Summary: Look into the Book of Acts and see the threefold objective that God had for His church.
God’s Threefold Objective (GTO)
Acts Chapter 6:1-7
Today we will continue our study in the book of Acts – we have been looking at the early church over the last few weeks – really just to see what made them tick!
We have been looking at what God was doing in those believers, how He was accomplishing His plan and really reshaping this world through these incredible men and women.
We will be spending a lot of our time today in Acts chapter 6, a passage that starts off negative, yet God works through this difficult situation to once again accomplish His threefold objective.
Before we go to our text today, I would like to say that the Bible teaches that it is the church that has been chosen and ordained by God to be the vehicle through which God accomplishes His plans and objectives here on earth.
Jesus only mentioned the church two times in the gospels, yet what He said was very significant:
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 18:15-17 15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
It is the church that God promised to build; it is the church that the gates of hell could never overcome; it is the church that has been empowered by God – the VECHICLE through which God has chosen to work throughout the ages.
The question is: what kind of a VEHICLE is it?
ARE WE STILL THE CLASSIC MUSCLE CAR OF DAYS GONE BY?
Or have we become a rusty bucket of bolts?
1968 PONTIAC GTO, or 1975 FORD PINTO?
LETS TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THE EARLY CHURCH HAD UNDER THE HOOD!
Acts 6:1-7 1And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
This is a fantastic passage of Scripture we can learn so much about God’s plan for His people, and it shows us so much about how God and Satan have done battle on this earth.
Note: the gates of hell may not be able to overcome the church – but we start this passage of scripture with murmuring and dissention from within!
Acts 6:1 1And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Everything is going according to plan – disciples are multiplying – Jews are placing their faith in Christ; yet in the midst of all this “success” Satan seeks to cause disunity.
Satan will use anything he can to turn brother against brother – at this point the church is almost entirely Jewish – these Grecians mentioned here are most likely Hellenistic Jews – those Jews who lived in Grecian provinces, and spoke languages other than Hebrew.
Remember – the purpose of Pentecost – so that these devout Jews could hear in their own languages.
Now this slight variation in culture has lead to discrepancy within the church.
We need to be very observant of how Satan seeks to use our differences against us!
I really want to take a look at the forest through the trees and look past the negative here, and instead take a good look at what God is teaching through this passage.