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4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

 

In verses 4-5, Paul delivered the decree of the Jerusalem Council to churches on the second missionary journey.

16:4

And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.

After Timothy’s circumcision, the team traveled through cities Paul had previously reached (Acts 15:36), delivering the decree from the Jerusalem Council that circumcision was not necessary for salvation (Acts 15:22-29).

16:5

So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Luke gave one of his progress reports of missions here. The team of Paul, Silas, and Timothy fortified the faith of believers in the cities they visited, especially in the rugged terrain and mountain passes of southern Galatia.

“Faith” here refers to what is believed rather than the act of believing. It is the object of what Christians believe. The churches were strengthened in doctrine. During their mission, the churches increased in number every day. The churches were “strengthened”; that is, made firm in their faith. This verse concludes Paul’s visits to the churches on his first journey. From this point, their mission went into new territory.

PRINCIPLE:

Quality churches produce quantity.

APPLICATION:

It is a biblical principle to develop healthy churches. The biblical pattern is for forming new churches and strengthening established churches. A healthy church is far more effective than a church divided or a church without passion for reaching the lost. Quality produces quantity (Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:31, 42).

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