What we know about Stephen is contained in the book of Acts. 

Acts 6, 7, 8

Acts 6:1-15

First impressions

Full of;

  • Grace, The Spirit, Wisdom, Power
  • The first deacon
  • He had an abundance of God’s grace
  • He could work signs and wonders
  • He had great insight into God’s plan.
  • The Jewish leaders could not withstand his wisdom and spirit. 
  • Just like Jesus they brought false witnesses against him.
  • He had a face like an angel Matt. 28:2-4- This angel is not a description of angel.  Stephen’s face was radiant with peace and joy.  2 Cor. 3:18 – we are being transformed with glory from the Spirit Eccl. 8:1 – A man’s wisdom makes him beam.  Psalms 34:4-5 – Looking at God makes our faces radiant. Dan. 12:3 – Those that lead people to God have radiant faces.
  • Acts 7 – This is Stephen’s defense.  He summarized God’s plan in and pointed out the flaws in the Jewish leaders.  In verses 48-60 Stephen’s death is described. 
  • They were cut to the quick- they were backed into the corner and rather than acknowledging their mistakes, they killed him.
  • Acts 8:1-4 -Saul (Paul) was a willing participant.  He persecuted and scattered the Christians.  Acts 22:20 – Paul probably never forgot it, but Paul was forgiven and became a great missionary of Jesus.
  • Stephen was a committed Christian.  He was willing to do whatever it took to further the gospel.  What is our level of commitment? Heb. 13:5-7 – We must rely on God to help us when we’ve made the commitment.  We need to prepare by reading and praying.  Romans 12:13 – Be prepared to bless those who persecute you.  Romans 8:35-39 – When we have the Spirit, we cannot be separated from God.  Pray for courage and boldness.
  • Stephen relied on God’s grace.  God’s plan is perfect and we must rely on him.  Stephen’s death helped spread the gospel throughout the world and to convert Saul.

Bob Rossow, 1-27-08, a.m.

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