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Seven Men of Honest Report (14 of 24)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles: A Verse-by-Verse Study
November 7, 2007
INTRODUCTION: In our last lesson, we finished our study of chapter five, with the arrest and the release of the apostles. Following their appearance before the council of the Sanhedrin, they were beaten and warned not to preach in the name of Christ. Look at the last three verses of chapter five: "...and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."
Our attention now turns to chapter six and the calling of the first deacons. Let me give you three points:
I. The Complaint
II. The Call
III. The Criteria
I. THE COMPLAINT
A. The Concern for the Widows
1. Many of the Jews saved at Pentecost had come from different parts of the world ruled by Rome. Having lived among the Gentiles, they adopted the Hellenistic culture and spoke the Greek language. Acts 6:1 refers to them as "Grecians."
a. Keep in mind, the Jews who lived in Palestine spoke Hebrew and Aramaic; they rejected the Gentiles and the Greek culture altogether. Even though the Grecian Jews were of the same blood and were of the seed of Abraham, there was some obvious conflict and jealousy. It says in (vs. 1), "...there arose a murmuring..."
1) Lookout when God begins to bless; the ol' devil is not far away. Multitudes of people had been saved. People everywhere were turning to Christ, and the Church was growing.
2. Here are two things that are essential to the health and strength of any church:
a. Preaching on the centrality of Christ: 1 Cor. 3:11 states, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is ...
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