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Empowered Part 9

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Empowered  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:13
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In Acts 61-7, the seven are chosen to serve as deacons. The church needs everyone to serve and help one another for unity to exist and the gospel to go forth.

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Text: Acts 6:1-7

Introduction

Today I’d like to talk about a very exciting topic … tantalizing. Organizational systems.
Actually it will be exciting to some of you. Those of you who get excited about spreadsheets, to-do lists, and organizational charts.
But we see here in Acts, that God actually is very concerned about organization. About systems, structures within the church.
If you are reading through Acts as we go here, you might have thought, “What’s up with this story?” Luke has been chronicling the beginning and amazing growth of the church, how the church has been facing opposition and resistance, how they have faced even internal resistance. Then all of the sudden you hear about a dispute between the Greek and Jewish believers in the church over neglected widows.
It just seems out of place. Especially when you see the mundane solution to it. I mean, up until this point problems have been solved quite miraculous. Healing, miraculous releases from prison, God striking people dead.

Main Idea

1. We Need Systems Because God Cares About Systems

The Bible speaks about at length on how things are to be organized and in order. How things are supposed to function in order and harmony.
Creation — a systematic ordering of our universe … out of chaos
Israel — an extremely detailed ordering of life for the Israelites with Law
The Church — The New Testament is full of passages that refer to the organizing and structuring of the church. (Leadership, governance, membership, etc)
So, if God cares so much about order and systems; shouldn’t we? Even those of us who are less inclined to be organized.

2. We Need Organizational Systems because Its How We are Designed

, “It is not good for man to be alone”

2. We Need Systems Because God Cares About Systems

This was a huge point we made in the series “Breathing Room” — our lives are to have have order and room in order to have space for God and loving others.
God is using internal conflict to lead this new church into healthy organizational systems.
The church today approaches organizational systems in two extremes.
We Need Systems

2. We Need Systems Because It Creates Balance/Harmony

They are considered unspiritual and of the flesh.
a. These churches are "led by the Spirit". Planning and organization can't possibly be led by God
These churches are "led by the Spirit". Planning and organization can't possibly be led by God
They are idolized and elevated above Scripture.
a. These churches elevate pragmatism--what works above what God's word speaks to us2. We Need Systems Because It Creates Balance/Harmony
These churches elevate pragmatism--what works above what God's word speaks to us

2. We Need Systems Because It Creates Balance/Harmony

In this scenario, the Apostles had a choice.
They could continue to be devoted to God’s word and prayer and in so doing continue neglecting the care of part of their congregation.
They could begin to pick up the slack and start helping the widows that were being neglected. But this would certainly take time away from God’s word and prayer—their given role within the church.
They could begin to create systems that would allow them to do both.
God has so created the world that organization and systems are vital.
Illustration: The Body must have the right systems. Systems to keep us warm. Systems to keep us cool. Systems to take food in. Systems to deal with the food and water that has come in and needs to go out.
Paul—We are the body of christ
1 Corinthians 12:14–26 ESV
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Without systems, widows are neglected. People are left out. Hurt feelings occur. Division takes over.

3. We Need Organizational Systems because Its How We are Designed

God created us a humans to need others
, “It is not good for man to be alone”
We are not saved to be lone Christians but to be in community with other believers ()
Hebrews 3:13 ESV
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
--”Make disciples … teaching them … baptising them”
Christian growth also requires that we rely upon other’s help
God created the church to function as a “body” … this means collectively
Illustration: Paul Peppin trying to remove a dump truck radiator by himself
Illustartion: Holding Moses’ hands up —
Exodus 17:8–13 ESV
Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
Now we know that God could have defeated the Amalekites without Moses’ arms up? Then why? God was definitely saying something.

Here we discover an important lesson: sustained prayer was the unseen basis for successful battle. Moses stands in the position of prayer, holding up his hands (cf. 1 Tim. 2:8). When he “prayed” in a posture of godly dependence, Israel prevailed. When he ceased, Israel faltered.

God was saying to them, “If you depend on me, you will win. And sometimes depending on me requires the help of others.

Conclusion

We as individuals need others. This means stepping into community.
And community is hard and messy. And that requires structures and rules in order to govern the mess.
Illustration: Couple married 65 years … “We learned to fight fair”
As a church, we are going to need systems as well. We see in Acts that God intervened to protect the church in sometime miraculous, amazing ways.
But sometimes the solution doesn’t have to be super spiritual.
The church today approaches organizational systems in two extremes.
They are considered unspiritual and of the flesh.
These churches are "led by the Spirit". Planning and organization can't possibly be led by God
They are idolized and elevated above Scripture.
These churches elevate pragmatism--what works above what God's word speaks to us
Last word: Why I love and hate presbyterianism
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