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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 6 - Verse 4

Verse 4. But we will give ourselves continually. The original expression here used denotes intense and persevering application to a thing, or unwearied effort in it. See Barnes "Ac 1:14".

It means that the apostles meant to make this their constant and main object, undistracted by the cares of life, and even by attention to the temporal wants of the church.

To prayer. Whether this means private or public prayer cannot be certainly determined. The passage, however, would rather incline us to suppose that the latter was meant, as it is immediately connected with preaching. If so, then the phrase denotes that they would give themselves to the duties of their office, one part of which was public prayer, and another preaching. Still it is to be believed that the apostles felt the need of secret prayer, and practised it, as preparatory to their public preaching.

And to the ministry of the word. To preaching the gospel; or communicating the message of eternal life to the world. The word ministry —diakonia—properly denotes the employment of a servant, and is given to the preachers of the gospel because they are employed in this service as the servants of God, and of the church. We have here a view of what the apostles thought to be the proper work of the ministry. They were set apart to this work. It was their main, their only employment. To this their lives were to be devoted, and both by their example and their writings they have shown that it was on this principle they acted. Comp. 1 Ti 4:15,16; 2 Ti 4:2.

It follows, also, that if their time and talents were to be wholly devoted to this work, it was reasonable that they should receive competent support from the churches, and this reasonable claim is often urged by the apostles. See 1 Co 9:7-14; Ga 6:6.

{e} "give ourselves" 1 Ti 4:15

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