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Acts 6 1-7

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Title: “Unqualified Leaders”

Text:  Acts 4:13;  6:1-7

Objective:  It is my objective to show that God is not asking for ability but availability.  When a person is available, God will place them where He can use them.  This may be in an area where they do not think they can serve but if they are available, God will use them as He sees fit.

INTRODUCTION:

1.  God is not asking for your ability but your availability.

2.  Will you do, say, be exactly what God wants or do you have reservations of your own making?

3.  Strategies of the Church

      a.  Jesus Christ is the central theme

      b.  They cared for one another

      c.  They were saved, baptized and added to the church

      d.  God Chose leaders

      e.  Unity was and is of high priority

      f.   Being filled with the Spirit was essential for growth

      g.  Prayer was another key

4.  Read Acts 5:41-6:7

I.  Persecution came

      A.  They were Preaching Jesus Christ

B.  They told the people that Jesus Christ is alive and in the way of salvation

Acts 4:12 ESV And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

C.  The Leaders were Jealous—Many were turning to Jesus, Their crowd and power was diminishing

Acts 5:17 ESV But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy

      D.  Peter and James told the leaders they had crucified Jesus

            Act 4:8—Peter filled with the Spirit

Acts 4:8-12 ESV 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. (Quoting Psalm 118:22).  12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:31 ESV 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and (RESULT) continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

      E.  Application: 

            1.  We ought to obey God rather than man.

            2.  If we live Godly, we will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12 ESV Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

3.  1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

II.  Problem

      A.  Many were being saved

            1.  Day of  Pentecost—3000

            2.  God added daily –2:47

            3.  Acts 4:4—5000 men

            4.  Act 6:1—Increasing number of disciples

What was the secret of this amazing growth? Read 5:41–42 for the answer: the leaders were willing to pay any price to serve Christ, and the people lived their faith daily. Acts 5:42 is a good pattern for us to follow: (1) daily Christian service; (2) service in God’s house; (3) service from house to house; (4) work from every member; (5) continuous service; (6) teaching and preaching the Word; (7) exalting Jesus Christ. Godly pastors and officers alone cannot make a church grow; every member must do his or her part.[1]

      B.  Problem arises

            1.  Ethnic problem—Helenist (Greek) vs. Native Hebrews

            2.  Hurt feelings—Playing favorites

            3.  Placing more importance on one person over another

     

C.  Solution

            1.  You find 7 men

                  a.  Qualifications—

1)  Good Reputation—They have a good testimony—good witness

                        2)  Full of the Spirit—Filled with the Holy Spirit

                        3)  Full of wisdom--

                        4)  Does not suggest experience in this job

                        5)  Some would consider these unqualified

                              (Did not have a college education)

                              (Did not have the training in the Law)

                              (Had been with Jesus)

Acts 4:13 ESV Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

            2.  We will appoint them

                  Authority of the leaders God appointed

            3.  Apostles continued to teach the Word and Pray

III.  People

      A.  Apostles—The twelve who were with Jesus

B.  Whole Congregation—New Believers who mostly knew the Old Testament

      C.  Widows—Those who were in dire straits

            1 Tim 5:1-8—Take care of the widows

                  Family first to care for the widows--

                  Church second in line of responsibility

      D.  Deacons-Servers

            Those who serve tables

            Take care of the poor

            Meet the needs of those in need

           

IV.  Process

      A.  Essentials for power

            1.  Unity

God can overlook almost anything in a church, but God will not overlook disunity. Rick Warren

            2.  Spirit filling

            3.  Prayer

            4.  RESULTS—Power from God

B.  Filling of the Spirit – Some of this from Fresh Power by Jim Cymbala

            1.  Deacons then Versus Deacons Now

                  a.  Then

                        1)  One who rolls up his sleeves and serves

2)  Full of the Spirit and wisdom—(Qualifications)

                        3)  They were there serving in the church already

                  b.  Some think today

                        1)  One who sits on a prestigious board

2) Nothing is said about a college degree, education, money management, etc.

3) Must not let the Wall street corporate mentality invade the church

     

            2. “Filling” means What?

                  a.  Known to be filled with the Spirit

                        1)  Different than having the Spirit—

Romans 8:9 ESV You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

2)  Distinct and observable  6:3  Known to be wise and filled

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

3)  Not all believers are full of the Spirit

Ephesians 5:18 … be filled with the Spirit,  (Keep on being filled)  ESV

                        4)   Church at Laodecia—Rev 3:14-22  Luke warm

--Many have a hard time to come for only one hour of church and it must be entertaining.

5)  Spirit filling is essential for there to be God’s work accomplished with God’s Power

--Not emotional high or some pulpit trick     -This is not some unbiblical manifestation

--Not some holy laughter which teaches nothing but emotions

--Not associated with only one place—not associated with geography

--When 1st happened in the upper room.  They did go back to the upper room

--Early Christians did not travel around to get the blessing

                        6)  What does it mean?

Ephesians 6:10 ESV Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

                  b. Surprising things happened

“These 7 men were set apart, with prayer and the laying on of hands to run a food program.”

                        1) Result-Act 6:7—Word of God kept on increasing

                        2)  Stephen began to do great things

                        3)  Stephen was never given the pulpit

                              --bubbled out in the market place

                              --Not people called reverend

                              --Not just staff personnel

                              No such thing as “Just an usher.”

                              No such thing as “Just a nursery worker”

                        4)  Who should lead the church?

                              --Those who are ministers-All should minister

                  THE ISSUE IS NOT ABILITY BUT AVAILABILITY

            3.  Filling does not insure freedom from trouble

                  a.  Stephen got into trouble

“Have you ever heard a modern preacher declare that if you’re right with God and just repeat the promises, everything will work out fine and Dandy?  You just take authority over any problem or circumstance, and it will all melt away like the snow?”—Cymballa—P 114

                  b.  The church supported Him

                  c.  Stephen was full of the Holy spirit and got busted

Romans 8:16-17 ESV 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

                  d.  One of the mob that killed Stephen was Saul

            4.  Unforeseen Fruit

                  a.  Saul got saved later after Stephen was killed

                        --Many churches started

                              (But Stephen was dead)

--14 or 15 books of the New Testament were written by Paul

                              (But Stephen was Dead)

b.  It is always better to be dead in God’s will than alive out of God’s will

                  c.  Story of the Church in Quebec

--Jacque Alexanian went to Montreal many years ago

                        --Great persecution—drug around be their hair

                        --Stayed faithful over and over

                        --One day a person got saved

                        --Then one in his family

                        --Then one in the next town

--Just so happened that he went to visit relatives in the next town

--Churches began to spring up and SEMBEQ was started

                  d. Unforeseen fruit—Being filled with the Spirit

e. Some of you here can tell of a person that got saved years after much suffering and prayer by others

“How we live is much more important than how long we live.”

      C.  Much Prayer:

            Wednesday—Prayer Request cards

                              --Jason VerMulm?

Dear Father, forgive us for often ignoring your purpose for our lives.  Pardon us for the sin of small and selfish living, with little thought of the privilege and potential in belonging to you.   Reveal your will and purpose concerning us, and then give us the grace to pursue it with all of our hearts.  We ask this in Christ’s name. Amen.  (From 121-122 Fresh Power by Jim Cymbala)


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[1]Wiersbe, Warren W.: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1997, c1992, S. 290

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