Acts 14:27 MEANING

Acts 14:27
(27) And when they were come.--Two years or thereabouts (A.D. 45-48) had passed since their mission. During that interval little probably had been heard of them, and we can picture to ourselves the eagerness with which the Christiani of Antioch would gather to listen to their report.

How he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.--This is noticeable as the first occurrence, as far as the chronological order of the books of the New Testament is concerned, of a very characteristic phrase. It would seem to have been a favourite metaphor of St. Paul's (comp. 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 2:12; Colossians 4:3), and comes in here, probably, as a fragment from his speech. From this point of view it is interesting to note the recurrence of the phrase in Revelation 3:8, both St. Paul and St. John, representing as they did different sections of the Church (Galatians 2:9), agreeing in the thought that the door of the Father's house was now opened wider than it had ever been before, and that no man might shut it.

Verse 27. - All things for all, A.V.; how that for how, A.V.; a door for the door, A.V. A door. The door is preferable, because "the faith" limits the door to one kind of opening. In Colossians 4:3 the case is a little different both in the A.V. and the R.V., though in the latter "the door of the Word" would be a truer rendering. Observe how the leading idea of the narrative is the conversion of the Gentiles. (See Introduction to the Acts.)

14:19-28 See how restless the rage of the Jews was against the gospel of Christ. The people stoned Paul, in a popular tumult. So strong is the bent of the corrupt and carnal heart, that as it is with great difficulty that men are kept back from evil on one side, so it is with great ease they are persuaded to evil on the other side. If Paul would have been Mercury, he might have been worshipped; but if he will be a faithful minister of Christ, he shall be stoned, and thrown out of the city. Thus men who easily submit to strong delusions, hate to receive the truth in the love of it. All who are converted need to be confirmed in the faith; all who are planted need to be rooted. Ministers' work is to establish saints as well as to awaken sinners. The grace of God, and nothing less, effectually establishes the souls of the disciples. It is true, we must count upon much tribulation, but it is encouragement that we shall not be lost and perish in it. The Person to whose power and grace the converts and the newly-established churches are commended, clearly was the Lord Jesus, on whom they had believed. It was an act of worship. The praise of all the little good we do at any time, must be ascribed to God; for it is He who not only worketh in us both to will and to do, but also worketh with us to make what we do successful. All who love the Lord Jesus, will rejoice to hear that he has opened the door of faith wide, to those who were strangers to him and to his salvation. And let us, like the apostles, abide with those who know and love the Lord.And when they were come,.... To Antioch:

and had gathered the church together: which was in that place, and who came together at their request; for as they were sent out by them, they judged it proper to call them together; and give them an account of the issue of their work they were recommended by them to the grace of God to fulfil: and being come together at their usual place of meeting,

they rehearsed all that God had done with them; and by them, as instruments; what grace and strength he had given them to preach the Gospel; what numbers of souls were everywhere converted by it; what miracles were wrought by them for the confirmation of it; and what persecutions and sufferings they had endured for the sake of it; and what deliverances were vouchsafed unto them:

and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles; the phrase, "the door of faith", seems to be Jewish; it is to be met with in Jewish writings: it is said (f),

"there are two women found in the world, that express the praise of God, so as all the men of the world have not; and who are they? Deborah and Hannah: Hannah, according to 1 Samuel 2:2 "there is none holy as the Lord, for there is none beside thee" and all proclaim that she , "opens the door of faith to the world", as Acts 14:8 "he raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the beggar from the dunghill, lo, the door of faith; to set them among princes", lo, the faith that is above.''

The sense here seems to be, that God had given an opportunity to the apostles to preach the doctrine of faith unto the Gentiles, and the Gentiles had had an opportunity of hearing and embracing it; God had opened the mouths of his ministers to preach to them, and he had opened their hearts to attend unto it, and receive it; for it may be understood of his giving of them the grace of faith, by which they received Christ, and his Gospel, into their hearts: so a like phrase is used by the Targumist on Jeremiah 33:6 who paraphrases the words thus;

"behold, I will bring unto them healing and redemption, and I will heal them, and I will reveal, or "open to them", , "the door of repentance";''

that is, I will give them repentance: so here, when God is said to open the door of faith to the Gentiles, the sense is, that he had given the grace of faith to them, which came by hearing the word of the Gospel, which he sent them; and gave them encouragement to believe in Christ; so the phrase a door of hope is used in Hosea 2:15.

(f) Zohar in Lev. fol. 8. 3. & in Deut. fol. 109. 4. Vid. ib. in Gen. fol. 60. 2. & 68. 2. Vid. Raziel, fol. 39. 2.

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