We need not be discouraged that either controversy inside the Church, or persecution from outside, will prevent the Body of Christ in the Twenty-first century from experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit, and the (perhaps stunning) growth that He intends to bring about. This second of three brief posts on the theme of opposition also comes from John Piper.
John Piper writes: “This seems to be Luke’s view, because, even though he portrayed Christianity as ‘spoken against everywhere,’ he also portrayed relentless growth throughout the book of Acts.
‘The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved’ (Acts 2:47).
‘The disciples were increasing in number’ (Acts 6:1).
‘The word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly’ (Acts 6:7).
‘The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord’ (Acts 11:21).
‘The word of God increased and multiplied’ (Acts 12:24).
‘The churches…increased in number daily’ (Acts 16:5).
‘All the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord’ (Acts 19:10).
‘The word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily’ (Acts 19:20).
“Therefore, we must not think that controversy and conflict keep the church from experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit and dramatic growth. We are taught in Romans12:18, ‘If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.’ But we are not taught to sacrifice truth for peace. So Paul said, ‘Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed’ (Galatians 1:8).”
From John Piper in Pierced by the Word.