For the last several weeks, we’ve been going through the book of Acts – following the growth and development of the early church.
As the Apostles boldly share their testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and call people to put their faith in Him for Salvation, the Holy Spirit has been at work, and crowds of people have been responding to the Gospel. The church has been growing tremendously!
But of course, with rapid growth comes growing pains – and we’ve seen a few examples of that already.
- We’ve seen Ananias and Sapphira being put to death by the Lord after lying to the Holy Spirit.
- We’ve seen the Apostles being thrown into prison – and then rescued by an angel who simply opened the doors and led them out.
- We’ve seen the religious leaders command that Apostles stop preaching in the name of Jesus – even flogging them as a warning – but the Apostles insisted that they would continue obeying God rather than man!
And thus far, all of these growing pains have not stopped the tremendous growth of the church. But today in our passage, the church is going to face perhaps their greatest threat yet. This particular ‘growing pain’ not only has the potential to destroy or at least seriously damage the unity of the church, which is the hallmark of the followers of Christ – but it also has the potential to prevent the Apostles from faithfully preaching the Good News.
And by the way, the threats to the church that we’re going to read about here in Acts chapter 6 are equally present us for today, and so I think this will be a very relevant passage for us!
Our passage today is in Acts chapter 6 – and we’re just going to start by just reading the very first verse. It reads like this:
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
Now right off the bat there are a couple of things that we should clarify.