The W.I.F.E. We Are Called To Be (Part 2)
When “the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds,” the ministry demands of “the daily food lines” for the widows were also skyrocketing (Acts 6:1, The Message). The apostles decided to keep the main thing the main thing: “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor.” (Acts 6:2) It’s not that caring for the poor was not important. The apostles even formed a team to focus on that concern. Yet, “No petty concerns, no pressing needs, no priority, not even complaints within the assembly decreased the emphasis on biblical instruction. Nothing caused the leadership in the early church to relinquish the ministry of the Word.” (Charles Swindoll, “The Bride: Renewing Our Passion For The Church”)
This brings us to the second of the four major objectives that we need to fulfill so that we will be the church that God called us to be. Swindoll came up with the W.I.F.E. acronym to summarize those objectives. We already saw that “W” stands for “Worship.” Now, “I” represents “Instruction.” In Acts 2:42a, we see that the believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (ESV). When Paul bade the Ephesian church goodbye, he said, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:26-27) Such was the emphasis they gave to preaching and teaching the Word in all its simplicity, practicality and authority.
I fear that lack of faithful biblical instruction was one of the main reasons why many Christians nowadays do not know what and why they believe. Some might say that it is boring to learn the doctrines or to go through a verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible. But I believe that there are no boring subjects. Only boring teachers. Swindoll wrote, “A church is to be a learning community along with a worshipping community.” (Ibid)
Brethren, let us devote ourselves to the Word.
(To Be Continued)