Acts 6:1-7 deals with the choosing of seven men, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom They would take on some of the burdens so that the apostles could focus solely on prayer and preaching. In this Bible study lesson, we will examine how God provided a solution to the problem being experienced by the apostles in Jerusalem.
And, we will learn the importance of having wise and Spirit-filled leaders, as well as the importance of delegation and taking action in difficult situations.
The disciples of Jesus Christ made a major decision that impacted the early church. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, they chose Stephen to serve as one of the seven select men to oversee and be in charge of the distribution of food, known as the deacons. In this lesson, we’ll explore how Stephen was chosen.
Drawing Strength and Wisdom from the 7 Chosen Men of Acts: A Look Into God’s Plan
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. And, the pastor cannot take care of every single one.
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 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 example of just two of the languages:
- 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 high reputation and faith.
For example, Peter was a fisherman, who, after meeting Jesus, left his nets and followed him. We’ll learn more about Stephen in later lessons.
Spiritual Gifts – The Deacon’s Task
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.
Everyone is uniquely gifted with certain talents and abilities. These gifts are meant to be used to build up the church and help the community.
There are a variety of ways we can use our gifts. We can:
- Provide meals,
- Or simply be an encouragement to others.
Just as it was in Stephen’s time, it’s important for us to use the gifts we have — no matter what they are, for God’s kingdom.
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 encourage 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 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.