Review of Acts 6

Review of Acts 6

by Pastor Adekoya Akinbode

Acts: 6. 1. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

I cherish the fact that this case has been dealt with in a very clear term. Only that as the reviewer for the hour, I might be expected to say a word or two…

Let’s remember that this event is still happening in the first location Jesus told the disciples (now apostles) to kickstart their witnessing – Jerusalem.

And we are told the people at Jerusalem as at this time – the Jews from all over the world.

Acts: 2.

9. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

They came from all over for the annual feast of the Pentecost. From among them were the Three Thousand that got save in chapter two and many others subsequently. Many have not only learn to speak the language of the nation they came from, where they were probably born though were Jews by origin, they also have become accustomed to it. That’s one of things to consider as responsible in the event that betide here in chapter six – language barrier!

To reach them all at a time when the Holy Ghost descended, the Apostles were given the ability to speak diverse kinds of tongues (languages) that everyone had the gospel preached in their own known tongue. That’s awesome.

This happened absolutely through the ability of the Spirit and not something that can be induced or mechanized. As it is this day, the Holy Ghost can and still gives the ability to operate in this manner as a sign, to reach out to some people you don’t know their language or to say just a sentence strong enough to convince and convert in their known language.

A guy lying down beside me in the room a was given to rest overnight at a function I was invited to in 2014 stood up in shock as I was silently praying in tongues. He was hearing my voice slightly and could understand what I was saying in Arabic language which I do not understand as a person. He said I was saying some amazing things which he refuse to share with me. I could only guessed it was personal instructions to him from the Lord which he didn’t want me to know about. The shock on his face convinced me he truly had the understanding of whatever I’d said in an unknown tongue – inspired by the Holy Ghost probably just to minister to the guy without me even knowing.

Now, we see unity, love and generosity on display amongst them in the first church. They had everything in common as we read in the previous chapter.

Welfare department was installed to see to fair distribution of what other saints made available. In a situation like this, as it’s almost everywhere today, it will take the Holy Ghost to satisfy everyone, if they would yield however!

Quarrel, sense of favoritism and even some physical exchange beyond mere words! Wherever you have multitude, wisdom is required for effective administrations. Human beings are never easy to govern, not even the born anew in Christ!

Like I often said, there are times the “man” part of even a man of God plays out. That does not automatically means he’s no longer of God or he’s not saved or has lost his salvation. This understanding is required for us to be able to bear long with one another without religious sentiments.

Despite evidential presence and moves of the Holy Ghost, we see the first humanly questionable issue in the first church which I will assume it’s due to language barrier, among others.

Grecian Jews were probably speaking more of Greek languages while the Hebrew Jews were probably the ones in charge of the distribution as at that time. That’s why to settle the issue, the apostles advised they select men from among them to join in the administration.

Acts: 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. 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.

Note that verse 3 closely.

The Grecians came to report the matter and the apostles must have been able to either discerned or detected that the case was as a result of language barrier and not deliberate act of favoritism or nepotism. So, they asked them to go and select men from among them (who speaks and understand their languages).

I’ve from experience concluded that, any church where you don’t find issues like this reported, it is either everyone is just on its own – doing his own thing or, they have become so mature in the faith to be able to accommodate and bear with one another. Here, the church has just began and, though there was unity amongst them, maturity was yet in the making. But that doesn’t make them imperfect!

Furthermore, in settling the issue once and for all, the criteria to look out for from those to be selected are:

1. They must be full of faith

2. They must be filled with the Holy Ghost.

If all that we ordain or assign to duties in our churches today have those “qualifications”, there’ll be less issues to be brought before the church leadership for attention.

No wonder Paul counselled Timothy not to lay hand on anyone suddenly no matter the social and financial status, family or educational background.

I know of a denomination in our country that so far you are a graduate (even if you studied zoology), you’re qualify for ordination as a pastor. Just go and marry quickly! The situation amongst them is that of “…if the foundation be destroyed…”!

Many are moving from church to church today not necessarily because they are in search for the true gospel of Christ but for positions. They do not and do not want to subject themselves to the ministry of the word that builds them up in the love of Christ which among others entails and imparts the understanding that we are one family in Christ and to be able to relate accordingly. Their fellowship with Jesus through the Holy Ghost in neither a priority nor a concern. So, they lack the patience and the wisdom of God that is required in church administration.

As leaders, we must follow the Holy-Ghost-inspired method of selecting and ordaining people into positions of service in the church if we must have rest enough to focus on our main calling – the preaching of the word backed with prayers!


If wisdom is not employed or deployed, the enemy can take advantage of any little issue among us to not just scatter us but also stop the spread of the gospel.

The apostles knew that they going to overseer such matter would amount to distraction from their given mission, and in as much as multitudes also have come to the faith and filled with the Holy Ghost, they delegated authority.

Acts: 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.

The gospel would have been hindered and even the church scattered had the apostles not engaged the wisdom of the Holy Ghost to proffer solution (which simply is delegation of authority) to such seemly minor issue. All Pastors need to learn from this. And for the members of a church that except their pastor to be everywhere and blame him/her for every mismanagement, the simple thing to do is to make yourself available to  be used by God and not go about finding faults or mounting blames.

Acts: 6. 4. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Look at the aftermath of no distractions

Acts: 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.

Like I once said, any little act or case of mismanagement can be use by the devil to hinder or halt the next move of God.

Imagine the apostles had bowed to pressure and got distracted with serving tables, the priest that got saved here might presumably end up as eternally lost souls! Thank God for wisdom as inspired by His Spirit and the sensitivity of the apostles. Sure, every inspired idea from God will always sound pleasing to His own, as sheep do hear the voice of the shepherd. Such ideas also a bound to generate the desired results.

Acts: 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: 6. Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

From hereafter, there was no more reports centering around the same issue. The seeming problem was solved and permanently laid to rest. I see the Holy Ghost inspiring you to know what to do to generate the desired results and situations. Every form of unrest shall be laid to rest!

Stephen was not an ordained pastor or amongst the twelve, yet, full of faith and the Holy Ghost so much that he was been used by God to do mighty things.

Acts: 6. 8. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

We live in a generation that assume that you need to be a pastor to live right, be committed to kingdom service and devoted to the word and fellowship. Many cannot go out to preach the gospel to the multitudes around them that need to hear about what Jesus has done. Why? They are not yet “pastors”!

  • Ordination is not the same as unction.
  • Ordination does not guarantee unction
  • Unction is the proof of divine ordination

That is, everyone that is anointed or baptised with the Holy Ghost is ordained for the gospel and the work of the ministry. I’m not talking about going to start or open a church here but been part of running the church. The saints of God are ordained by God, only raised by His the fivefold gifts for (to do) the work of the ministry.

Ephesians: 4.

11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Stephen therefore is a perfect example of the saints that God expects to see raised. You can be another Stephen in your local church!

Acts: 6. 8. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Of course as you submit to kingdom service which begins with reaching out with the gospel of Christ even as you continually position yourself to be fed with it, be ready for anything!

1 Peter: 5.

9. …knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11. to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


1 Peter: 4.

12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

The disciples turned apostles once boasted that they were ready to drink the same cup with Jesus, and they eventually did! They face same level of confrontations, molestations, persecutions as Jesus did faced and they (except for John) died so awfully.  As long as death is sure for every man, they did not love their life as to end losing it neither did they care by what mean they would die or be killed, all for the gospel that he have, believe and are commissioned to preach today. What a life!

Stephen as well partook of same kind of accusations and trials that Jesus and His apostles faced, as a servant is not greater than His Master!

John: 13.

15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. –

John: 15. 20. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. –

The apostles, I believe would remember these words of Jesus to them before His crucifixion and ascension after His resurrection. So, they had an insight into what to expect as they moved on, by the reason of hindsight. They saw all that happened to Jesus, yet, because they have been anointed, they were undaunted!

We may never have to face any form of attack near what Jesus or the apostles faced preaching the gospel. But what if we are even going to face such, and even worst? I’m persuaded that by the strength of the Holy Ghost, this shall be our stand and confessions:

Romans: 8.

35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Just as Jesus was wrongly accused, Stephen had his own share. Personally, the worst thing you can do to me is to wrongly quote and accuse me! Though I’ve developed some sort of internal shock-absorber against such by the help of the Holy Ghost, it eats into me deeply and gets me more grieved and pained far than any other thing man can do against his enemy.

Now, a sect said to be formed by the enslaved Jews now released by the Romans were stirred up by the devil against the preaching of the gospel.

Acts: 6.

9. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11. Then they suborned men, which said, we have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12. And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13. And set up false witnesses, which said, this man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14. For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

Today, we still have such synagogues where Moses is the focus, but the gospel of Christ remains unstoppable! As we go about preaching the undiluted gospel of Christ, the oppositions can have nothing against us but false accusations!

Matthew: 26.

59. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60. But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61. And said, this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

The only known way to attack the true gospel is to misquote the preacher. Because, if you quote him correctly, you’ve just preached the true gospel and the Holy Ghost can use it to convince someone right there!

Acts: 6. 14. For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

You will hear statements like, “They said we are under grace. So we can do anything we like. They say we can fornicate, commit adultery, lie, steal and even kill that God will not see it because we are under grace”. Sure, no true grace preacher will say that but in a bid to antagonize the gospel of grace, they embellish the truth with what was never said and seal it with “That’s a lie of the devil. Run for your life when you meet so called grace preacher!”

The ignorant ones get more convinced and strengthened against the gospel of grace and the preachers. Remember, the greatest tool ever engaged in fighting the gospel is giving false witnesses by deliberately misquoting what is said.

Notwithstanding, we are not ignorant of the wiles of the devil. So, we are not moved when we are wrongly accused. We remain undaunted and the gospel keeps spreading. Amen! One thing is sure, whenever you’re been confronted, opposed or persecuted for preaching the true gospel, you will never be left alone!

There will definitely be some sort of supernatural manifestations or intervention either to bail you out of to strengthen you for whatever the outcome maybe. I have a plethora of experience in this regard in my Thirteen year of preaching the gospel.

We saw the angel of God brought Peter and John out of the common prison where they were kept for preaching Jesus. We saw Gamaliel been used to rescue the apostles from the plot to put them to death. Here we see the Holy Ghost at work too probably to strengthen Stephen against comes what l may, opening him up to what lies ahead!

Acts: 6. 15. And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

The truth remains that, God will never let you down whenever and wherever you stand for Him. Praise be to His name!

I close by commending the grace of God upon you all expressed in diverse means and acts biblically referred to as good works. It takes grace to give yourself wholeheartedly to the gospel and much more to living by it. I see this grace functionally at work here and it will only be on the increase.Thank you for giving yourself to/for the gospel and living by it. I say thank you as a man even though I know by God that you’re investing unto eternal rewards which is sure!


More grace!

Great grace!

Abundant grace!

Overflowing grace!

…all of the grace of God be with and upon you all, in Jesus sweetest name.

Remain on top!

Remain stable by all means!


Was Acts 6:1 talking about racism in the church?


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. Acts 6:1 NLT

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. Acts 6:1 NIV

They were all Jews by birth

James 1:1….and 1Peter 1:1 uses the right phrase to describe the group the Hellenists came out from

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. (James 1.1 NIV)

1Peter 1:1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

So they have joined the church in the Jerusalem or better put, Palestine (Jerusalem is in Palestine region)

So it’s like Nigerians in Gambia (Gambia Nigerians) should come and join a church in Nigeria where all leaders are Nigerian Nigerians. It is almost natural that the Nigerian Nigerians will receive most attention. And so I love what Ellicott commentary concluded this matter with:

The Twelve (apostles) were all of them Galileans, and were suspected of favouring the widows of Palestine rather than those of the Dispersion. It was the first sign that the new society was outgrowing its primitive organization.

Then favoritism rather than racism. Maybe we can say its partial racism. As another location seems to be the main issue in the background. The Grecian Jew vs. Hebraic Jew.

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