Monday, July 3, 2023

Growth Of God’s Word

By Joe Slater
    How can God’s word “grow”? We think of a tree growing, or a child growing, but God’s word?
    Three times the book of Acts speaks of God’s word growing. First, after resolving the complaint about some widows in the Jerusalem church being neglected, “Then the word of God grew, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem” (Acts 6:7). Obviously, the body of truth (i.e. the gospel) didn’t become any larger. But unrest within the church discourages the spread of the gospel; once that issue was settled God’s word was proclaimed enthusiastically, resulting in numerous conversions.
    Second, after the death of Herod Agrippa I (the one who killed James and wanted to kill Peter), Acts 12:24 says, “But the word of God grew and multiplied.” God dealt with the murderous monarch in due time. Meanwhile, Herod’s brutal behavior couldn’t stop the spread of the gospel.
    Finally, the inspired record states, “So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:20). The first word, “So,” points to the reason the Lord’s word grew, as shown in the two previous verses. Some believers evidently hadn’t made a clean break with pagan occultism (“magic”). When they confessed their deeds and demonstrated the fruit of repentance by burning their expensive books, the gospel made tremendous advances.
    God’s word spreads (grows) when Christians are united, when Christians evangelize despite persecution, and when Christians show genuine conversion by turning away from their previous ungodly practices. God’s word will grow today when we pay heed to these very things.

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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