Text: Acts 17:22-28
Introduction: Only 8% use the Bible every day (USA); 7% of Protestants read their Bible regularly (Germany). What about UCBC? When was the last time you read your Bible? If I’ll ask you right now, what was the last passage that you studied? Reading a verse and sharing it is not enough. Studying the Word of God is what we need. This reality saddens me because of two things: (1) Baptists are known to be the People of the Book, but now we are more like People of the Facebook, and (2) It is in our days that the Bible has become more accessible and available to everyone, simply download the app and you have it in your hand. But the problem is you do not read the Bible unless someone tells you to do so.
Why study the Word of God together?
- 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.”
- When Paul arrived, they were already studying the Word of God.
- They were studying the Word of God together.
- We are limited and finite creatures. Our own interpretation cannot suffice our understanding of the Word of God. You need people around you to be accountable for one another’s understanding of the Word of God. The Holy Spirit can work through those people with you so can cultivate a deeper connection with God’s Word.
In God’s Word, we live…
- Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3), “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Originally, this instruction was from Moses when he reminded the Israelites about how God had sustained their living during the forty-year period in the wilderness.
- How is your bible reading? Youth, you were too busy studying your course subjects, playing games, and socializing with your friends and already forgotten to study the Word of God.
- Too busy cooking, working, gardening, and yet no schedule to spend time with God.
- God’s Word is our spiritual diet. The Bible is central to our lives, family, and marriage. It is the oxygen that lets you breathe and live.
In God’s Word, we move…
- Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In an age where many of us are lost in the wilderness and darkness, we need a lamp that will guide us to reach our maximum potential as Christians.
- The Word of God is your “True North Star”. The Star that will guide your way in order to live and get back home safely.
- What happened to Job when he relied on the advice of his friends? He felt miserable. It is not from your friends that you seek guidance, they can help you, yes, but they cannot offer what you really need in your life. It can only be found in the Word of God.
In God’s Word, we find our being…
- When God was giving a piece of advice to Joshua on how he would be successful in his leadership since Moses already died, God didn’t give him success tips, or any financial trivia, what he told him was to keep his word. Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
- The Word of God answers all our deepest questions in life. How are we created? Is evolution real? How can I be saved? What is the best way to live our lives? Why do I exist? Why do I suffer? Where am I going after I die? Can I be in a relationship with a non-believer?
The Bible is not only for reading. It is for studying and applying in our lives. How do we study the Word of God? Listening to Sunday sermons is not enough. It is not even the end of your personal study. Treat Sunday sermons as the culmination of your weekly reading of God’s Word.
- You need to be involved in your small groups (Acts 17:11). Small groups are our avenue to dig deeper into understanding the Word of God. Everyone should have a discipleship group. Adults, youth, YA, and everyone should have a Bible study group.
- Pastor I know that already, can I be exempted? Well, your children do not want to attend Bible study groups and fellowship because you are not modeling it. For youth, if your parents are not excited to join their group, then be the one to encourage them.
- If only we can fully understand what’s at stake in this battle against secularism and the Word of God. Many churches are closing because they no longer value the significance of personal and Bible study groups.
- Illustration: Monkey driving.
Conclusion: The Word of God is vital in your whole life. Read and study the word of God like how the Bereans did it in the passage we have studied today. In Him we live and move and have our being means our entire existence depends wholly on God.
Pastor John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey | October 1, 2023