Text: Acts 6-7
Stephen is prepared to meet the need of the congregation
- Reason arises (6:1)
- Representation of deacons (6:2)
- Deacons represented the pastors when the pastors could not be there.
- Deacons are an extension of the ministry
- Requirements of deacons (6:3)
- Deacons need to come fully assembled, not works in progress. Hey, I’ll make you a deacon if you’ll show up to church. Not at all!
- Honest report
- Full of Holy Ghost
- Full of wisdom
- Results of deacons (6:4)
- Apostles able to minister the word of God and prayer.
- Ministry multiplied.
- Stephen is immediately used of God to face down opposition and start a more broad direction for the Holy Spirit of God.
- Philip would go on to evangelize.
Stephen is a filled vessel (6:8)
- …full of faith and of the Holy Ghost… (6:5)
- …full of faith and power… (6:8)
- Filling leads to overflow
- Filled with fruit – Philippians 1:11
- Got to be hungry to be filled – Matthew 5:6
Stephen faces adversity (6:9)
- As soon as the Holy Spirit begins to work with power the devil shows up.
- Bribed men to get dirt on Stephen (6:11-13). Make sure dirt doesn’t come cheap on you.
- It’s one thing to be filled when things are good, but what about under pressure and persecution.
Stephen’s sermon (7:2-53)
- People who know the scriptures can be used by God.
- Stephen preaches types of Christ in Israel’s history. And at the same time he shows his accusers how they are the same people who rejected God throughout Israel’s history.
Stephen’s death (7:54-60)
- Full of the Holy Ghost in life and in death (vs 55)
- Looked up stedfastly (vs 55) – Set affection on things above
- Left a testimony
- That means Saul was part of this whole thing from the counsel to the stoning of Stephen
- Loved the Lord
- Loved the people