講道者：賴俊明牧師 Speaker: Rev. David Lai
經文：使徒行傳六章一到七節 Scripture: Acts 6:1-7
6:1 Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. 6:2 And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait at tables. 6:3 Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, 6:4 while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.’ 6:5 What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6:6 They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 6:7 The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
A. Acts’ Main Purpose:
1. When Early Church was established, it immediately faced persecution. But the believers of church were brave enough to witness their faith.
2. The Holy Spirit led many people to believe in God. For example, Paul (Saul), Cornelius (at acts 10.1-2) and Ethiopia eunuch (acts 8.27).
3. But Early Church still faced a lot of problems then. How they overcome the problems after all?
We will learn the secret tips from acts chapter 6 verse 1 to7.
B. First, chapter 6 verse 1 states, ”In those days when the number of disciples increase…….
1. The background of chapter 6 is chapter5: the apostles were suffered by persecution for their beliefs and were ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus. However, the number of the believers increased more.
2. When the apostles really lived and practiced according to Jesus’s teaching in their life, and caring about their society and their countrymen. God must let our church prosper.
C. Secondly, We have to remember that the churches with growing members and spiritual soul are not without problems.
1. Let’s look at the early day church: According to Acts chapter 5, they prayed together with holy spirits, consequently the church member increasing to 3000. But many problems still exist.
2. Church with a lot of problems is not a shame. What’s shameful is that churches and the believers don’t resolve their problems with faith. What we must learn from early day church is how they resolve problems with faith and love.
D. last but not least, Acts chapter 6 states that the believers selected 7 men with full spirit and wisdom to help Apostles to minister church affair.
1. How early churches prosper is because all members offer their gifts and serve god and people with their faith and love.
2. “Chinese Medicine” inspiration: Chinese medicine is made from different materials, such as herbs, plants, water, wine and others, through the processes of mixing, grinding, heating, and some other processes. It takes time and men power, just like churches in old days needs all members’ effort to thrive.
Conclusion: we learned today how churches in old days thrive
1. They (the early church members) have admirable faith witness
2. They solve the problem with their faith and wisdom.
3. They worked undividedly on making their church stronger and bigger by each others’ contribution of talents just like a piece of Chinese herb medicine with different components which work together to heal disease.