The more I read Calvin’s sermons the more I enjoy them. As a pastor, I find them a great resource for how to preach and how Calvin shepherded people from the pulpit. Recently I was reading his sermon on Acts 6:1-3:
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
Here is a quote from that sermon. Calvin is emphasizing how Satan wanted to create strife in the church through the failure to care for the Greek widows, but God used the appointment of deacons to bring peace.
Inasmuch as the devil is constantly at war with God’s church, disseminating discord, disputes, quarrels, and dissensions, we ought the more be on guard to resist him. I tell you, that is how clever Satan is. He knows God cannot rule among us unless there is peace and harmony. In order to separate us from God, he comes and sows dissensions. Has he separated from one another this way? That is how we become his victims and are thereafter easy prey. Aware that the devil is always working to achieve that, should we not ask God to keep us strong in peace and unity and to incline our hearts in that direction so that we may apply ourselves diligently to that end? For if we do battle under Jesus Christ’s banner, we must know our enemy’s tricks and subtleties. But there is no doubt that Satan is always after us to distract us from the love and peace which should exist among us. Let us, therefore, uphold his [Christ’s] banner more diligently.