“. . . seven men of good reputation . . .”
Scripture does not follow the stories of all seven of these men, but we know that both Stephen and Philip were remarkable men. Stephen carries the honor of being the first martyr of the church. While martyrdom is not something we should aspire to, his testimony is one of a man who refused to shy away from the threats, and boldly declared the Gospel to his community. It seems very likely his life was influential in leading to Paul’s conversion. Philip was used to begin one of the great revivals of church history. It was through his life, the people of Samaria heard the Gospel and were saved. Later we read, he raised four daughters who followed and served the Lord.
Acts 6 records for us what these men were like. We are told they were men of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit, wisdom and faith. The text also alludes to how they became these men. We are told, the apostles gave themselves continually to the Word of God and prayer. Something happens to us when we get plugged into a healthy church, where the Bible is being taught. As the weeks pass, we begin to develop a desire for more of the Lord, and ultimately to serve the Lord. After one of the outreach events that our church was involved in, one of my kids made the observation that it was so cool to see people come to the church, get fed the Word, and over time start serving. He said it was almost as though they could not help it.
Make sure you get plugged into a healthy church! The more time you invest in your relationship with Jesus, the more you will become a person whose life impacts those around you, for the kingdom of God.
Questions for Acts 6
- Serving at your church can be a wonderful experience for you and your family. How can you serve the body of believers?
- Stephen was described as a man full of faith and power. Verse 9 speaks of some people disputing with Stephen and that they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit of God, so they lied to stir up the people. Stephen was serving the Lord (waiting tables); he stood for his faith and was stoned. God has called us no matter what our occupation is. Are you taking a stand for your faith?