Bible Study Lessons: Acts 6:1-7
This lesson from Acts tells how the twelve disciples choose Stephen as a helper. Stephen was later to become a Christian martyr.
In many ways, a Christian church is like any other entity. It has to be organized so that the main focus does not get lost.
This is what was happening in the 1st century church.
The twelve disciples couldn’t handle all the everyday details which needed to be done. So, they chose seven helpers.
From 7 Chosen Men “They Chose Stephen”
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.
But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.
And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. – Acts 6:1-7 NASB
Churches Have Problems Too!
In every walk of life, whether it’s family, the workplace and yes, even church, problems sometimes arise.
I’m not sure of the exact statistics, but I’ve read many times that most business failures are due to poor management skills.
This is what was facing Peter and the other 11 disciples.
A Language Barrier
If you remember from the Day of Pentecost, over 3,000 people were converted and each heard the sermon in their own language.
Here is a quick breakdown of some involved:
Hebraic Jews & native Jewish Christians spoke the language of Aramaic. The Christians who spoke Greek may have been a part of Pentecost so language was a problem.
Discrimination Not Intended
The Greek-speaking Christians thought there was discrimination against the widows in their group and complained to the church.
Instead of causing conflict, the disciples came up with a solution.
7 Chosen Men Who Spoke Greek
Very simple, isn’t it?
In order to make sure the Greek widows were taken care of 7 men who spoke Greek were chosen.
One of these was Stephen. We will hear more about him in future chapters.
Yes and no. These were ordinary men but of a good reputation and lots of faith, as we will later learn from Stephen.
We all have some type of talent(s) and spiritual gifts. All of us will not be pastors or music leaders but we can all do something.
Just as it was in the time of Stephen, it’s important for us to use the gifts we have — no matter what they are, for God’s kingdom.
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”080079740X” locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/41dfjt8sokL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”120″]Someone needs to take care of the weak and hungry in the church, just as the 7 “chosen men” took care of the widows.
Some need to be encouraging to the leaders, some need to do tasks such as cooking, greeting at the door, etc.
You have a spiritual gift. You have special talents. Do you know what they are? Can you find a way to use them for God?
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16.
Read Today’s Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version