Holy Spirit – He Guides Us Through Complexity
Concordadmin   -  

Sermon #7 He Guides Us through Complexity (Acts 6:1-7)

Main Verses: (Acts 6:1-7 1 Timothy 3:8-12)


The early church encountered complexity along with its new growth. The Holy Spirit’s aid was essential in helping this body of believers handle these prickly issues. Supplies were low for essential ministry and sharp lines of animosity around ethnicity were beginning to form. Fortunately, a disastrous chapter was avoided. Because the congregation remained sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting at the critical juncture, the church was not only strengthened- but thrived.


Key Term: Deacons (διάκονος)

A servant, minister, a person who renders service and help to others, was used to denote someone who waited on tables, also transliterated as deacon, a trusted officer of helps and service in the local church.


Key Quotes:

Adaptive leadership is not about finding the best-known or most available fix to a problem, but instead adapting to the changing environment or circumstances so that new possibilities arise for accurately seeing, understanding, and facing, challenges with new actions.

(Canoeing the Mountains, by Tod Bolsinger)


Background Information on Acts 6

  • The Apostles (Local Leaders of the Church)
  • Hellenistic Jews (Part of the Church, but not local)
  • Hebraic Jews (Part of the Church and hyper-local)
  • The Problem- Some were getting overlooked in an important ministry. This exclusion was happening along ethnic lines.


Possible Solutions

  1. Do Nothing      (Neutral)
  2. Shrink Back     (Reverse)
  3. Engage             (Drive)


In this passage we will see how the Body of Christ responded to a growing crisis within it ranks. We can learn how we can respond in similar situations. The church that listens to the Holy Spirit will find itself doing the following:


Following the Holy Spirit:

  1. Helps the church see problems that are in front of it. (Acts 6: 1)
  2. Empowers leaders to engage and clarify the problem from an organizational perspective. (6:2)
  3. Will empower more people to use the various strengths within the congregation (6:3) [Notice the abilities that were needed for the congregation, were already in the congregation.]

-Full of the Spirit (6:3)

-Wise (6:3)

-Full of Faith (6:5)

  1. Allows room for people to execute ministry (v. 6)



What complex problems or circumstances are in front of you? How might the Holy Spirit be nudging you?

What new thing could the Holy Spirit be leading you to do?

Don’t neglect the wisdom of the larger group.

Because of the careful obedience of the church in Acts 6, we now have the office of deacon. Do you think you might be Deacon material? Here is the list of qualifications for this critical church office.


The Bible’s Instruction on Deacons

Paul identifies nine qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-12:

  1. Dignified (v. 8): This term normally refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy, and is closely related to “respectable,” which is given as a qualification for elders (1 Tim. 3:2).
  2. Not double-tongued (v. 8): Those who are double-tongued say one thing to certain people but then say something else to others or say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere. Their words cannot be trusted, so they lack credibility.
  3. Not addicted to much wine (v. 8): A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drink. Such a person lacks self-control and is undisciplined.
  4. Not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 8): If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church.
  5. Sound in faith and life (v. 9): Paul also indicates that a deacon must “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” The phrase “the mystery of the faith” is simply one way Paul speaks of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently, this statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering. Yet this qualification does not merely involve one’s beliefs, for he must also hold these beliefs “with a clear conscience.” That is, the behavior of a deacon must be consistent with his beliefs.
  6. Blameless (v. 10): Paul writes that deacons must “be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless” (v. 10). “Blameless” is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Although Paul does not specify what type of testing is to take place, at a minimum, the candidate’s personal background, reputation, and theological positions should be examined. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.
  7. Godly wife (v. 11): It is debated whether verse 11 refers to a deacon’s wife or to a deaconess. For the sake of this discussion, we will assume the verse is speaking about the qualifications of a deacon’s wife. According to Paul, deacons’ wives must “be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (v. 11). Like her husband, the wife must be dignified or respectable. Secondly, she must not be a slanderer or a person who goes around spreading gossip. A deacon’s wife must also be sober-minded or temperate. That is, she must be able to make good judgments and must not be involved in things that might hinder such judgment. Finally, she must be “faithful in all things” (cf. 1 Tim. 5:10). This is a general requirement which functions similarly to the requirement for elders to be “above reproach” (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) and for deacons to be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:10).
  8. Husband of one wife (v. 12): The best interpretation of this difficult phrase is to understand it as referring to the faithfulness of a husband toward his wife. He must be a “one-woman man.” That is, there must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way either emotionally or physically.
  9. Manage children and household well (v. 12): A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his wife and children.


Take notes below