Godly Men

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Godly Men is an expository sermon by Jim Fryer.

Acts 6:1-7

Act 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples were multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Act 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 
Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 
Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 
Act 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 
Act 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Seven Men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom are described here. Do you know them? (Acts 6:1-7) You may not be able to name all seven, but I am willing to say that most of us have heard of two of these Godly Men: Stephen and Philip.

While we don't know exactly what these men did we can assume that most of them have the same characteristics that these two did. What was their lifestyle like?

I. THEY WERE CHOSEN MEN OF THE CHURCH. (v. 3a)

Did they think that they were worthy? Probably not. But the church thought they were. I have heard many Godly men who didn't think they were worthy and therefore refuse to be deacons.

The truth be known, however, they were already doing the work without this special recognition therefore it should be no special thing to be given the position. They should just keep doing what they were already doing.

II. THEY WERE GIVEN A SPECIFIC TASK. (v. 3b)

This is where so many go wrong. The verses are clear. The church chooses the men and the pastors (apostles) appoint the work for these Godly men to do. In this case they were to give relief to the leadership so that the Word of God and prayer would not be hindered.

However, as we will see their reputation went much further.

III. THEY WERE COMMISSIONED BY GOD. (v. 6)

The symbol of laying on of the hands gives us reason to think that this passage must be dealing with the office of Deacon. Some think otherwise, but I see no reason to doubt this truth.

Laying on of hands is a practice that gives the visible setting aside of a man for a particular work. There are only two places in the Bible where we find this practice. One is for pastors and the other is deacons.

IV. THEY WERE EFFECTIVE IN THEIR TASK. (v. 7)

Notice that:

  1. The word of God increased.
    First, this could mean that the pastors had time to put necessary energy into study and preparation. Second, and probably the best interpretation is that the word of God increased in its effectiveness in the lives of those unbelievers who would listen to the gospel.
  2. The number of disciples multiplied, not increased or added, but multiplied.
    That means 7 became 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, etc.
  3. Other "priests" were encouraged to be obedient to the faith.
  4. They were great evangelists.
    Stephen was instrumental in reaching the Apostle Paul (Acts 7:58) and Stephen was reaching a whole city and won the Ethiopian Eunuch who took the gospel to Africa. (Acts 8:26)

Can I tell you that we need men like this in our congregations...Men who meet all of the above criteria. There is nothing better than a good deacon and nothing worse than one who does not know or fulfill his duties. We need seven men like Stephen and Philip.

Some of the other men of our churches need to step up and join our training. Being a leader is not a burden but an honor and a privilege. Our church will "blow the doors off their hinges" in reaching people if they do. God will do for us what He did for the Jerusalem church.


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