul,

The upshot of the four activities of verse 42 is that everyone present had a sense of awe, reverence, or “fear” of what God did in the church. The word “came” in the original carries the idea of an enduring sense of awe, inspired by what God was doing in an ongoing sense.

and many wonders and signs

The apostles performed miracles and miraculous signs. A miracle brought awe to those who saw it. A sign is a miracle that points to the verification of truth. The critical group to whom the apostles exercised these miracles was the Jews. Miracles were a sign to the Jews of certification that a new economy of the church had begun and that God suspended the economy of Israel. The Jews “require a sign” in order to believe.

Other than Jesus and the apostles in our passage, the only other people who performed “signs and wonders” in Acts were Stephen, Philip, Paul, and Barnabas (Acts 6:8; 8:13; 14:3; 15:12). The apostles performed these wonders as Christ’s agents (Acts 3:6, 12-16).

were done through the apostles. 

Miracles confirmed or verified the message of New Testament apostles. God gave this privilege to only the apostles or their immediate associates (He 2:3-4; 2 Co 12:12). The purpose was to ratify their message as from God and that they were authorized to write Scripture (the New Testament). These gifts are no longer extant because we have a complete New Testament (i.e., God completed the canon of Scripture through them). He gave no further revelation.


A local church needs to sense God at work among their fellowship.


The early church was a community. They were a worshipping church. Together they experienced the awe of what God did among them.