Summary: Truly one of the great figures in the long line of Christian heroes is Stephen. His fearless proclamation of the Gospel, well-knowing the possible consequence of doing so, should inspire us to uncompromisingly proclaim God’s message without regard as to
PROFILE OF A GREAT CHRISTIAN
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did wonders and miracles among the people.” Acts 6:8
I. STEPHEN WAS A MAN OF HIGH MORAL CHARACTER:
"But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task….and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit…" Acts 6:3, 5.
II. STEPHEN WAS A MAN GREATLY USED BY GOD:
"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did wonders and miracles among the people." vs. 8.
III. STEPHEN WAS A MAN WELL-VERSED IN THE WORD OF GOD:
Most of chapter seven sets forth Stephen’s sermon before the Sanhedrin. In it he presented a summary of God’s dealings with Israel over the years and how Israel had often rebelled against the will of God.
IV. STEPHEN WAS A MAN OF GREAT COURAGE:
"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have not become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it." Acts 7:51-53.
V. STEPHEN WAS A MAN FILLED WITH FORGIVENESS:
"Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God…
...and when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him… and they went on stoning him as he called upon the Lord and said: ’Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’
And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ’Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:54-60.
For Stephen and all who have died for our Lord...or who are willing to die for Him...we have this promise: "...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10b.