Summary: The church was growing very fast and with it came problems. The Holy Spirit has the answer.
THE BOOK OF ACTS - LESSON # 12
“The First Pentecostal Martyr”
The church is growing. Amid great results came a great problem. God has the answer. God has prepared Spirit filled men, gifted men, to solve the situation.
Through the centuries, God has always placed gifted Spirit filled men and women to oversee the Church. Where would pastors be without these individuals? Problems come to the church to see what we are made of.
THE PROBLEM PRESENTED - Vs. 1-4
Vs. 1 - It was a marvel to see how fast the church grew. Growth often brings problems. We are not sure who these Grecian widows are.
Vs. 2 - The twelve are the same disciples plus Matthias who replaced Judas.
Vs. 3 - The seven men chosen were probably Greek men. The Apostles request was a fair one.
***Describe a gifted person.
1.) Full of the Holy Spirit.
2.) Full of wisdom.
These men were not voted on but were chosen.
Vs. 4 - The priority of the Early Church was:
2.) Ministry of the Word.
3.) They were to stay focused.
THE PROBLEM SOLVED: Vs. 5--8
Vs. 5 - The saying pleased everyone. Special emphasis is given to Stephen. We will see why.
Note: Stephen will do more than the duties assigned him for he will also preach the Word.
LIST THE DUTIES OF A PASTOR - FROM THE GREATEST TO THE LEAST:
2.) Preach the Word.
3.) Visit the sick.
4.) Counsel people.
5.) Direct church activities.
6.) Be faithful.
7.) Be involved in community.
Vs. 6 - This is a powerful consecration service. It is a pattern to be followed by the Modern Church.
Laying on of hands was used in the following areas in Scripture.
1.) Contact for healing. Mark 5:23, 6:5
2.) Impartation of the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:17; 19:9
Vs. 7 - This is just as Jesus had instructed the twelve. Their effectiveness is the fact that even many Priests were being converted.
THE RESULTS OF THE PROBLEM: Vs. 8:15
Vs. 8 - Stephen was under the mandate of the Holy Spirit and did many wonders. (Greek - teros- it means prodigy or omen) and miracles among the people.)
Vs. 9 - Freemen were former Jewish slaves who had been freed by the Romans. They formed their own organization and group. They had an argument with Stephen for they were indoctrinated in the Old Testament scripture.
Vs. 10 - They were overcome by the wisdom of Stephen. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit.
Vs. 11 - They now bring a false witness against Stephen. They said he blasphemed against Moses and God.
Vs. 12 - The devil’s crowd hates to do their dirty work by themselves.
Vs. 13 & 14 - Their accusations were not based upon witness.
Vs. 15 - The glory of the Lord was upon Stephen. Matthew 5:16
1.) All church problems are of the work of the flesh.
2.) The problems are easily solved by the Holy Spirit.
3.) The Church needs leaders who are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.
4.) The Pastor cannot handle every thing in a growing church. Ex. 12:24
5.) Preaching is the primary task of the Church.
6.) The Church needs people who not only living the Christian life, but
witnessing as well.