First Steps To Spiritual Growth by Steve Jones

First Steps To Spiritual Growth
Steve Jones
Acts 2:42


C.I. -- Devotion to the Apostle's teaching is essential for Christians.

Intro: The TV Land cable network has compiled a list of the 100 greatest catchphrases in TV, from the serious Walter Cronkite's nightly signoff "And that's the way it is" to the silly: "We are two wild and crazy guys!"
You can see the article and the list of catchphrases at this link:
http://tv.yahoo.com/news/ap/20061127/116467734000p.html

I read through the one hundred catchphrases and recognized all but maybe two. What does that say about me? Among other things, it says that I've watched an awful lot of television (especially as a kid growing up). It follows that TV has been a big influence on my life.
Let's see how you do on some of these...see if you can identify the source of the catchphrase:
"Aay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")
"Ask not what your country can do for you..." (JFK)
"Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden)
"Book ‘em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O)
"Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")

That article got me to wondering how my knowledge of the Bible compares to my TV knowledge. Are there Biblical "catchphrases" that I would readily recognize? After all, this is the book by which I claim to live my life. How about you? I'll list ten Bible catch-phrases here. See if you can complete the phrase (without looking them up!) and maybe even tell what book of the Bible they come from.

"For God so loved..."

"Judge not that..."

"Seek first the..."

"For unto us a child..."

"Deny yourself, take up your..."

"The Lord is my shepherd..."

"Our Father who art in heaven..."

"Many are called but few..."

"Blessed are the ..."

"In the beginning..."
George Barna of Barna research has been the unofficial pollster of American Christians for the last 20 years or so. A poll this year indicated that 96% of evangelical Christians read the Bible each week. However, the same poll showed that 12% of Christians think Noah's wife was Joan of Arc, while 80% believe it is the Bible that says "God helps them that help themselves" (actually, Ben Franklin said that).
So, once again, polls and statistics can be used to prove a lot of things, some of them contradictory. What I want to emphasize today is that devotion to the Apostle's teaching is essential for Christians.
Now, we're back in Acts chapter 2. Following Peter's sermon, 3000 people in the audience, (which may have represented about 3% of the audience that day), received Peter's message and were baptized. That's a good precedent to note -- anyone who receives the message of the Gospel, the good news, will be baptized. And then Luke records that these three thousand new Christians were "continually devoting themselves to the Apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." I call these the four habits of highly effective Christians. Why? ...


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