The Word Increases


Acts 6:7   The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.


As an ongoing process there were those who were joining the believers in Jerusalem. The word of God was spreading, or as some translations say, increasing. The evidence of this was that there were increasing numbers of disciples in Jerusalem. This idea of discipleship is significant for it is not just a conversion, but a wholehearted change of life, which is evidenced by the comment regarding the priests. The priests would have been those among the crowd who had jeered Jesus in the past and letting go of their lifestyle and livelihood to become a disciple would have been a major change. This inclusion of the priests in the multitude of new disciples is an indicator of the power of transformation. The old structures were beginning to crumble as the word of God continued to spread. 

The fact that the priests became “obedient to the faith” meant that there was something about discipleship that included obedience. The spread of the word of God may be seen in the increased numbers, or it could be the increased revelation of the Word. It may have been that the word was not revealed more clearly because the barriers were being destroyed. The complaining among the new believers was quieting down because they had created better organization. This may have provided greater credibility for the spreading of the word and the result was that they were able to reach a level of society not before considered sensitive to the Spirit. 


As we watch this new church grow and develop we see patterns begin to emerge. There are challenges along the way for the ministry and yet, they face every challenge head-on. The result is that they simply become stronger.

Jesus had commanded them to go and make disciples and it appears that they followed this well. Early on, they established ways in which to bring people into the faith and teaching of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t just an experience of conversion, but an invitation into a radically changed life-style. This was to be a day-to-day immersion of taking up their cross and following Jesus. 

For the word to increase, there must be a depth to God’s people. Discipleship happens within the community of faith. We begin to take on greater responsibilities and reflect Christ in our lives. This result is disciples who become irresistible to the people of the world. 

It is the imprint of the Church, lived out in the lives of believers that increases the word of God. The written word comes to life in the form of those who reflect Jesus — the word who became flesh. As we become more like Christ, the word spreads and increases. 


Lord, thank you for the privilege of being invited to reflect you in the world. Please, help me to be one of those who joins with the cloud of witnesses to spread the word. Amen. 


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