Summary: The ninth in the study of Acts. This study deals with Stephen.
Stephen a man Full of Jesus
Acts # 09
In this text of Scripture we learn about Stephen. In 6:5 the Bible tells us that he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. He was the first martyr of the faith.
I. The work of Stephen (the Deacon) 6:8-15.
A. The character of Stephen. 6:8a
1. Full of God’s Grace.
2. Full of God’s Power.
B. The works of Stephen among the people. 6:8b
1. Great wonders
2. Miraculous signs.
C. The opposition against Stephen. 6:9
1. The ones that opposed him.
a. Members of the synagogue of ex-Slaves.
b. Jews of Cyrene.
c. Jews of Alexandria.
d. Jews of Cilicia.
e. Jews of Asia.
2. The results of their arguments. 6:10
a. They could not win over Stephen’s wisdom.
b. They could not win over Stephen’s Spirit.
3. The lies of the opposition. 6:11
a. Stephen spoke against Moses.
b. Stephen spoke against God.
D. The reaction of the people. 6:12a
1. It stirred up the people
2. It stirred up the elders.
3. It stirred up the scribes.
E. The arrest of Stephen. 6:12b
F. The lies told about Stephen. 6:13
1. They made up lies.
2. They said that Stephen spoke against the Temple.
3. The said that he spoke against the Law.
G. Jesus was brought into the Accusations. 6:14
1. That he will destroy the Temple.
2. He will change the customs of Moses.
H. The face of Stephen. 6:15
1. The y looked at his face.
2. They looked intently at him.
3. His face was that of an Angel
NOTE: In chapter seven Stephen gives his defense concerning the charges that were brought against him. Stephen answers his accusers by a sermon of Israelite history. He then is put to death by the mob of religious rulers.
II. The Preaching of Stephen. 7:1-53
A. The question concerning the truth of the charges from the High Priest.
NOTE: These were the charges made in chapter Six.
B. The sermon of History.
NOTE: This is the longest speech in Acts.
1. The promises to Abraham. 7:2-8
2. The deliverance through Joseph. 7:9-16
3. The deliverance through Moses. 7:17-34
4. The Apostasy of Israel. 7:35-50
5. The rejection of the Messiah 7:51-53
III. The death of Stephen. 7:54-8:1a
A. The rage of the crowd. 7:54
2. They ground their teeth.
NOTE: NASV has cut to the quick, KJV says cut to the heart. The NIV says they were furious. The point is when you are faced with the truth. Especially when the truth proves that you have been wrong it will either cause you to repent or to get very angry. It reminds me of what Paul told Timothy
2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
Stephen had spoke the truth and in made them very angry. I have been told that I make people angry when I speak the truth because it goes against what they have been taught all their lives. I will teach the truth to the best of my ability. If you or anyone can show me in scripture where I am wrong then I will change and repent. But if you throw tradition in my face and tell me that well people believe these things and not what the bible teaches I will hold to the bible every time.
B. The response of Stephen. 7:55
1. He was full of the Holy Spirit.
2. He looked up to heaven.
a. Saw the glory of God.
b. Saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
C. The statement of Stephen. 7:56
1. I see the heavens open.
2. I see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.
NOTE: Son of Man: this is they only time this term is used in the NT where this term is used by other then Jesus himself. Standing: Some say that there is no significance in this. But some say that it is Jesus standing welcoming Stephen into Heaven.
D. The reaction of the crowd. 7:57-58
1. The crowd cried out in anger.
2. The crowd covered their ears.
NOTE: When people do not want to hear the truth the will try all that they can to block it out.
3. The rushed him and drug him out of the city to stone him.
4. They laid their cloths at the feet of a Young Pharisee named Saul.
E. The request of Stephen. 7:59-60
1. Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.
2. Do not charge them with this sin.
F. Saul was in hearty agreement. 8:1a