Summary: Stephen was the first Martyr. He perservered in his character, speach, and his death. This sermon looks at the life of Stephen
Stephen: Willing To Go Were No Christian Had Gone Before
A. One of my favorite expressions to make fun of is “it is to die for”
B. The old cook at the Lighthouse loved to use this one
C. These cookies are to die for
D. This quiche is to die for
E. (Some how it always related to food)
F. This fish is to die for
G. The question is what really is to die for
H. Certainly Cookies are good, and we all know that I like cookies, but are they do die for?
I. So what is to die for
J. Stephen had to answer that question in his life
K. He decided that it was worth dying for Jesus
L. We are going to look at his life today and we are going to see how Stephen persevered in his Character, his speech and his death.
I. Persevering Character (6:1 – 6:10)
1. There was an argument about not receiving equal amounts of food among everybody
2. The Apostles realized that this was a problem, however they were just overextended and did not have the time to be able to deal with this
3. They put there brains together and created a position to deal with the problem
4. Now understanding that this was important task they wanted to make sure that the ones chosen for this meant a couple of qualifications
a) Full of the Sprit. – They must show evidence of living for God
b) Wisdom – There was going to see some tough choices that would have to be made, and therefore must have wisdom
5. So after the apostles were done making the job description it was time to fill the positions
6. Notice what it says about Steven
7. He was a man of faith and of the Holy Spirit (6:5)
8. Also in Verse 6:8 we find that he was a man full of God’s Grace and power
9. Stephen accept this job and began doing the work that God called him to do
10. There were people he offended along the way,
11. However he constantly persevered and his Character was never questioned
1. What can we learn from this?
2. Reputations are not always deserved
3. Reputations can be completely wrong
4. However, we base a lot of things we do on reputations, right or wrong that is how we do it
5. Stephen was a man with a good reputation
6. To gain a good reputation does not happen over night
7. Stephen had a good reputation
8. he was known as a person who was full of faith and the holy sprit, filled with God Grace and power
9. How did he do that?
10. He did that with his persevering Character.
11. Folks this is something that does not happen overnight. This is something that takes a lifetime to develop
1. I hate to always use myself as a example but When I came hear 2 ½ years ago I came here as the little kid that crawled underneath the pews. That was the reputation that I had. I had to use my persevering Character to change that reputation. It does work. But it takes time
2. What about you? Are you modeling a persevering Character?
II. Persevering Speech (7:1 – 7:53)
1. First of all you should be really happy that I am your Pastor and Stephen is not
2. Look at the length of this sermon. Imagine having to listen to all that J
3. Yes it is a long sermon, however he was pleading for his life here.
4. He knew that they were going to kill him.
5. But he took the opportunity to try and change their minds
6. During this speech he goes through the entire history of Israel.
7. Reminding them how they got to this point in life
8. Then he gets to the conclusion
9. Now this is not a conclusion were they join hands and start singing Kumbiyah
10. Not even close (Read 7:51-53)
1. What can we learn from this?
2. It would have been real easy for Stephen to deny the charges
3. It would have been real easy for Stephen to say I am sorry
4. It would have been real easy for Stephen to get out of this mess
5. What does Stephen do?
6. He Preservers with speech
7. He hangs in their and delivers a blow to the Sanhedrin
8. He convicts them of their wrong doing
9. Anyone can say what people want them to hear
10. The question comes is when you have to tell them what they do not want to hear.