Acts 6:8-7:60 | Stephen: God’s Servant

Kurt

30-August-2015 ()

Bible Text: Acts 6:8-7:60 |

Series:

 

 
Stephan's life was marked by fullness
1. Holy Spirit and wisdom (6:3, 10)
2. Faith (6:5)
 
·      He believed in the validity of the OT (7:2-52)
·      He believed in the Holy Spirit (7:51)
·      He believed Jesus was the Messiah (7:52)
·      He believed that Jesus was alive (7:56, 59)
 
3. God’s grace (6:8, 7:60)
4. Full of power (6:8)
 
Stephen’s sermon & audience
 
Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
 
V.9 Synagogue of the Freedmen (www.livius.org/ja-jn/jewish_wars/jwar01.htm)
 
I. What happens when we preach the gospel?
 
V.54 “they were furious”
 
 “diaprio ho kardia”
 
Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
 
V.58 Stephen is dragged him out of the city and stoned him to death
 
II. How should we respond when we’re hated for Christ’s sake?
 
V.15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
 
Exodus 34:29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.
 
1 Peter 4:14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
 
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
 
Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
 
III. Who Wins? The Sanhedrin or Stephen?
 
V.55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
 
Luke 22:69 If I tell you, you will not believe. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God." 
 
V.56 "Look," Stephen said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
 
V.59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
 
What happens as a result of Stephen’s death?
 
Acts 8:1 On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
 
 “God is still looking for men and women like this who can serve Him in His church, who can be chosen out of the thousands, who have manifestly demonstrated the character of a Stephen, full of faith, full of grace, full of the Holy Spirit, full of wisdom.  God is still looking for people who have courage, boldness that has no limit.  And God will demonstrate His glory on the face of those people; not visibly, but in the calm, peaceful, tranquil, almost transcendent trust that comes through in the most hateful and violent circumstances.”
 
May we strive and pray for a faith like Stephen’s

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