Sermons

Summary: The Lord will never lose a legal case, so here’s what we should do: 1. Put your name God's witness list. 2. Be persuaded of God's ultimate victory. 3. Pledge your full allegiance to the Lord.

God’s Case against the Christ-Rejecting Court

Acts 7:37-54

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Oct. 6, 2013

BACKGROUND:

*Here in Acts 7, Stephen has been on trial for his strong faith in Jesus Christ. And this was no small matter. This wasn’t a high school debate. Stephen was on trial for his life. The trial was a travesty of justice, because the charges against Stephen were all based on lies from false witnesses.

*Over the last three weeks, we have looked at some of the people Stephen mentioned in his defense: Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. We looked at their lives, because each of these men has so much to tell us about our own relationship with God.

*But tonight, we will look at the case God had been building against the Supreme Court of Israel. We know that God has been making the case, because the Holy Spirit led Stephen to say every word that came out of his mouth.

*Jesus made this truth clear to the Apostles in Matthew 10:17-20, when He said:

17. "But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.

18. And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

19. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;

20. for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."

*Stephen was on trial before the Supreme Court of Israel. But they were on trial before the highest court of all! Let’s hear what happened in Acts 7:37-54.

INTRODUCTION:

*Stephen was on trial before the Supreme Court of Israel, but they were on trial before the highest court of all! And Church: The Lord will never lose a legal case, so here’s what we should do:

1. First: Put your name on God’s witness list.

[1] We’ve already looked at three of God’s witnesses: Abraham, Joseph and Moses. And we can learn a lot from these witnesses.

*Abraham shows us that we can be a friend of God. He also shows us that we can have faith in God. We can have faith in the Lord, even when He takes us to new places in life, and even when we have to wait a long time on the Lord.

*Joseph shows us that we must never give up on God, and we must never give up on God’s dreams for our life. Joseph also shows us that we can see God's Hand at work even in the bad things of life. Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery. But in Genesis 50:20, Joseph told them: "As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."

*Moses shows us that God can use us even when we don’t think so. God called Moses when he was 80! And God can use us long after we think our chance is gone. God can use us far beyond our wildest dreams!

*David reminds us that God can forgive our worst sins. David also reminds us that we can come back from terrible failure.

*Solomon reminds us that God will give us wisdom if we ask for it. God can use us to build things for His glory, and God can use us to help other people worship.

[2] We can learn a lot from these witnesses. -- And we can lead like these witnesses.

*We can be like Stephen in this trial. We can take a bold stand for Jesus Christ. And we should stand up for the Lord, no matter the cost. Christians all around the world are doing that right now.

*A recent newsletter from our IMB included a story about recent persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka. That's the island nation off the southern tip of India, and twenty million people live there.

*Susie Rain wrote: "It was just a normal Sunday. Around 75 people gathered in the house rented as their church building for worship. Praise music drifted out the door. Prayers lifted to heaven. The pastor stood behind the pulpit and asked the congregation to open their Bibles. That’s when 'normal' came to a crashing end. Local Sri Lankan authorities stormed in from every exit, demanding the church service stop.

*Church members sat in shock until a bald man in saffron robes appeared. With the entrance of the village’s head Buddhist monk, people hid in back rooms, jumped out open windows or knocked chairs over to get out the door, only to meet up with an angry mob of nearly 1,000 people with sticks and stones. 'Leave or be killed,' the mob chanted.

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