Summary: The Apostles responded to physical ministry needs by delegating the responsibility to qualified men in order to continue to focus on the ministry of prayer and the Word. From this we learn that such a division of labor is necessary, wise, and protects the
You might say that Socrates was ultimately responsible for the Greek NT. Socrates had a pupil: Plato (which meant “fatso”); Plato had a student, Aristotle; and Aristotle had a student, Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), the king of Macedonia that conquered the Persian empire and annexed it to Macedonia, is considered one of the greatest military geniuses of all times. He is the first king to be called "the Great."
At the invitation of Philip of Macedonia he became the tutor of his 13 year old son Alexander (later world conqueror); he did this for the next five years. Both Philip and Alexander appear to have paid Aristotle high honor, and there were stories that Aristotle was supplied by the Macedonian court, not only with funds for teaching, but also with thousands of slaves to collect specimens for his studies in natural science. These stories are probably false and certainly exaggerated.
Upon the death of Philip, Alexander succeeded to the kingship and prepared for his subsequent conquests.
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, “While that great [empire] was invaded by open violence or undermined by slow decay, a pure and humble religion gently insinuated itself into the minds of men, grew up in silence and obscurity, derived new vigor from opposition, and finally erected the triumphant banner of the cross on the ruins of the Capitol.”
THESIS VERSES - If you know these two verses you know trajectory of the kingdom and the dynamics of the kingdom.
ACTS 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
ACTS 2:42: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Corruption from Within - Ananias and Sapphira - who sang “I surrender all” but were lying through their teeth.
THE RESULT OF SWIFT DISCIPLINE - 4:11-18
GODLY FEAR WITHIN AND WITHOUT
GROWTH OF BELIEVERS
GOOD WORKS THROUGH THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT
GREAT INDIGNATION FROM POWERFUL UNBELIEVERS (v 17)
Acts 6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
3 "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
4 "but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,
6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Proposition: The Apostles responded to physical ministry needs by delegating the responsibility to qualified men in order to continue to focus on the ministry of prayer and the Word. From this we learn that such a division of labor is necessary, wise, and protects the priorities of the gospel.
1. We must understand the need for Word and deed gospel ministry.
a. The murmur (anomatopoie) “goggusmos”
AT Robertson observe here that “The temple funds for widows were probably not available for those who have now become Christians.”
It brought about discord among members and distraction to the apostles.
b. The deed diaconia is assumed in this text, but taught ubiquitously in Scripture.
i. OT Widows: Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. Malachi 3:5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien -- Because they do not fear Me," Says the LORD of hosts.
ii. NT Widows: 1Ti 5:3 3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.