WHAT THE BELIEVERS HAVE IN COMMON - PART 2
TUESDAY 13 DECEMBER 2022
According to the book of Acts chapter 2, the early Christians devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common and they went the extra mile to support anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. This is the very expectation required of us in our Christian practice or faith. Let's find out more!
Reference: Acts 2:42 New Living Translation (NLT) "All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer."
There are four important aspects of Christian practice that are noted in the above Scripture, namely:
1. Devoting ourselves to the ministry of the Word. 2. Fellowshipping with the saints. 3. Sharing meals together (including Holy Communion). 4. Prayer.
They all help in building our faith in the Lord and in ensuring that we grow to maturity in Christ. In today's article, I'm going to share the simplified knowledge of what the ministry of the Word entails. The ministry is important in the body of Christ because it is the preaching and teaching of the Scriptures, in order to build the "born again" Christian up in the Lord. In our referenced Scriptures, it is noted that in Peter's day, shortly after the Holy Spirit visited and came upon them at Pentecost, all the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching. However, this ministry is not limited to Sunday church services; it transcends the atmosphere of church buildings and cathedrals. Studying and meditating on the Word at home and especially, during our personal quiet times with the Lord are inevitable if we want to sustain lasting spiritual growth.
In 2 Timothy 3:14-17, apostle Paul addressed the young Pastor, Timothy, saying, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (NIV). This shows us that the ministry of the Word is a broad and high-impact ministry which majors on the totality of man's spiritual wellbeing and blessing, and it interfaces with the atmosphere of human spirit, and thereby, aims to permeate every area of our Christian life with quality change and transformation.
Zero wonder, 2 Corinthians 3:18 reads, "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image" (NLT). Did you grasp that? There is an ever-increasing and intensifying glory that happens in our inward being as we yield ourselves wholly to the ministry of the Word. The Word of God is our standard spiritual mirror and when we pay apt attention to it, the light of truth illumines our hearts and enlightens our understanding. Since, hearing, learning and studying the Word significantly advance our fundamental understanding in the things of the Spirit, it must be given our primary consideration and foremost attention. Such godly practices do not just build our faith, they also grant us uncommon understanding of God's will for our lives, with clear connection to the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth.
The ministry of the Word is a unique ministry in the body of Christ. This is the reason the early saints sat at the apostle's feet and devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching. It helps the saints to flourish and prosper in every aspect of life and also facilitates spiritual maturity. And this is God's purpose for us in Christ. In line with this truth, Ephesians 4:11-12 reads, "Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ" (NLT). Stay tuned for part 3. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Hosea 12:10; Acts 6:4; Romans 12:7; Acts 20:24.
Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for your goodness and mercy shown to me through the ministry of the Word. Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, has given me everything pertaining to life and godliness. Therefore, by paying attention to the Word and practising it, the blessings of my inheritance continually find expression in my life, in Jesus' Name, Amen!