Chronicles of the Apostles 
Picking the Deacons
During this series we are looking at the book of Acts.  You can see and hear more sermons online! Visit and look for the sermon series “Chronicles of the Apostles”.
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The Food Program (Acts 6:1)
Jewish high council is starting to come against the believers — internal problems
The church was a mono culture church, now it is becoming a bicultural church
Mono-culture — each sold what they had and gave to each other; they were all in one accord
Now there are different groups and the one accord is disappearing
Begins with the rate of growth of the church
Acts 2:47, 5:14 — the Lord added to those being saved, the number is multiplying
From “additional growth” to “multiple growth”
This is the fifth growth report given by Luke so far
2:41 = 3,000
2:47 = more were added with no specific number
4:4 = 5,000
5:14 = Lord “added”
Now he estimates there were 25,000
Growth is important to Luke
Bi-cultural murmurings
Leaders are learning how to relate to different ethnic groups
All Jews, some are 1/2 Greek
Problem is more than just food
There are differences of opinion between the groups and the food beccomes an outlet
It will be resolved and the church will grow again (Acts 6:7)
No public assistance in the world at this time — needs are met through the generosity of the believers
Catalyst for church growth
Who were these groups?
Hellenists or Greek-speaking Jews
Two types of Greek-speaking Jews
Those like Herod Agrippa — absorbed into the Gentile culture
Those who study the Torah, like Saul
They speak Greek, they understand the world culture at the time
Barnabas from Cyprus — Hellenistic Jew
Hebrew-speaking people
Studied in Hebrew, spoke Hebrew, and forbade learning Greek
Paul can relate to both groups
Greek-speaking Hebrew of Hebrews (Philippians 3:5)
The Hebrew Jews felt superior to the Hellenistic Jews
The purity of the language and customs
They had the Temple which they could visit daily
The problem is the same as us evangelizing the first nation
We are both members of the United States, but there are different cultural barriers between us both
Choosing the right leaders is very important
Usually the minority group recognizes the problem long before the majority group does
Not a matter of number, but power
Real Hebrews should determine who gets what
Remember: Hellenistic Jews were not from Jerusalem
When a spouse died the rest of the family told over
Hellenistic Jews were not by their families
Hellenistic Jews were probably richer than the Jerusalem Jews — they were able to retire in Jerusalem
Maybe most of the money in the coffers was from him
The leaders were not Hellenistic — the Hellenistic Jews felt slighted
We are heading for a church split if the problem is not taken care of
The Deacons (Vs 2 – 7)
They call the church together
With the passions of what is happening, I am sure this was a lively meeting
We cannot forsake the study of the Word of God to serve tables
Were seeing Jesus throughout the whole Bible — must have been exciting
Knew their gifts and callings and where fully invested in them
It may take a while to find your calling, but when you do you should be fully invested in it
God had given the disciples spiritual authority and this was a time they were going to use it
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)
They gave the authority to the church to choose who to serve
The best leaders are always from among the people around them
They also gave them guidelines on how to pick these people (Vs 3)
Full of the Spirit
Full of wisdom
Paul expounds on this in 1 Timothy 3:8 – 13
Term “deacon” means “servant” or “table waiter”
In a community level = political leader over a town
Except for Stephen and Philip, the Bible does not tell us anything about them, except for Nicolas who is a convert to Judaism
Stephen first martyr of the church
Two of them in the Bible
The Apostle and the Evangelist
I doubt if it is the same person filling both roles
Procorus — according to acts of John, he ended up traveling with Peter and became a bishop of Nicomedia
Nicanor will dies when Stephen is killed
Timon will become the Bishop of Syria and will be killed there
Parmenas Becomes a Bishop of Soli
Nicolas doubtful that he was the author of a Gnostic gospel of the Nicolotians that Paul will talk about.
Laid hands of authority on them
Church grew
Hellenistic people quit complaining so they grew
Priest did not feel need to compromise to the Greek speaking people so Priest now come to faith