SERIES: The Book of Acts

MESSAGE: Set Apart To Serve

TEXT: Acts 6:1-7

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“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,c 27and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,d 28even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Matthew 20:25-28

“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.” – Napoleon Bonaparte (19th century French military & political leader)

TEXT: Acts 6:1-7

Q: Why did the early church need more leaders and what type of leaders did they choose?

  1. A rising issue (v. 1)

“In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.”

“In every place there is bondage and bitterness — places where something is wrong.” — Andy Crouch

       2. A call to serve (v. 2-5a)

“So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word. This proposal pleased the whole group.”

       3. A renewed focus (v. 5b-7)

“They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

v. 5 — “They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit…” 

“Men don’t make men righteous. God makes men righteous. Only the living God saves lovers of themselves from themselves.” 

— Bob Klein

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Address real issues
  • Value Christ-likeness over charisma
  • Focus on what lasts

GOSPEL: 

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45