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What Happens When You Have A Rudimentary Faith?
"Christ will detain none with Him against their wills; His soldiers are volunteers, not pressed men." - Matthew Henry
Acts 6:7 says - "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."
What was happening was that the Word of God was growing in extent and gaining strength in influence. People's lives were being changed by it. Those who were least likely to be converted were yielding to the preaching and teaching of its truths. Fashionable sins were being abandoned... evil customs broken off...vicious habits changed...and strong corruptions mortified.
For the purpose of this message, let's take this picture and see how the present-day church looks in comparison. Can we say that "the Word of God" is going forth with force, strength, great power, and vigor in our day and time? Is it spreading and gaining strength over our culture? Is it increasing in the churches - multiplying converts on a daily basis?
Take it one step further.
Look at your own spiritual life at this point. Can you honestly say that "the Word of God" is increasing - that more and more you are becoming "obedient to the faith"? With each new day, do you feel as though it is gaining dominion over your life rather than the flesh? Are you walking in greater power and strength - whereby it is taking over your thoughts, reactions, and entire disposition or personality?
There is another picture of the Church that is presented in the Bible. It can be found in the Gospel of John. In Chapter 6, we find "many disciples" of the Lord Jesus. On the surface, these "disciples" do not look any different from you and me. But as we read the account, we come to realize that these followers of Jesus were half-hearted seekers...disillusioned camp followers...and Christians only in name.
John 6:64-66 explains - "But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him."
Notice what is written here - "...many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." Not some - but "many"!
"Many" went away from Christ to the things which they left behind in order to follow Him. They proved that all they were after were the temporal benefits or advantages. They turned away from Jesus...disowned any attachments to Him...and threw off His authority. They flocked in and then flew out.
We don't get the impression that "the word of God" was increasing in their lives, do we? Nor do we see that they were becoming more and more "obedient to the faith." And the Scriptures certainly were not gaining dominion over their life in comparison to the flesh.
Let us interject here that it wasn't because the Word was not preached in might or power or under a great anointing that the people's lives were not impacted like in the Book of Acts - for it was the Lord Jesus Who was doing the preaching at this time. Nor was the message altered. The people simply reacted to the Word differently because they chose that particular course.
Their faith was not made perfect by obedience. It did not produce a holy life.
They were like the people whom the Prophet Zephaniah talked about in Zephaniah 1:6 - "And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor inquired for Him." They neglected Him...gave Him a listless, heartless service... did not set His will or law before them...but were drawn away or enticed by their own lusts. They were like those as described by the Lord Jesus in Luke 9:62 who put their "hand to the plow" but looked back - "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." They displayed a reluctance to break with the world...had a distracted attention...and tried to serve God with a divided heart.
The question you must ask yourself today is this - In which picture do I belong?
Is "the word of God" increasing in your life on a daily basis? Or do you find yourself growing cold toward the things of God?
Are you becoming more and more "obedient to the faith"? Or is your life filled with compromise and sin?
Are you walking in greater power than ever before? Or are you more interested in the temporal benefits or advantages that Jesus can offer you?
After all these years, is yours still a rudimentary or undeveloped faith?
This can be your personal testimony - "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."
What's stopping it from happening?
May God Bless His Word.