Summary: In examining the short life of Stephen we see what matters. Does our face shine with the LIGHT?
Some of the quotes came from other sermons on sermoncentral.com
Stephen: a man full of the Spirit te
Stephen: a man full of GOD
Not by might, not by power but by My Spirit says the LORD.
Written anonymously on the walls of a medieval castle were the following words:
You call me Master and Obey me not. You call me Light and See me not. You call me the Way and Walk me not. You call me Life and Desire me not. You call me Wise and Follow me not. You call me Fair and Love me not. You call me Rich and Ask me not. You call me Eternal and Seek me not. You call me Gracious and Trust me not. If I condemn you, Blame me not.(sermoncentral.com)
This could not be said of a person full of GOD.
Luke tells us four qualities that Stephen was full of. The Greek word implies that we will be
1. Hollow vessels
2. Appearing to be full by a covering
3. Spoken of a soul saturated
4. Spoken of someone full lacking nothing.
Jesus left us His Spirit, giving us everything we need that we would be perfect lacking nothing.
The Message translation of the Bible translates this word brimming.
Stephen was full to the brim (Old coffee commercial – To the Rim with Brim) (Stephen to the Rim with) ready to overflow into others lives.
Stephen’s cup was just at the point of overflowing, He was living the abundant life. I believe If God had given Stephen one more drop of the daily filling of the Holy Spirit he would have exploded! If we were to ask people what we were full of , what would they say? The sad commentary on most of us as Christians is that most of us can only be said to be full of ourselves.
Stephen was full of the SPIRIT.
He was so full he had to share or burst. Like Paul, like Jeremiah, like Peter and John, Stephen had to share.
Dr John MacArthur says verses 5 and 8 together show the God-ward and man-ward side of Christians Character. A man full of faith toward God, yielded to the Spirit’s control, will be gracious toward others and manifest great spiritual power. Stephen had concern for God and for his fellow man that he had to share the gospel.
He performed miracles because the Spirit was flowing through him. He reasoned with those who argued against him because the Spirit gave him wisdom. Today it is the same, those who are full of God, are full of his word and can reason with anyone and give a reason for the faith they have. (1 Peter 3:15).
When we live by the Spirit there will be opposition. When they cannot reason against us they will either ignore us, call us names, or make up lies. It will be our character that will stand the test, it will be by our character that we will answer our critics. It will be by our lives and by our faith that we will stand when the tests come. Stephen stood because he was full of the Spirit. What fills us?
The accusations are the same they brought against Jesus. What about us, do people bring the same charges against us as they brought against Jesus? Or are they true, if they are true the best we can do is acknowledge, repent, and move on. If they are false, we can fight them with or character.
Stephen answers by coming from the point where the people were to bring them where they needed to be. For us it is the same we have to know where the people are in order to be able to lead them to where they need to be, in other words we have to be involved. Sometimes it is more difficult than we imagine because people do not always know where they are.
A few years back a legal editor for the Chicago Tribune, Lee Strobel, began to examine the evidences of the testimonies of Christians and the Bible. He cross examined several expert witnesses from different fields of Bible expertise. The item that stood was the character of the saints, those who were spirit-filled Christians. The evidence demanded a verdict, what stood the test? It was what filled his wife, it was her testimony and her changed life that made him embark on this journey and in the end Christ won. Lee became convinced that his wife’s faith was real and that Jesus is The CHRIST. Will our lives bear out the same for those who seek the Truth?
His Face shone like the face of an angel.
Ironically the term angel actually means messenger. It was the Spirit within that shone through. Because he was filled with the Spirit, the change, the light, was evident. What does our face reveal about us?