When the Word of God increases, so does the church.
Acts 6:7 – And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
I’ll come directly to the point. When the Word of God increases, so does everything else that pertains to the kingdom of God. And I do mean “everything.” Let’s look more closely at that statement. Take a few moments to read our Manna for Today. It won’t take long, but it will surely enlighten you about what I am writing. You see, the WHOLE kingdom of God, NOT SOME of it, but ALL of it, operates on the seed principle set forth in Mark 4. Read verse 26 closely. “And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground.” Note that Mark wrote “the kingdom;” NOT “some of the kingdom.”
Now re-read our Text for Today. Look at what happened when the “word of God increased.” First, the number of the disciples “multiplied greatly.” Note, it did not say the number of Christians multiplied, but it was the “number of disciples.” Not all Christians are disciples. That should not be the case, but it is. There are many Christians who are NOT disciples. A “disciple” is one who has disciplined him/herself to apply the Word of God to their heart and life. Once again, note closely; when the Word of God increases, the number of disciples increase. Realizing that, keep in mind that it requires disciples to make disciples, and that disciples are made from believers. You don’t make disciples from unbelievers. So, for the number of disciples to be “multiplied greatly,” there had to be an ever-increasing number of believers, and all that happened because the Word of God increased.
Now look further. A “great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Here is the conversion, to spiritual changing of the religious to become converted; believers; and thereby becoming candidates for discipleship. And again, I ask you to note closely; this was because the Word of God increased.
From that the following question arises. What are we doing to cause the Word of God to increase? Think for a moment and consider your answer in light of our Manna for Today. I offer the following for your consideration. High quality light shows, even with smoke, are not multiplying disciples. Neither is the hiring of professional musicians, multiple screen displays, and God forbid, holey (not HOLY) blue jeans. No, I’m not attacking the onslaught of casual dress in pulpits today. What I AM ATTACKING is the thought that the things I have mentioned are truly worthwhile tools for the work of increasing the Word of God, and thereby greatly multiplying disciples. What the church must do is “increase the Word of God.” That is the seed that needs to be planted. And such does not arise from the outward appearance, but from the hidden man of the heart. Study the Word, read the Word, teach the Word, preach the Word, live in the Word, drink in the Word, feast on the Word, and obey the Word. In short, “increase the Word.”
Manna for Today – Acts 6:1-7; Mark 4:1-34