Just before his death as the first martyr of the Christian church, we see what Stephen said, saw, and did. Stephen SAID that the whole point of the Temple and the Law of God was to prepare us for and point us to Jesus, rather than being a means of salvation themselves as the religious leaders believed. In addition to what he said, Stephen SAW, in a great vision of the glory of God, the heavenly courtroom and Jesus standing as his Advocate. He was confident that vengeance was the Lord’s and joyful because Jesus was representing him as the Righteous One before God. Lastly, what Stephen DID was infuriate the unbelievers, plant seeds by preaching the gospel, forgive and pray for his enemies, and went to be with Jesus.
ACTS 7:48-60 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, 49 “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50 Did not my hand make all these things?’
51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Start off by spend some time praying for one another. After that, pray for the lost to be saved by Jesus, praying for your city, and praying for Jesus to build His church in Checotah, Eufaula, and Muskogee.
1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? Was there anything confusing?
2. What stands out to you in Acts 7:48-60 and why?
Stephen SAID that the whole point of the Temple and the Law of God was to prepare us for and point us to Jesus, rather than being a means of salvation themselves as the religious leaders believed.
3. What are the two main points of the Law of God that Pastor Brett mentioned on Sunday? What is the purpose of the Law of God for the Non-Christian? What about for the Christian?
Stephen SAW, in a great vision of the glory of God, the heavenly courtroom and Jesus standing as his Advocate.
4. What is the significance of Jesus standing as opposed to sitting at the right hand of God? How can you live joyfully in all of life’s circumstances if you know that Jesus is representing you before God as the “Righteous One” who “kept the law”?
…what Stephen DID was infuriate the unbelievers, plant seeds by preaching the gospel, forgive and pray for his enemies, and went to be with Jesus.
5.1 Why were these religious leaders infuriated? *see verses 54 and 57
5.2 What do we learn about evangelizing from Stephen’s story and the Apostle Paul’s conversion? *see verses 58 and 60
5.3 How was Stephen able to forgive and pray for his murderers, rather than hate and curse them? *see verse 60
5.4 What does Luke mean when he writes that “he fell asleep”? *see verse 60
If Jesus is your Advocate, you can sing with Isaac Watts:
“My Advocate appears
For my defense on high;
The Father bows his ears
And lays his thunder by.
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn his heart, his love, away.”
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