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Summary: This sermon shows how the early church dealt with a problem in its fellowship.

THE CHURCH COMPLAINING

Text-Acts 6:1-7

"And 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 mintration.

Then the twelve called the multitude of the dis-

ciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that

we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

Wherefore, 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.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer,

and to the ministry of the word.

And 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:

Whom they set before the apostles: and when they

had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

And 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."

Introduction-

In Chapter 5 of the book of Acts, the church

was boldly witnessing for God, in spite of growing

opposition and persecution. The church continued

to grow numerically, and unfortunately, as is often

the case, with growth comes conflict. People get

dissatisfied about something. Someone feels un-

noticed, or neglected, or someone says that their

needs are not being met. Let’s see how the early

church handled this problem.

I. First, let’s consider THE CAUSE OF THE COMPLAINT.

There arose a dispute, a murmering of the Grecian

believers against the Hebrew believers, because

their widows were alledgely being neglected in

the distribution of food. Remember, that in the

early church, they shared their possessions, and

if anyone had need they reached out to them. This

worked fine for awhile, but human nature being

what it is, it didn’t last forever. Satan sought

opportunity to divide the church. A conflict

arose. This was a bi-lingual situation also.

Confusion resulted-and conflict. You can imagine

the problems that might arise if you had several

hundred people of another language join your

church next Sunday. They would need an interpreter

to understand your message. What about church

involvement, and church leadership positions?

How was that going to set with the longtime reg-

ular folks who have always gone to church there?

II.Secondly, let’s see THE RESOLVING OF THE COMPLAINT.

The early church, following the advice of the

apostles, acted wisely. They appointed some to

investigate the problem, and to seek to solve it.

It appears that they involved some from their

own number in this process. That is wise.

III. Thirdly, let’s notice THE RESULTS OF THE RE-

SOLVING OF THE COMPLAINT.

Verse 7 tells us "And 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."

What could have been a disaster, and church

split turned out to be a catalyst to church

growth. The complaints were heard. The conflict


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