Studies in Acts Acts 6:1-8 Dr. Ronald C. Hill, Sr. November 16 and 19, 2011.
A. In chapter 6 we find the first time the church fellowship got into strife.
Acts 6:1 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.
B. The strife came about because the Greek speaking Jews complained because they believed their widows were not receiving the same treatment as the widows of the Hebrews who were from Jerusalem and Judea.
1. When a church fellowship experiences growth in numbers it will often be accompanied by murmuring amount the people.
C. Murmuring is forbidden in the scriptures. The word murmur is “Gogguyo” in the Greek text and it means to grumble and complain. It is an indistinct, whispered, or confidential complaint.
1 Corinthians 10:10 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
D.God was so disgusted with the Jews when they murmured until He sent death angels to destroy them. Cor. 10:10 is referring to the sin of murmuring that was
D.committed by Korah, Dathan, and Abriram. They too were complaining against God and Moses because of the food situation.
Number 16:14 14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.
Numbers 16:25-33 25 And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
Numbers 16:25-33 26 And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of their's, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
Numbers 16:25-33 27 So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
Numbers 16:25-33 28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.
Numbers 16:25-33 29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.
Numbers 16:25-33 30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into
Numbers 16:25-33 30 cont. the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
Numbers 16:25-33 31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:
Numbers 16:25-33 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
Numbers 16:25-33 33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
E. As we work out our inward salvation we are commanded never to complain or to argue, but rather to accept the difficulties in life willingly.
Phil 2:14 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
James 5:9 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
F. When the twelve apostles observed they had a problem they addressed it immediately.
Acts 6:2,3,4 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.
Acts 6:2,3,4 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.
Acts 6:2,3,4 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
G. The Apostles knew it would not be wise for them to neglect the ministry of the word of God for the sake of taking care of the temporal affairs of the church.
H. They instructed the fellowship to designate seven spiritual men to handle the temporal business of the church.
1. They were to have a good reputation among the people. They wanted men that everybody respected. A man can’t lead with a bad reputation.
2. They were to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They could not perform such an important task with out the power that comes from the Holy Spirit.
3. They were to be full of wisdom. They needed to be full of the Holy Spirit but they also needed to be practical. They needed common sense.
1) The deacon must not be double tongued, that is, they must not give conflicting reports to different persons or at different times. They must be consistent.
2) They must not be given to excess wine. In the times of the New Testament people were allowed to drink wine for medicinal purposes and/or when there was polluted water.
3) A deacon must not be greedy for money because often he will have to handle the money of the church.
4) A deacon must be sound in doctrine and a life style that reflect pure doctrine.
5) A deacon should first be tested before he is allowed this high office. He must not be a babe in Christ. He must be blameless and mature.
6) The deacon wives should be a woman of Christian integrity. The wife must not be involved in gossip and she must be temperate and faithful in all things and be willing to assist her husband when called upon.
7) The deacons must be the husband of one wife. He must be above reproach in his marriage. He must rule his children well and they should be obedient and a testimony to the truth.
8) The Deacons who render good service will obtain for themselves a good standing place.
Acts 6:5,6 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:
Acts 6:5,6 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
L.The results of the deacons being ordained was more church growth. Good deacons will help the church grow.
Acts 6:7 7 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.
M.Two of the Deacons received great power to do ministry. They were Stephen and Philip.