Summary: The only difference between you and Stephen is obedience, faith, and enabling the Spirit of God to move in your life.
“The face of an angel”
Pastor Allan Kircher
Pentecost--Holy Spirit was moving, people far and wide were brought into the fold or unity of Christian brotherhood.
• Hellenistic Jews—Palestinian Jews. Hated each other in the past, now welded together by the bonds of the common faith.
• Many were cut off from financial support.
Loving Christians came along/Barnabas to help.
Money given to the apostles to distribute
Hellenistic Jews claimed they were not getting square deal.
• Claimed their widows were neglected in daily Ministry
II. Choosing the twelve v. 2, 3.
The apostles saw themselves undertaking too much!
This was a wise decision to choose seven men.
1. Turn the responsibility over to the deacons.
2. Ministry today of the pastors, ministers.
3. Pastors call Acts 6:4, prayer and ministry of the Word.
4. Pastors must be freed to focus on preaching.
III. Verse 5 “This proposal pleased the whole group, they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit
• Now allow me to introduce Stephen the Chairman of the Deacons.
• Stephen, a Hellenistic Jew! Played a crucial role.
1. His whole story in 2 chapters NT
2. Through his persecution and preaching/catapulted the church out of Jerusalem into the rest of the world (8:1).
3. The highest of all Christian character.
• Luke says Stephen was “Full”
• In what did Stephen’s fullness consist?
• That is an extremely important question.
• Some people are “full” of themselves. full of irony, of sarcasm, trickery, or talk, or negativism.
• Stephen full of faith, power, and grace.
• If I ask someone in your arena, what would they say you’re full of? Beans?
IV. But Stephen, Luke says first is full of faith.
• Wouldn’t you want someone to say this of you?
Allan, he is full of faith.
• This is the first element of his fullness.
He was not meager, timid, in faith.
not a man with sickly little handful faith.
• He was full of faith, so full that no trail or temptation could arouse him.
He lived Hebrews 11:1…….
What is faith?
1. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance.
Taking God at His word and living on that basis.
2. Faith for me knows that God is active and moving in me. Look where I was 10 years ago.
• We have secular faith in cell phone connection.
• Hwy mountain driving truck puts hand out to pass by
Is your faith big enough…..to….
• build an ark in the desert sun.
• sacrifice your son at the altar like Abraham.
• Jump in a fiery furnace Shadrach, Meshack, and Abend-nego.
• To face 450 Baal prophets as Elijah did.
• Not to hesitate in trusting God in trails and temptations.
• To go against a giant with a sling and stone.
• To step out of the boat into the raging waters.
When you face your giants today, where is your faith?
Is it an ark? A son? A furnace? Or is it stepping out into the raging waters?
Certain of what we don’t see. Certain of what we don’t see.
• Certainly if you can have faith in man or a cell phone you can have faith in God.
Stephen, full of faith.
V. Stephen was also filled with the Holy Spirit.
Listen: “Stephen full of the Holy Spirit”
• It is the privilege of every believer.
• The spring that fills all the rivers and oceans.
• Sun that lights up the magical stars.
• Fullness that has given you new life.
• Fullness that heals your sicknesses.
• Fullness of life, of joy.
The Holy Spirit: that saves your children,
that brings peace to death,
that calms the storm,
that wipes out depression and anxiety,
To all you who are saved, you are filled with this Holy Spirit?
Greater is He who that is in me than in the world!!!
Do you believe that, do you have faith? Do you feel it?
The only difference between you and Stephen is obedience, faith, and enabling the Spirit of God to move in your life.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Whatever Christ has done to Stephen in possession He can do to you!
The only difference is in Acts 5:32, “We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God had given to those who obey Him.”
Only to those who obey him.
Oh, may we give up:
our needs of the day, our needs of our home, our needs of life, money, greed, our selves.
And place our needs to the creator of life.
He waits to be gracious. He waits to enter in and possess us.