What are you devoted to?
Acts 2:42 – And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Our devotion should be to Jesus.
When you’re devoted to something, it is evident in different ways. What is internal becomes external. When you are devoted to Jesus, it comes out in different ways. We see this with the early church. They were devoted to Jesus. They sought to follow him. They loved him.
But their devotion to Jesus was played out in their devotion to God’s Word, fellowship, and prayer. Just like when I am devoted to my wife, it could come out as devotion to house chores, etc. My main devotion is to my wife. It is played out in my devotion to other things. First we see the early church’s devotion to Jesus was played out in their devotion to the Word of God.
Our devotion should be to God’s Word.
What is God’s Word? They had the Old Testament at this time. You know what they didn’t have? The New Testament. But you know what they did have? The New Testament. How? They were hearing it first-hand.
In this verse it specifically says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…”
The New Testament was written by apostles or in close proximity to apostles.
That’s the major factor used in determining what should be in the New Testament. It had to do with apostolic authority. Who were apostles?
Apostles were specific people set apart by Jesus.
This would include the twelve disciples. Paul became an apostle, and he defends his apostleship in his letters since his calling was different than the others (2 Cor 11; Gal 1:11-24). So, apostles were devoted followers of Jesus who had first-hand accounts of his life, death, and resurrection, and they were set apart bring that message to the world. And the early church devoted themselves to their teaching. As should we. But how?
How do you devote yourself to God’s Word? This is where we are going to get practical.
Devote yourself to God’s Word by reading it. You might say, well I don’t like reading. That’s a lie! You read all day every day. You read text messages and social media and sports news and celebrity gossip. You read about what you are devoted to. How else are you going to know God better? The only way is through reading. You will not and cannot have a close relationship with Jesus if you don’t read your Bible on a regular basis.
Devote yourself to God’s Word by studying it. We shouldn’t just read the Bible, but we should seek to understand what it says. We should dig deep. We shouldn’t just read it to read it…to check a spiritual box off…but we should read it carefully and intentionally. We should ask questions when we read it. We should seek to understand the context of what we’re reading. We should notice patterns in the text, like repetitions of words or phrases. We shouldn’t just read the Bible, but we should read about the Bible.
When we don’t seek to rightly understand the Bible, it can get us in a lot of trouble. I want you to realize something very serious and scary. Satan knows the Bible better than many Christians. I would even dare say he knows it better than most of you. And he distorts and twists it to lead you astray.
He’s been doing it since the beginning. Hear what he says to Adam and Eve in Genesis when he tempted them to sin: Genesis 3:1-4
He does the same to Jesus when he tempts him in the wilderness: Matthew 4:1-11.
God’s Word is the only offensive weapon that we have to fight against Satan with (Eph 6:17).
So, we need to study God’s Word so that we know God’s Word. Here is a great tool to help you get into Bible study and maybe for you to end up leading your own Bible study. WordGo by Bible Study Fellowship.
When we read and study God’s Word, we can and should trust what it says.
Devote yourself to God’s Word by trusting it. The Bible is without error, and it is useful for every area of our lives.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Here’s why we can trust the Bible:
Scripture is inspired, inerrant, and infallible.
I know these are big words, but they are very important words. If you stray from these beliefs, you have strayed from evangelical Christianity, and you are tossed to and fro by every kind of doctrine (Eph 4:14). Here’s what these words mean and why they’re important.
Inspired: God is the author of the Bible.
There are two authors to every part of the Bible: 1) the human author; 2) the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is breathed out by God…
2 Peter 1:21 – For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Inerrant: The Bible is without error.
Here is how the 2nd point of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy puts it:
“Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.”
Infallible: The Bible is incapable of error.
God’s Word is incapable of error because who is incapable of error? It’s primary author. God. God is perfect. So is his revelation of himself. You either believe this, or you can’t believe his Word.
Another way of saying this is, God’s Word will accomplish exactly what God wants it to.
Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Devote yourself to God’s Word by discussing it. The Bible shouldn’t be read only in isolation. It is meant to be studied and discussed together. I think the Berean church shows us this best a little later in Acts.
Acts 17:11 –Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
This is how they were in our passage in Acts 2:42 as well. Togetherness was such a core component of who they were and what they did. Their fellowship and prayers that they were devoted to were not alone and in isolation. Neither was their devotion to the apostles’ teachings. There’s no better way to learn something than by teaching it or discussing it with someone else. Some of you need to start a Bible study.
So, if you are devoted to Jesus, you must be devoted to his Word. Will you be? How?