THE EARLY CHURCH: WORD FED AND WORD BRED

What a word addicted church we saw in the Acts of the Apostles.

They pray for the courage to speak the word. Acts 4:29-31 tells us, ‘29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal;  and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.   31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together;  and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness’

The world will not distract them from the word

Acts 6:2,4. They focus on what was needful - the word. Their spiritual priority was right! They made a commitment here to the word. ‘4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word’

The Apostles focused on the word producing 'faith-full believers' that did great signs and wonders and turn the 'world upside down' - Acts 6:8, Acts 8:4-9.

Acts 6:8, ‘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. 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 8:4-9, ‘4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.   5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them.   6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.   7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them:  and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.   8 And there was great joy in that city’

Looking at the depth of message Stephen gave in Acts 7 reveals just how much depth believers of that age carries even though Bible copies were limited!

The Apostles grew in the word and thereby grew the church Acts 6:7

The persecution of the world only led to the expansion of the word as laymen took the word to the world -Acts 7, Acts 8. Acts 11:19

Acts 11:19, ‘19 now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only’

And each time they preach the word the power of God of was released Acts 10:44, Acts 14:3

Acts 10:44, ‘While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word’

Acts 14:3, ‘3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands’

The early church had word impact. The world sought the church because of the word and not just because of miracles. Contrast that with today's churches. Why do they seek us? For the word of God or for signs?

Acts 13:42-44, ‘42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.   43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas:  who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.   44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

However, those who seek the word must experience signs.

Ultimately the victory of the early church was secured on the platform of the word.

The early church had a researcher approach and mentality to the word! Acts 17:11.They search the word for confirmation and further revelation!

Acts 17:11, ‘11 these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so’

The extended focus on the word produced unusual wonders in their world. Acts 19:10-11 tells us, ‘10 and this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews, and Greeks.   11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:  12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 

There was word eruption which gave birth to signs and wonders!

Ultimately the victory of the early church was secured on the platform of the word. Acts 19:20 said, ‘ So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed’

The word prevailed in their lives and in their world!

This was the spiritual anatomy and analysis of the early church: it was a word fed and word bred Church! No wonder when Paul was leaving one of the churches at one time all he did was to commend them to God 'and to the WORD of HIS GRACE' which is able to build and 'deliver to you your INHERITANCE' among them that sanctify’

Like it was then so it is now, the destiny of the church can only be safely delivered by the word!

Acts 20:32, ‘And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified’

 

 

 

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