34:29ff. But I am saying that godly character gives the most solid foundation for powerful witness, especially when the witness is persecuted. Likewise, he contented for the faith with those who were ultra-liberal in their beliefs. He used his role to minister both personally in ways that not only help the apostles, but was directly responsible for the growth in the church. Do we have to “have it all together” to be a good witness? The truth that Stephen preached convicted these men of their sins and threatened their pride, so they tried to refute it. Leading to a great persecution against the whole church - Ac 8:1 [Stephen was the first martyr who gave his life for Christ. With regard to Stephen, the phrase implies that he had a personal understanding and experience of God’s grace as revealed in the cross of Christ. But when Stephen began to preach that Jesus Christ was the end of the law for righteousness for those who believe (Rom. How can we help religious people to see their need for forgiveness and eternal life? bible, When you can’t defeat the message, go after the messenger, either by deceit or by violence. Instead of disputing the accuracy of their charges, he took the opportunity before the large numbers of people there to share the Gospel of Salvation, beginning all the way back with the calling of Abraham out of idolatry. Thanks for stopping by! She grew up in China, where her parents were missionaries. It is debatable whether “spirit” refers to the Holy Spirit or to the powerful manner in which Stephen spoke. They did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead, so why did they worry about Stephen’s saying that Jesus will destroy this place (6:14)? Here is something else you might like to read: 10 Famous Christian Martyrs, Resources – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version, Tagged as: If you are not willing to be in that position, don’t go.” (Pastoral Renewal, [6/86, p. 178). Dr. Michael L. Williams Stephen’s defense of his faith before the Sanhedrin, Jerusalem’s supreme rabbinic court, so enraged his Jewish audience that he was taken out of the city and stoned to death. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More, Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers, 2. Ministry-To-Children.com helps you tell kids about Jesus by providing age-appropriate Bible study material and Sunday School curriculum – all 100% free online.. We believe that God is the loving Father of all kids. But Stephen boasted in the grace of God, freely bestowed on undeserving sinners. They were told to choose men who were full of faith and the Holy Ghost. I am not suggesting that a person should wait until he has developed mature character before he begins to bear witness for Christ. Why not strike that wicked man dead and allow Stephen and other godly men to have long and fruitful ministries? He is a Christ-centered counselor and in addition to counseling, he teaches how to overcome life issues Biblically on topics such as anger management, marriage, addictions, and other subjects typically referred to as mental illnesses. Upon graduating, I sat under the strong preaching of Adrian Rogers at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., and strongly felt God summoning me into full-time ministry. Religion often keeps a person from salvation because it fosters self-righteousness and pride. Email. Stephen relied upon the Holy Spirit to give him the Words to say, the strength to persevere under persecution, and the h… Thus when we talk to people about the Lord, we must pray that He would open their hearts to respond to the message (Acts 16:14). 5:22-23). I never thought in those terms. Read Acts 6. Stephen’s ministry was a like a meteor flying thru the night sky…very brief, but brilliant and bright, powerful and spectacular! is a pastor, author, Christian educator and Biblical counselor who has served in ministry since 2001. Dr. Mike has worked in the information technology field for many years and he uses his talents and experience in the ministry for the glory of the Lord. Dr Michael L has written 155 articles on What Christians Want To Know! These events were the martyrdom of Stephen, the ministry of Philip, and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Thus, Stephen shows us that godly character is the basis for courageous witness. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Related Topics: Evangelism, Spiritual Life, Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. To be people full of wisdom, we must grow in our understanding of the cross of Christ, where human pride is humbled and God’s grace is exalted. However, Stephen did not back down. See more ideas about words, inspirational quotes, words of wisdom. Apr 18, 2016 - Explore Shannon Willard's board "Stephen Ministry", followed by 202 people on Pinterest. One student asked, “Joseph, what chances do you have of successfully implementing your plans?” Joseph smiled and said to himself, “Now this is typically Western thinking.” He later wrote, “Chances of success? I am saying that logic, wisdom, and even miracles are not enough to convert a sinner. Choir and Music Specials; Sermons. Evidently a man like Stephen would not confine his “ministry” to “serving tables.” He was called in Acts 6:5 ”full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” Here he is termed “full of grace (so the best MSS., not faith) and power.” The four words give a picture of remarkable attractiveness. Stephen was not a pastor nor was he one of the Apostles, he was simply a layman who served the body of Christ. ), While we should not pray for martyrdom, we should desire to imitate the bold witness of those who have given their lives for the sake of the gospel. What do you notice here about Stephen? When that didn’t work, they used false witnesses, stirred up the people, and dragged him before the Sanhedrin. Stephen is first mentioned in Acts 6:5 as part of a group of men that were chosen to be deacons. They did not bother to see if Scripture predicted such things about Messiah. Stephen then told how they, being set in their stiff-necked unbelieving ways, resisted the Holy Spirit’s conviction just as their fathers before them had resisted the preaching of the prophets who told of Jesus’ coming. Stephen’s Jewish opponents boasted in their observance of the law, although as we will see, they were blind to their own violation of it. As they attacked him, they drug him outside the city and stoned him to death. Stephen may have been a member of one of these synagogues. God often works in ways that confound even the logic of His saints. Full of the Grace and the Spirit of God. In this brief clip, R.C. The biblical answer is, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. The tense of the verb (“was performing,” 6:8) indicates that Stephen was doing these miraculous works frequently. “If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Rom. Our business is to be faithful to His Great Commission and leave the results to Him. Except for the 12 apostles, only Stephen, Philip (8:6-7), and Barnabas (15:12) in the early church are reported to have performed miracles. His bed was next to the only window in the room. 10:4), and that Jesus superceded Moses as the prophet of whom Moses spoke (7:37), it was too much for these Hellenistic Jews. He continued by telling them what he was seeing, which enraged them so much they attacked him. Many people who are familiar with the Bible are not familiar with Stephen who was one of the first deacons in the Bible. If God’s predestination means, as many say, that God looked down through history and saw in advance who would believe in Him, and put them on His list of the elect, then man’s will, not God’s will, is the sovereign determiner of what happens. 9:6-23)? If God must open the hearts of hardened sinners, then why can’t they blame Him for not believing (see Rom. 4:18). Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2001, All Rights Reserved. An inward experience of grace flows outward into a gracious spirit toward others. The apostles addressed this need by tasking the local church members to choose seven men that could be appointed over the business of caring for the widows. Those who are familiar with the murder and betrayal of the Holy Ghost his glorious, albeit short-lived ministry... Jerusalem and formed a synagogue there, Stephen shows us that Stephen preached convicted these men of hearts... Were only one of God Verses we had in chapter 6, … Menu sinners, then can. 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