Set Free: Devoted to the Apostles' Teaching

Set Free: Devoted to the Apostles’ Teaching

        When the first Christians entered the kingdom of the Lord, they were devoted to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). This was not a homework assignment. The fact is, without feeding their spirit on the teaching of the apostles, they knew they could never victoriously defeat sin and Satan.

        “Devoted themselves” is interesting. In Acts 10:7, a form of the same Greek word referred to a devout soldier who attended Cornelius. Thus, the apostles were like devout soldiers who were personal attendants of the apostles’ teaching.

        This occurred as the disciples continued with one mind in the temple. These new Christians did not rest having heard the Pentecost sermon. They gathered daily. Part of this daily meeting was, no doubt, listening to the apostles teach. After all, they were devoted to ministering the word (Acts 6:4). In Acts 20:20, Paul said he taught publicly and from house to house. Those who were devoted to his teaching would have taken advantage of both. Looking back to Acts 2:46-47, I have no doubt the other apostles did the same in Jerusalem.

        But a devout soldier does more than listen to his commander’s instructions. He gets on the battlefield and lives them out. According to Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon, one of the definitions of the Greek term is “to continue all the time in a place.” These disciples did not assemble at the temple, listen to the teaching, and then go on their merry way doing what they wanted to anyway. No doubt, they heard some things they didn’t like at first. But they knew they must conform themselves to the teaching, not conform the teaching to themselves.

        What about us? We cannot meet with the apostles. How do we mirror this example? Ephesians 3:3-5 provides enlightenment for us. The apostles and prophets received revelation from the Holy Spirit, which, of course, came from Jesus (John 16:13). They taught what they received (I Corinthians 2:12-13). Some also wrote down what they received. By reading it, we can understand their insight into the mystery of Christ.

        How many of us would travel to the temple every day to listen to the words of an apostle? How many of us will travel every day into the presence of God by being continually devoted to the Word He revealed through the holy apostles and prophets?

        We have the apostles’ teaching in our hands. If we desire to be set free from sin and Satan, we must devote ourselves to it. We must read it. We must study it. We must love it. We must live it. Are we devout soldiers who attend to God’s Word revealed through the apostles? Are we “continuing all the time in the place” of the apostles’ words?

        Keep in mind this is not a homework assignment. This is about freedom and victory. One of the keys to unlock the shackles of sin is devotion to the Word.

        More on this to come.

Edwin L. Crozier