The text for this sermon is from Acts 6.
Pic from Flickr by Paul Watson
vs 1. Hellenists were Greek speaking Jews that lived outside of Palestine.
vs. 2 Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Samuel 17:34-37 – A shepherd leads, protects and fights for his sheep. A shepherd does not feed the sheep. Sheep feed themselves. A shepherd leads the sheep to good pasture and they eat.
Shepherds – Elders must meet the qualifications in Timothy and Titus before they are allowed to lead the church.
Mark Driscoll says, “God rules over the church and the culture as Lord over all things so that ministry extends far beyond the church and into culture.”
1 Peter 5:4 Jesus is the senior pastor of the church to be followed by the power of the Holy Spirit and He is our mediator between the church and God.
- The early Church was not a congregationalist government. The pastor is not an employee of the church.
- The early Church was not led by deacons who acted as a board of directors. The pastor is not the CEO of the church.
- The early Church was not led by a single pastor. If there is no accountability within a pastor’s life, he can easily fall into sin especially sexual sin whether it be adultery, pornography or both.
The early Church was elder led. All the apostles led the church and Peter was the main one in charge of preaching.
vs 5-6 The word for deacon is not used here. The word for service is. This word for service is used again when Paul writes about how a deacon is supposed to be a servant. Acts 6 just shows how a man is to model being a servant. This type of servant is what a deacon should aspire to and live out.
vs. 7 In spite of suffering and persecution. In spite of conflict, the church is still growing.
vs. 8 1 Peter 2:9-10
May our tombstone read that we are all people that were filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Freedmen were slaves that were now set free.
The words that Stephen spoke were filled with wisdom and from the Holy Spirit. This irritated people and so they provoked people to lie and accuse Stephen of blasphemous words. Stephen was arrested and taken to the council.
Because we are disciples of Jesus, not everything we say and do will be liked by other people. Expect that there will be trials and persecution. People may lie to you or about you. People may say they hate you and reject you.
Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12 ESV