I first read this idea in a book -it’s not original to me 🙂
There are two very different typs of Churches described in the New Testament. Now, both are true Spirit-filled-in-a-relationship-with-Jesus groups of people. However, one group just blossoms like you wouldn’t believe. They are sharing with those in need, helping the sick, obviously witnessing and discipling and God adds to their numbers daily. The second group is filled with fractions and in-fighting. They’re dealing with immoral issues, lawsuits, greed, corruption, bitterness, gossip and drunkenness.
Remember both groups are filled with true believers. So, what’s was the difference between them???
The Word of God.
The group of believers that blossomed were the Jews. Their culture was saturated with the Scriptures. From childhood they were expected to memorize books of the Bible. Discussions around the table often focused on God and His Torah. You can picture it – a father working with his son as he begins to recite portions of Deuteronomy or Isaiah and the son joins in. Their lives revolved around and their minds were filled with the living Words of God. It is no wonder they flourished when filled with the Holy Spirit. They gave Him ample resources with which to work.
Then you have the Gentiles (non-Jews). Pagans, living in darkness before God saved them and brought them into His Covenant with Israel. Their minds were filled with lies, false teachings, the Greek culture and thought. Their lives revolved around idols, money, politics, survival sex, food, enjoying today for tomorrow you die…
It is no wonder the fruit of their salvation was difficult to see at times. Their minds had to be renewed and retrained. Emptied of the garbage of the world and filled with the things of God.
What about us Gentiles today??? Are we any different?
Sadly no. Our culture is far from saturated with the Word of God. We don’t just fall in to discussions that revolve around the Bible. It isn’t second nature to take time to study the Scriptures or even try to memorize them. Even in the Church our biblical knowledge is minuscule compared to those who have gone before us.
We are no different than those early Gentile believers. We are in desperate need of having our minds retrained and our hearts refreshed and our lives renewed by the very Word of God.
It isn’t easy – I will be the first to admit it. But there is no other way.
If we desire to see our lives change we must spend time in His Word. We must know this God to become like His Son!
So, may we spend time in the Word of God. May we begin to fill our minds with its wisdom and truth. May we get to know this God and His Scriptures. May we truly become a people of the Word.