So continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47)
The Value Of Addition
There is value in numbers as an indicator of progress and success. A number can represent a positive indicator or a negative. It is not an emphasis in the early church, but God does take note of numbers. The Holy Spirit says three thousand devout Jews obeyed the gospel on the Day of Pentecost. Later, the number of men who heard the word and believed came to be about five thousand. The word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. When the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified, they were multiplied. Luke also records the word of God grew and multiplied.
The value of a number indicates a sense of belonging. Three thousand people obeyed the gospel, and Luke says there were many more when the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Addition was important to God because He was adding souls to the kingdom of Christ. Soon after Pentecost, believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. To add someone to the Lord or the church denotes an increase in size. The kingdom of God is about addition because it is about saving souls. It is not significant to recounting of a number but the fact that addition has taken place. Only God knows the number of saved on the earth at one time or those resting in the bosom of Abraham. He knows the uncountable number of stars and the hairs on the head of every person, and He loves to add to His church souls redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Addition suggests some are not added. To be added to something means there is a place before the addition. When Luke said the Lord added to the church, he indicated those added were at one time out of harmony with the love of God. Addition changes the station of a man’s life from the darkness of sin to the light of Jesus Christ. A conversion has taken place. Adding a soul to the church subtracts a life from the clutches of the evil one. The joy of spiritual addition is one less servant of the devil, making mathematics with eternal consequences. If the Lord did not add a person to the church, they would be lost. Adding a soul to the kingdom of Christ expresses the grace and mercy of God.
Mathematics is the purest of sciences. One plus one equals two in any language at any time with any people. It will never change. The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Being added to the church came about through the obedience of those who heard the word of God, were convicted in their hearts they killed the Son of God and followed the pattern of addition outlined by Peter and the apostles. Those pricked in their hearts asked Peter and the others what to do. Peter told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. It is at this time the essential character of addition comes into the eternal view. Three thousand souls repented of their sins and were baptized for the remission of sins, and the Lord added them – included them in the number – counted them a part of – the church. Addition is the mercy and grace of God, allowing a man to escape the wrath of God. Many more people heard the preaching of the apostles, but they refused to believe Jesus was the Christ and were not baptized. Did the Lord add them to the church? No. They were not added. If they refused to obey the gospel and the Lord never added them to the church, they were lost to perdition. It matters whether a person is added or not. Have you been added?