ACTS 6

4 Outlines

 

Acts 6

STEPHEN

 

Stephen was a very special man.

 

HIS CHARACTER - Vss.3, 5

Stephen met the qualifications for being a deacon.

He had an honest report.

He was full of the Holy Ghost.

He was full of wisdom.

He was full of faith.

 

HIS CONDUCT - Vs. 8

 

HIS CONFLICT - Vss. 9-14

 

HIS COUNTENANCE - Vs. 15

Despite his struggle he had the face of an angel.

 

 

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SANCTIFIED PROBLEM SOLVING

Acts 6:1-8

 

There will be times when there will be misunderstandings.

The Apostles here teach us some good principles for handling these difficulties.

 

DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM Vs. 1

The early church was made up of two distinct groups of Jewish Christians. There were those who grew up in the homeland (Hebrews) and those who grew up somewhere else within the Roman Empire (Grecians). The Grecians felt that their widows were not getting the same treatment as the Hebrew widows. This is the type of problem that can still cause problems in a local church today.

 

CONSULTATION AMONG THE APOSTLES Vs. 2

It is obvious to me that the Apostles had discussed this problem before they actually met with the congregation to solve it. Leaders must communicate and work together to solve difficulties.

 

RECOMMENDATION TO THE SAINTS Vss. 2-4

Notice that the Apostles kept their own priorities in order by not leaving the job they were called to do. They continued their ministry of preaching and praying, but recommended that Godly men be appointed to take care of the problem. Delegation can often relieve a pastor and other church leaders of tasks, which someone else can do.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOLUTION Vss. 5-6

An election was held. Those elected appear to be members of the Grecian portion of the church.

The Apostles put their blessing on the ministry of these men.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE RESULTS Vss. 7-8

The word of God increased.

The number of disciples multiplied.

Many priests believed.

Stephen ministered effectively.

When there is love in the church, there will be blessing. John 13:34-35

 

 

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Acts 6:1-8

LEADERS AT WORK

 

One of the jobs of leaders is to handle difficulties as they come along.

One of the problems leaders have is solving difficulties without getting themselves distracted from what God has called them to do. Often leaders can solve problems by doing things themselves and robbing time from other important tasks.  The Apostles solved a major problem in Acts 6:1-8 without being taken from the jobs which God had given them.

 

DIFFICULTY IN THE FELLOWSHIP - Vs. 1

There were two groups of Jewish believers in the early church.

The "Hebrews" were the Palestinian Jews who grew up in the land of Palestine.

The "Grecians" were the Hellenistic Jews who grew up in other parts of the world.

The early church supported widows.  The Grecians felt that their widows were not being properly taken care of.

 

DISTRACTION FROM THE WORK - Vs. 2

The Apostles saw the potential for distraction. Their main ministry was the Word of God.

It would not make sense for them to leave their important ministry to do something that others could just as easily do. Proper care of the widows was important, but others could do it.

Leaders must remember to do the most important things that God has called them to do, and to let others have part in ministry as well.

 

DECISION OF THE APOSTLES - Vs. 3

The first deacons were to be appointed.

They were to be men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost, and full of wisdom.

 

DETERMINATION FOR MINISTRY - Vs. 4

The Apostles were determined to stick with their most important ministries, which were the preaching of the Word and prayer.

 

DEPLOYMENT OF DEACONS - Vss. 5-6

The deacons were elected and deployed by the Apostles.

 

DESCRIPTION OF GROWTH - Vss. 7-8

There was peace in the church.

The Word of God increased and so did the number of Apostles.

Stephen "...did great wonders and miracles among the people."

 

 

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Acts 6:1-8

SIMPLE SOLUTION

 

There are many things that have caused church splits.  Sometimes a disagreement is doctrinal in nature, and other times a disagreement has more to do with personalities and preferences. In the early church there was potential for a church split but the matter was resolved by apply a simple solution.

 

THE PROBLEM IN THE CHURCH - Vs. 1

There were two groups of widows receiving food from the church.  One group of Jews making up the church had not grown up in Palestine. The other group of Jews had.  The group of Hellenistic Jews, as they were called, claimed that their widows were not receiving equal treatment with the Palestinian Jews.

 

THE PROPOSAL FROM THE APOSTLES - Vss. 2-3

They suggested that it would not be wise for them to leave their own ministry to wait on tables and solve the problem. They proposed that seven men full of the Holy Spirit be chosen to take care of the problem.

 

THE PRIORITY OF THE LEADERS - Vs. 4

The leaders would continue their ministry of preaching the Word and praying.

Some churches need to pitch in and help the pastor out so he can have the same priorities.

 

THE POWER OF A RIGHT DECISION - Vss. 5-8

Seven men full of faith and the Holy Spirit were chosen.

There was peace.

The Gospel advanced.

Stephen performed great wonders and miracles.

 

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