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Summary: This message examines the life and influence of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

STEPHEN: THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR

Text: Acts 6:8-15 (quickview) 

"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 Lib-

ertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,

and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, dis-

uting 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 aganist God.

And they stirred up the people, and the

elders, and the scribes, and come 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 shall

change the customs which Moses delivered

us.

And all that sat in the council, looking

steadfastly on him,m saw his face as it

had been the face of an angel."

Introduction-

The Bible speaks of the people of God, the

people of faith, as "those of whom the world is

not worthy." They shine as bright lights in the

midst of the darkness of this world, reflecting

the grace and goodness of Almighty God. Stephen

has the distinction of being the first to ever

sacrifice his life for the cause of Christ. His

commitment to Christ was unwavering, and his de-

votion was unending. We all need to mimic him.

Let’s notice some important things about Stephen.

I.First, Let’s look at THE PERSON OF STEPHEN

Stephen was one of the seven chosen by the early

Christian church to deal with a dispute over the

distribution of food to the needy.(Acts 6:5 (quickview) )

He was a man of great faith, and was filled with

the Spirit of God.(Acts 6:5 (quickview) ) Many mighty miracles

were accomplished through him.(Acts 6:8 (quickview) )

II.Secondly, Let’s notice THE PROBLEM OF STEPHEN.

Stephen shook the world around him through his

dedication to Christ, and his bold proclamation

of the truth that sets men free.

The power of God rested upon him, and God

blessed and used him in a great way as a witness.

He became a problem; however, to the so called

"religious people" of his day-the scribes and

Pharisees. He was fearlessly proclaiming Christ

as the Messiah and Savior, and they just couldn’t

stomach it. His ideas would bring change, and

that is something that they did not want. They

were satisfied with the deadness of the letter

of the law, and refused the mighty power of God.

The Spirit of God controlled and spoke through

Stephen, but they rejected the truth of God.

III.Thirdly, let’s notice THE PURITY OF STEPHEN.

Stephen’s face shone, as did the face of Moses,

whose law they accused him of trying to set aside.

God was making a point to them in their unbelief.

It is as if God was saying-"This man is not aga-

inst Moses-He is like Moses, my faithful servant."

IV.Fourthly, let’s see THE PREACHING OF STEPHEN.

Stephen was a dynamic proclaimer of God’s Word.

He preached the longest recorded sermon in the

New Testament. He spoke of the nation of Israel,

of the promise of God fulfilled in Christ,, and

of the need of people to surrender their lives


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