Lesson 24: The Grecian Formula – Acts 6:1-7

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 24 from the sermon series "Acts" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.

 

Summary:

When the Grecians complained, the apostles had to come up with a formula to address their complaint (6:1).  But if this was a foretaste of the kingdom of heaven on earth, does that mean there will be complaints when we get to the kingdom of heaven in heaven? 

Yes!  That’s why we’ll have to “judge angels” (I Cor. 6:3). Angels are sinless but not perfect.  They will have disputes similar to this one in Acts 6 that they’ll need us to settle.  Meanwhile, the 12 apostles will be doing the same thing in the kingdom of heaven on earth (Mt. 19:28) among saved Jews who will be sinless but not perfect either.  And we’re seeing this pictured here in Acts 6.  We’re not seeing a breakdown of the harmony in the church here (Acts 1:14; 2:1,46; 4:32).  We’re seeing how the harmony was maintained, and how it will be maintained in the kingdom.

Heaven will be perfect, but not in the way many people think  Many Christians think we won’t have to go to work, but Eden was perfect, and Adam had a job (Gen. 2:15).And being a judge is a job, so we’ll have to go to work to judge angels.

People of other nations that spoke Greek were called Greeks (Mark 7:26).  People of the Jewish nation who spoke Greek, who grew up in other lands, were called “Grecians.”  The “daily ministration” that was neglecting the Grecian widows was the distribution to the needs of the saints (Acts 2:44,45).  It couldn’t have been on purpose, for neglecting widows would have been a sin (Ex. 22:22), and these saints couldn’t sin (I Jo. 3:9).  They were sinless, just not perfect.

The apostles didn’t think helping with this was beneath them, but passed on helping (6:2) because, in order to look into this neglect, they would have had to do some neglecting of their own.  They’d have had to neglect their spiritual gift of teaching (Rom. 12:7 cf. I Tim. 4:14).

Instead, they helped by delegating authority (6:3), as Moses did when the Jews were multiplied in his day, as they were here at Pentecost (Deut. 1:10-17).

When they deferred to give themselves to teaching instead (6:4), that suggests men needed to be taught the Word there in the kingdom of heaven on earth, and that suggests that men will need it in the kingdom of heaven in heaven.  That answers the question I’m often asked, if we’ll know the Bible perfectly the instant we enter heaven.  No!  The Bible is an eternal Book, and we’ll delight in studying it for all eternity.  Imagine how boring eternity would be otherwise!

We’ll talk more about Stephen and Philip (6:5) in Acts 7,8. And these other men aren’t mentioned elsewhere, so there is nothing we can know about them.  Although “Nicolas” might have been the father of the cult in Revelation 2:6,14,15 that was associated with fornication.  Church history says Nicolas started taking  that business of living with all things common (Acts 2:44; 4:32) too far, saying men shouldn’t say their wives were their own (Acts 4:32), leading to fornication

They ordained these men by laying hands on them (6:6) to give them the gift of ministry (Rom. 12:6) to help them operate “the daily ministration.”

But while we know nothing about these men, we know they were all Grecians, as their Greek names indicate!  You wouldn’t pick a fox to guard the henhouse that he’s most likely to rob, but these disciples picked Grecian leaders who were most likely to side with Grecian widows in this dispute!

That’s grace!  The Jews could have said, “It’s a Jewish church, we’re picking Jewish judges, and if you don’t like it, you can leave.”  Of course, unsaved men would say, “That’s not fair, you need to pick 3 Hebrews, 3 Grecians, and 1 proselyte,” thinking no one could propose a better solution.  But God did!  Grace is always a better solution, for grace always goes above and beyond the call (Eph. 3:20).  Do you?

If you could settle all your disputes as graciously, you might see the same results these saints saw: priests who a short while ago opposed them (Acts 4:1-3) believed (6:7).

“The faith” you had to be “obedient” to in the Jewish nation was Acts 2:38, but the faith to be obedient to among “all nations” was Paul’s gospel (Rom.1:5; 16:25,26).  It still is!

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