Acts 6. Forum Discussion

Deacons

The book of Acts teaches us many important things.  Here in chapter 6, the apostles are appointing deacons to do the work of the Lord.  The chapter begins with a complaint made by the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews.  The Hellenistic Jews were Jews who spoke Greek and had adopted some of the Greek customs of the day.  Their complaint was against the native Hebrews because their widows were:

“Being overlooked in the daily serving of food.” – Acts 6:1 

The solution to the problem involved appointing men to make sure that this need was being met.  That is the same reason that local churches need deacons today, to make sure the needs of the church are being taken care of. 

The apostles said in Acts 6:2:

“It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.” 

They knew that their role was to continue sharing the gospel.  They also knew that making sure the widows were properly looked after was a priority.  They appointed seven deacons to oversee this task. 

Luke goes on to name the seven men that were chosen to minister to the widows, “Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas.”  He writes how the word of God continued to spread, and how a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.  This undoubtedly infuriated the evil leaders of the time who wanted the power and glory for themselves and not God.

One of the seven deacons selected was named Stephen. Stephen was performing great wonders and signs among the people.  This brought about jealousy and ungodly behavior from a group called the Synagogue of the Freedman.  This group argued with Stephen.  Being unable to debate the inspired words coming out of Stephen’s mouth, they began to make up lies to turn people against Stephen.  Unfortunately, these things can happen to us as well when we are doing God’s work.  The Bible tells us about these things to prepare us.  These men made up lies and were saying they heard Stephen speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God. 

The lies spoken against Stephen stirred up the people, elders, and scribes.  Stephen was dragged away and brought before the Council.  They had even prepared a false witness to speak out against him.

Stephen was prepared to accept whatever consequences might come his way as he served the Lord.  In our own Christian walks, others may try to belittle us, or persecute us in some way.  It is important to have the courage and strength to continue in God’s work, regardless of what others may say about us.  As it says in Mathew 5:16:

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” 

A study on the topic of deacons would not be complete without reviewing the qualifications of a deacon, found in 1 Timothy 3:

Paul listed the qualifications of a deacon as follows:

DEACONS SHOULD BE

  • Men of dignity.
  • Holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
  • Men that have been tested.
  • Beyond reproach.
  • Husbands of only one wife.
  • Good managers of their children and their own households.

DEACONS SHOULD NOT BE

  • Double-tongued.
  • Addicted to much wine.
  • Fond of sordid gain.

For more on what the Bible has to say about church leadership, including the role of elder, click on the link below.

Virtual Bible Study's Discussion Forum on the Qualifications of Church Leaders

Thank you for studying with us today!  Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Acts 7. Our topic of discussion will be, “Suffering.”  May God’s blessings be upon you until then.  Amen

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

What types of roles do deacons play in today's church?

Reply
Michael
Virtual Bible Study

We have deacons overseeing our education department, finances, outreach, building maintenance, and benevolence.

Reply
Leandre

Deacons play an important role that allows others to complete their roles (for example, Elders). Knowing our roles and executing them to the best of our ability glorifies God. Sometimes checking the ego and remembering Who we are serving is something that we need to remind ourselves is important.

Reply
Michael
Leandre

Amen Leandre!

Reply