Spiritual Nourishment

Someone said that if everyone in America decided to read their Bibles at once, we would have the worst dust storm in history because of the dust flying off Bibles. America is by and large biblically illiterate; even in the church. This is a problem because the church is the only institution Jesus promised to build and bless, and part of the way He does that is by the Word.

The apostle Paul’s best analogy of the church is that we are the body of Christ. But as a body, we need to eat; we need nourishment and that nourishment comes from the Word of God.

Look at the early church’s relationship to scripture as described in Acts 2:42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” As we pull apart this verse, there are two statements I want to make regarding your relationship with the Bible.

First, to grow, you must learn. Doctrine in Acts 2:42 simply means good, wholesome instruction or truth that is taught. The problem in the church today is that there is an absence of doctrine. Many people do not want to learn, they just want to ‘experience’. In Hosea God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. And Peter commanded to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. To grow, you must learn.

And to learn you must hear. In Acts 2:42 the doctrine the church adhered to was the apostles’ doctrine. What does that mean? Since they didn’t have the New Testament at the time, the apostles took Old Testament Scriptures and applied them in a New Testament setting.

Read Acts 2:14-28. In this passage Peter reads chunks of Scripture, letting it speak for itself. He and the other apostles believed that there is power in the Word itself to change a life. And people listened and were transformed. In general, that’s how you learn the Word: by hearing. As Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

And if you hear, you must commit. Acts 2:42 tells us the church continued steadfastly in doctrine. In other words, what they started with, they continued in. Some people expect that the Bible will hit them like a blot of lightening when they open it. “Bam! God’s word.” At times that may happen, but I’ve found that most often, it’s more like taking vitamins. Nobody who takes a vitamin expects it to give them a sudden surge of strength. They take vitamins to improve their health over the long haul. It’s a cumulative effect.

I would encourtage you to continue in the truth. Make God’s Word a priority in times of delight and distress. Put one foot in front of the other. Go to Bible study. Go to church. Keep reading that text. When you persevere in this way, you’ll find that when you come up against all the things that happen in life; bad news from the doctor, the loss of a job or relationship, it won’t crush you. You’ll resort to a promise of God that holds you firm.

The Bible is the primary way you’ll hear from the Lord. So learn it to be mature. Hear it to be instructed. Believe it to be safe. And continue in it to be holy and healthy.

 

David Ball
Pastor