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STEPHEN: A GREAT LAYMAN

(44)

Sermon shared by Jerry Flury

November 2003
Summary: What made Stephen great?
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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Sermon:
STEPHEN: A GREAT LAYMAN
Acts 6:8-15


I. STEPHEN WAS A MAN OF HIGH MORAL CHARACTER:
A. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
B. Honest report having a good reputation, bearing a good witness, beyond reproach
C. Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of ones birth.
D. Forty-eight percent of American workers admit to taking unethical or illegal actions in the past year. USA Today (4/14/97) listed the five most common types of unethical/illegal behavior that workers say they have engaged in because of pressure:
--Cut corners on quality control
--Covered up incidents
--Abused or lied about sick days
--Lied to or deceived customers
--Put inappropriate pressure on others.
E. An English one-liner that has always amused me is: "A gentleman is one who uses the butter knife when he is alone." In other words, its what someone does when no ones watching that indicates the true person.
F. Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

II. STEPHEN WAS A MAN OF FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
B. Acts 6:5 and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost,
C. A Sunday School class was studying the Apostles Creed. Each member of the class was given a section of the creed to learn by heart; then Sunday by Sunday they would take in turns to recite the creed, each student repeating their part. And so, one Sunday morning, the class began. The first child stood up and said "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth." The second student stood and said "I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord." Then there were a few moments of silence, before one girl spoke up: "Im sorry sir, but the boy who believes in the Holy Ghost is absent today."
D. Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit
E. A real Christian is an odd number, anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so he can live; forsakes in order to have; gives away so he can keep; sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge. A. W. Tozer

III. STEPHEN WAS A MAN FULL OF FAITH
A. Verse 3 faithful and steadfast
B. Verse 8 full of faith grace (chartos) Gods love favor, gifts, and blessings
C. It is related that one fearfully stormy night a boat was wrecked. As the dawn came, many were seen out in the icy waters, holding on to anything that would prevent them from sinking. Ed and Will Spencer
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