Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

Acts 19:18-20

GROWING AND PREVAILING

Sep 14, 1947


The Gospel is the same as ever.
The human race is unchanged at heart.
The sins to be overcome are the same.
The Holy Spirit is just as mighty to convince and renew.

I. THE WORD OF GOD PLANTED.

Planted it was, or it could not have grown.  The work proceeded in the following fashion -

  1. Certain disciples were further enlightened, aroused, and led to seek a higher degree of grace.
  2. A bold ministry proclaimed and defended the truth.
  3. Opposition was aroused.  This is always a needful sign.  God is not at work long without the devil working also.
  4. Deceitful counterfeiting commenced.

II. THE WORD OF GOD GROWING.

  1. In a church formed with many suitable elders.
  2. In a people converted, and openly confessing their conversion

Is the word of God growing among us? If not why not?
It is a living seed, and should grow.
It is a living seed, and will grow though we hinder it.

III. THE WORD OF GOD PREVAILING.

     Growth arouses opposition; but where the word grows with inward vitality it prevails over outward opposition.

  1. Paul does not appear to have dwelt continually upon the evil habit of using magical arts; but Gospel light showed the guild of witchcraft, and providence cast contempt upon it.
  2. The sin being exposed, it was confessed by those who had been guilty of it, and by those who had commenced its study.
  3. Their destruction involved expense, which was willingly incurred, and that expense gave weight to the testimony.

     "It's a blessed time in a soul, it's a blessed time in a family, it's a blessed time in a congregation, it's a blessed time in a country, when the word grows mighty and prevails.....

     "It's a blessed time when open sinners are seen leaving their sins and seeking the Savior; when men are seen giving up their unholy gains; when tavern-keepers take down their signs and burn them -- when they give up their licenses; and it's a blessed time when card players throw away their cards and take the Bible instead.  It's a blessed time when the lovers of gaudy dress take their gaudy dresses and destroy them - "
--- Robert Murray M'Cheyne. 

     "The Gospel, like a plant of great vigor, will grow almost among stones.  Thus have I seen it grow among hypocrites, formalists, and worldlings; and I have seen it laying hold of one and another and indeed, of many, however untoward the surrounding soil. 'So mighty grew the word of God and prevailed.'" 
--- Richard Cecil.

     The Earl of Rochester, of whom it has been said that he was "a great wit, a great scholar, a great poet, a great sinner, and a great penitent," left a strict charge to the person in whose custody his papers were, to burn all his profane and lewd writings, as being only fit to promote vice and imorality; by which he had so higly offended God, and shamed and blasphemed the holy religion into which he had been baptized.

The work of the Lord must prevail.