Notes 15 - Book of Acts cont. - A9

Notes 15 - Book of Acts cont. - A9 - Acts cont As the...

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Acts cont. As the church began to grow in Jerusalem, the members (disciples) got comfortable in their surroundings. There was some persecution, but the church settled in and stayed pretty much in Jerusalem. They rarely ventured far from the home base. Yet, events were to unfold that nearly destroyed the church from within. The church in Jerusalem had banded together when facing persecution from outside, but they had another internal problem that developed. As we read Acts 6, we find that there are two groups that are fighting within the church. I know you probably don?t have those problems in your own church. But the groups in the Jerusalem church nearly destroyed its witness. The groups are Jewish Christians from 2 backgrounds. The Hebrews are Jewish Christians from a strong Jewish background. The ?Hellenists? are Jewish Christians from a strong Hellenistic or Greek background. The dispute between them is NOT over doctrine, nor is it a major theological debate. Their dispute is over ministry the care of widows and orphans. Within the Jewish synagogue, certain persons were assigned the responsibility of making sure that the widows and orphans of the synagogue were cared for. It seems that the Hebrews in the church in Jerusalem had taken on this task. Whether true or not, the Hellenists accused the Hebrews of showing favoritism for the Hebrew’s widows over the Hellenists? widows. As word began to spread in the city, the witness of the church was being hurt. When the Apostles heard about this, they called the disciples (church members) together and suggested that they choose persons to do this service. “It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word in order to serve tables” While some people do not think this is the first choosing of deacons, I beg to differ. The title “deacon” is not here, but a form of ?diakonos? is found. In fact, the infinitive form is here and is translated ?to serve.? So, actually deacon in its earliest usage is not a title of administration but is a function.
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