Summary: This message was developed to help Christians to relaize how much they have in Christ - specifically when filled with the Holy Spirit.
FILLED TO THE UTTER MOST: AN EXAMPLE FOR THE BELIEVER
A. In Ephesians 5:18 Paul wrote, be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
1. This verse lets us know that it is possible to be a Christian and not be filled with the Spirit
2. But to be filled with the Spirit is to be the type of Christian God wants each of us to be.
3. And to be filled with the Spirit is to be full: from top to bottom with God: His will is supreme; His ways are most important; His desires paramount.
4. It is a life that does not quench the Spirit but allows the Spirit of God to be leader, teacher and facilitator.
5. In essence, it is a life that is about God!
B. In our scripture passage for this morning, Acts 6:8-7:60 we have a wonderful example of a life that was about God.
1. It is the story of Stephen.
a. We don’t know much about this man other than he was a Hellenistic Jew who converted to Christianity.
b. Evidentially, he was living in Jerusalem.
2. It is not a story of an apostle or bishop, but of a very ordinary man who had given his life to Christ, was filled with the Spirit, and did extraordinary things for God.
3. In essence, he fits the billing of our title: Filled to the Uttermost: An Example for the Believer!
C. In these words we will see that to be filled with the Spirit is to be full indeed! When you are filled with the Spirit you will be
1. Full of Faith
2. Full of the Word
3. Full of Courage
4. Full of Hope
D. The one who is full will have a life that is overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit and be a person who pleases God – that is what we want to be!
As we look at Stephen we find that he was Filled to the Uttermost: An Example for the Believer in that he was
I. FULL OF FAITH, Acts 6:8-15 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.  Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.  And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.  Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.  And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,  And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:  For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.  And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
A. Faith and Power go together.
1. It was Jesus who told the disciples, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6
2. You see faith is seen or exhibited in works
3. James made this connection when he said: Faith without works is dead
4. God does mighty works through us as we live in and act on faith!
B. Stephen was just such a man – a man of faith & therefore power.
1. Sometimes that faith is expressed in simple humble service to those who have needs – his service to the widows
2. At other times it is seen in things much bigger: in Stephen’s life it was seen in great wonders and miracles
3. And again it can be seen in the proclamation of God’s word
4. And still yet it can be seen in the gracious actions when faced with false accusations and persecutions.
5. Faith, and the power that accompanies it, manifests itself in many ways.
C. How is your faith?
1. In what form does it manifest itself?
a. Service to others?
b. Proclaiming the gospel?
c. A meek spirit when demeaned or falsely accused
2. What are you doing that proclaims Jesus is the Lord of your life?
a. James tells us to be doers of the word and not just hearers. Jam 1:22
b. Paul said that our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:5