Summary: There were certain traits in the life of Stephen that revealed his spirituality. These traits should be a part of the makeup of every child of God.
The Spirituality Of Stephen
Text: Acts 7: 55-60
Intro: In my opinion, Stephen is one of the finest examples of spirituality in the entire Bible. He was one of the first deacons of the early Church in Jerusalem. The Bible describes Stephen as one who was full of the Holy Spirit, faith, wisdom, and power. These qualities are still the ideal for deacons of our day.
In this great servant of God we find a man wholly dedicated to, and in love with, the Lord Jesus Christ. This becomes very obvious when one considers all the Bible has to say about Stephen. There was a godly boldness about him, yet at the same time a serene sweetness of spirit. The boldness of Stephen moved him to speak out bravely for Christ in spite of opposition. His sweetness of spirit prevented him from uttering even one harsh word to his executioners.
Let’s briefly look at the evidence of the spirituality of this great man of God, Stephen.
Theme: Stephen’s spirituality is seen in:
I. HIS LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
A. Stephen’s Walk Confirmed It.
1. Stephen had a reputation of walking with God.
Acts 6: 3 “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5a And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost…”
NOTE:  The words “honest report” simply mean, “good reputation” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison—Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 1135). In the final analysis, we’re talking about men who were practicing what they preached.
In his book, I Almost Missed The Sunset, Bill Gaither writes:
Gloria and I had been married a couple of years. We were teaching school in Alexandria, Indiana, where I had grown up, and we wanted a piece of land where we could build a house. I noticed the parcel south of town where cattle grazed, and I learned it belonged to a 92-year-old retired banker named Mr. Yule. He owned a lot of land in the area, and word was he would sell none of it. He gave the same speech to everyone who inquired: “I promised the farmers they could use it for their cattle.”
Gloria and I visited him at the bank. Although he was retired, he spent a couple of hours each morning in his office. He looked at us over the top of his bifocals.
I introduced myself and told him we were interested in a piece of his land. “Not selling,” he said pleasantly. “Promised it to a farmer for grazing.”
“I know, but we teach school here and thought maybe you’d be interested in selling it to someone planning to settle in the area.”
He pursed his lips and stared at me. “What’d you say your name was?”
“Gaither. Bill Gaither.”
“Hmmm. Any relation to Grover Gaither?”
“Yes, sir. He was my granddad.”
Mr. Yule put down his paper and removed his glasses. “Interesting. Grover Gaither was the best worker I ever had on my farm. Full day’s work for a day’s pay. So honest. What’d you say you wanted?”
I told him again.
“Let me do some thinking on it, then come back and see me.”
I came back within the week, and Mr. Yule told me he had had the property appraised. I held my breath.
“How does $3,800 sound? Would that be okay?”
If that was per acre, I would have to come up with nearly $60,000! “$3,800?” I repeated.
“Yup. Fifteen acres for $3,800.”
I knew it had to be worth at least three times that. I readily accepted.
Nearly three decades later, my son and I strolled that beautiful, lush property that had once been pastureland. “Benjy” I said, “you’ve had this wonderful place to grow up through nothing that you’ve done, but because of the good name of a great-granddad you never met.”
“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Prov. 22:1).
Leadership, Summer 1993, p. 61.
 Deacons are also supposed to be men “full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom;” men who live according to Holy Spirit leadership. The idea here is much the same as that found in Eph.5: 18, where it says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” “In the Bible, filled means ‘controlled by’…” (Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Rich, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 136). With reference to Stephen, “the Holy Spirit filled Stephen in the sense that He controlled him” (Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, Vol. I, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ephesians and Colossians In The Greek New Testament, pg. 128).