Summary: When the Apostles felt overwhelmed they created an office....DEACONS, and the church GREW!

Acts 6:1 “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 ministration.”

We see, here, the church growing to a large number. As long as

the church was small and they each were greatly needed, they were all

pulling in one direction. They were working for a common cause. Now

that the number has gotten so large, there is murmuring. Some of the

Greeks think the Hebrew widows are being cared for better than the

Greeks. It seems that the early church was very concerned about the

needs of widows. Many times widows lived in the church and prayed for

the church. In I Timothy 5:9, Paul tells them to not take a widow

under 60 years.

Acts 6:2 “Then 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.”

These twelve disciples who seemed to be the leaders of all the

rest are explaining that they should not be encumbered by trying to

see to the needs of all of these widows. The man or woman of God

ministering has enough to do staying in the Word of God and bringing

spiritual guidance to the people. Some one else should see to the

financial responsibilities of the church. If they have to stop and

see to the physical needs of the people, they will not be able to care

for their spiritual needs.

Acts 6:3 “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.”

Seven, as we have said before, means spiritually complete. We see

that these seven were to be men who were very close to God. They must

be wise men to take care of the finances of the body of Christ. They

must be honest and of good report. This is one of the Scriptures used

when churches choose seven deacons to raise the finances of the

church. Many people want to be a deacon of the church until they

learn that the deacons are really responsible for the financial needs

of the church.

Acts 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to

the ministry of the word.”

The twelve apostles were not to be bothered with anything, except

the spiritual needs of the people. Perhaps, that is one of the

problems in churches today. We have made business men out of our

ministers. They learn as much about the way to raise money, to have a

bus ministry, and to satisfy the I.R.S. as they do about the Word of

God. They really should not be burdened with all of these

administration duties. It takes too much of their time away from

prayer and study of the Word.

Acts 6:5 “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:”

Of these seven, of course, Stephen was the most known to us. These

men were above reproach. They were men of high character. These men

would be fair in all their dealings. Some believe that many of these

were Hellenist (Greek Jews), but I believe they were a cross section

of men of God, so that each one would be representing their own group.

Proselyte means a new comer. In Hebrew, it meant stranger. Philip

and Stephen are really the only two out of the list that the Bible

tells us anything else about. These are like many deeply sincere

people in the church today who really work in the background and do

not feel the need to be recognized by others.

M. Hamilton Stevens, Th.D.

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