Acts 6:1-7 – Where does a Christian church find it’s vision and purpose? Does it come from the visions and dreams of their pastors? Does it come from the popular authors of the day? Do we receive it from marketing consultants? Community surveys? Church tradition? Does that purpose change with the times? And secondly, how is a church to fulfill that vision and purpose? Is it through these means as well?
In this sermon, we will discuss what God says in His divinely inspired Word about the vision and purpose of the church, and how He has ordained it to be accomplished. The Bible includes all we need to answer these questions…yes, even in these post-modern times. We don’t need new approaches. We don’t need a new message. We just need to be true to the one we have been given.
In this sermon we will take an expositional look at the early church in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 6:1-7), beginning with an exegesis of Romans 1:16. This sermon is a case study for making true disciples, and includes an in-depth discussion of the biblical gospel message, and how both churches and individuals can avoid being ashamed of it, instead utilizing its power to bring sinners to repentance. This sermon also includes discussion of the creation of (and qualifications for) the office of deacon, which is included in Acts 6.
6:1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (ESV)