Journal Acts 6 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7
Observation: Chapter 6 of Acts is about appointing deacons, with a special call out to Stephen now and for the next chapter. However, the above sentence indicates a result from appointing deacons…
Analysis: Cause and effect.
Here is an insinuation/statement that indicates the appointment of deacons had an effect on the local church in Jerusalem. Could it be that this is a stand-alone statement? Yeah, maybe—but just as much reasoning for deacons being a cause for growth as well.
In this tiny verse, 3 points:
- The Word of God continued to increase;
- Disciples numerically increased;
- Priests became obedient to the Faith.
All of these are aligned to my personal conviction of what is important—I have more, but not less than the 3 statements above.
What is most important here? That the Word of God becomes more important daily, it thrives in the Local Church, and is a pillar in the growth of every Believer, office holder (Elder and Deacon). The Word of God does not take second place in the practical life of the Local Church.
As a result, Disciples increase. It follows that converts may increase, but Disciples are the target measurement. Functional maturity is visible, personal holiness increases as a function of Scripture based performance. “God says this from the Bible, I acknowledge the Supremacy of the Scriptures, so I repent, and change my ways.” Converts learn to be disciples and just not in name alone.
Concerning priests: Because of observing and listening to focused allegiance to the Word of God, those folks who were part of the current religious leadership learn differently and obey the Truth. How is that? Because in all of this, theory and learning become actual and displayed by people. I don’t just say, I say and do. (c. James 1:22—Doers of the Word, not just hearers…) That was a big thing in the early church.
Practicing Christianity is more than just changing myself morally, it is a manner of fiercely embracing what “walk worthy of the Gospel” means.
Prayer: Lord, I keep hammering this nail. I have to; it makes my life different and it brings fruit. Help me listen to you and not abandon things I need to pay attention to. Being a Christian is not a one-trick pony. All I have to do is read to understand that…
Bring revival, heal this land.