Click the icon & UPDATE YOUR INFO! ...even if you think we have it. We are working to update all church databases and promise not to spam or sell your info.

01 October 2023  // Acts 6:1-7

Life Group discussion questions for the week following October 01, 2023.

Kyle Childress
Acts 6:1-7                                                                          

SCRIPTURAL APPLICATION:  Read Acts 6:1-7 & watch 10.01.2023 sermon.
Addition to the Church – vs. 1a

Division in the Church – vs. 1b
            Hellenist vs. Hebrew
                        Hellenist -Greek Speaking – liberal in thinking – open world view.
                        Hebrew - Hebrew Speaking – conservative in thinking. – narrow world view.
            Complaint – “gongysmos” – “Grumbling or murmuring”
                        Diakonos #1 – The “distribution”  - vs. 4:34-35
Addition to the  Ministry -vs. 2-6
            First business meeting of the church! vs. 2
            First motion to the church vs. 3
                        Justification – vs. 2b
                        Diakonos #2  - service of tables vs. 2
                        Diakonos #3  - ministry of the Word – vs. 4
            First decision of the church. vs. 5
                        Chose seven Hellenist?
Multiplication of the Church vs. 7
            Word of God increased
            Number of disciples increased
            Conversions increased – Great many priests!
  • What did the message teach me about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit?
  • What did the message teach me about the human condition?
  • Is there anything I need to confess, repent, or be grateful for, because of this passage?
  • How do I need help in believing and applying this scripture to my life?
  • How can I encourage others with this passage?

A.  Hellenism (v. 1)
For a full discussion of this term readers may want to consult a Bible dictionary, encyclopedia, or The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 9 in which Longenecker devotes several pages to the subject. He discusses an identification of “Hellenists” exclusively by language and geographical origin, as a reference to Jewish proselytes, as a term which means only to live as a Greek, and in connection with the Essene movement or even the Samaritans.

All of these views he finds somewhat limiting and prefers to side with Bishop Moule by suggesting, “that the Hellenists were ‘simply Jews (whether by birth or as proselytes) who spoke only Greek and no Semitic language, in contrast to Hebraioi which would then mean the Jews who spoke a Semitic language in addition, of course, to Greek’ ” (Moule, 328–329).

These people were commonly considered second-class Israelites, especially by the Pharisees. Such a definition emphasizes intellectual orientation rather than just geography or language. These Jews resided in Jerusalem, but had come there from other countries and, therefore, lived under some kind of suspicion because of their speech, their behavior, or their culture.

B.        Widows (v. 1)
Luke includes more references to widows and women than any other Gospel writer. The word for widow (chera) is used once by Mark, not at all by Matthew and John, and six times by Luke in his Gospel. He speaks of widows three more times in Acts which means out of its twenty-two appearances in the New Testament, the word widow was penned nine times by Luke. Luke refers to women sixty times in his two books, quite possibly reflecting his care for them in his vocation as a physician. Whatever the reason for his concern, he stands directly in line with the Old Testament on the theme of caring for widows (Deut. 10:18; 16:11, 14; 24:17, 19–21; 26:12–13). In fact, the Old Testament offers a curse for failing to take care of widows (Mal. 3:5; cf. Isa. 1:17–23).

During their days of wilderness wandering, God reminded his people that when they finally came into their own land they must not forget “widows, strangers, and orphans.” That admonition apparently carried over into the early church, and certainly offers a relevant challenge for us today.

C.  Believing Priest (v. 7)
Every homegrown Jew clearly knew the difference between priestly families, ordinary priests, and priests who represented minor cultic groups. Luke would not necessarily have been familiar with those distinctions. He certainly learned from his sources that a great number of people, somehow associated with priestly status, believed in Jesus and became Christians. He tags it on to the end of a section without much explanation to demonstrate that it happened as fact, but perhaps lay beyond his ability or interest to interpret.[1]

Life Application: Animal Football

An interesting fable concerns a football game between the little animals and the big animals. The score was 84 to 0 at halftime. In hopelessness, the little animals kicked off to begin the second half.

Somehow, the chimp who handled the kickoff was tackled on the 10 yard line, the worst field position of the day for the big animals. On first down they ran the elephant through the middle—no gain. On second down they threw a zebra screen pass—no gain. On third down, a deep pass to the tight giraffe, and again, no gain.

As the defensive unit of the little animals came screaming off the field, the coach (a gopher) shouted over their excited roar: “Who made the tackle on the kickoff?” The centipede responded, “I did, Coach.” “Who stopped the elephant down the middle?” Again, the centipede, “I did, Coach.” “Who knocked down those two passes?” To the gopher’s amazement the centipede again acknowledged his surprising feat on defense.

Having heard the report, the coach screamed at the centipede, “Where were you the first half?” To which the centipede replied, “In the locker room taping my ankles.”

This ridiculous story has only one basic point—too many of us stay in the locker room taping our ankles when our teams desperately need us on the field. This passage of Scripture tells about men not only willing, but ready to serve when a ministry need surfaced. The church is a group of people who serve God together, not a group of people who pay others to do so, praise them when they succeed, and fire them when they don’t.

What is your ministry? How do you involve yourself in your local congregation? Might they have selected you that day in Jerusalem to take care of the widows? The only important ministry is the one to which God has called you and expects you to be faithful.[2]
      1.   How is the organization of your church related to the ministry opportunities your church faces?
      2.   How do you determine job assignments for the ministerial staff of your church? for the lay workers in your church?
      3.   Do some people feel like second-class citizens in your church? How can you change the situation?[3]
[2] Kenneth O. Gangel, Acts, vol. 5, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 96–97.
[3] Kenneth O. Gangel, Acts, vol. 5, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 100.