Summary: Taken from our church’s verse by verse study of the book of Acts, this study covers Acts 6:1-7, the calling of the first deacons. It covers several issues such as the Care of widows, the need for church business meetings and pastoral leadership, as well
Grant Avenue Baptist Church
2215 Grant Avenue Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Phone 310-376-7890 Fax 877-248-2998
DAVID M. WILSON, Pastor
THE FIRST CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING
Verse 1 GROWTH PANGS
In the early history of the church we quickly find a division between those who were Jewish Christians (with a Jewish heritage, a Jewish culture,
and the Aramaic language) and those Christians from other backgrounds. It did not take long for Jewish believers to establish themselves as morally
and spiritually superior to gentile believers.
In verse one of our study of Chapter 6, we see that division already growing. There is a great deal of debate about who these “Greek-speaking Jews” were. We don’t have to argue this idea much because it is sufficient for our study to see that they were believers who had a different background, a different culture and even a different language than the
Jewish believers. This meant that they were so different that somehow there was a valid difference (whether perceived or exaggerated) in the
ministering towards the widows of these believers.
Even though we cannot easily identify the two groups we can quickly understand that there was a group of Hebrew Jews. These folks were born of Jewish descent and had extremely conservative ideas in
regards to Jewish traditions and practices. The others are called “Hellenists” a word which implies that they not only spoke Greek, but also lived as Greeks. This group would obviously not hold Jewish traditions and ideals in the same type of respect as those known as Hebrews.
God has always had a special concern for widows and it was no different in the early church. Prophets had cried out against nations which
oppressed widows. (For further study See Zech. 7:8-14, Ezekiel 22:6-7, Malachi 3:5, and Isaiah 1:17) God Himself made special promises to protect and care for the widow and the fatherless. (Deuteronomy 10:18).
In his letter to the church, James wrote that ministering to the fatherless and the widow was an important of pure religion. (James 1:27). It is no
shocking revelation to find that the church needs to minister to the needs of widows.
It is amazing that many churches will work diligently to minister to youth. They will call a special minister to meet the needs of the youth.
Often, in our churches today, the widows are ignored. How rare it is that people will even go to a widow’s home to sing a Christmas carol or take her
grocery shopping! These ministerial activities should be as important today as they were in the early days of the church. God has not stopped caring about the widow and the orphan.
A SOLUTION- THE FIRST CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING
The apostles were very wise in their response to this problem because they did not let the problem distract them from the ministry which God
had called them to.
On the surface, it may seem that their attitude was that they were ABOVE “waiting on tables,” but in reality they remained focus on the
responsibility that Christ had given them.
Their proposal was not to resolve the issue all by themselves, but to bring the matter before the entire congregation and allow the congregation