Acts 7 – Stephens Message…

Good afternoon y’all.  Today we are studying chapter 7 of Acts.

Be blessed 🙂

I found an article by Stephen J. Cole on chapter 7 which explains how we can apply this chapter to our lives. Excetpt below

– WE SHOULD GUARD AGAINST PRESUMING ON GOD’S GRACE BY FALLING INTO A PATTERN OF SIN.

Paul tells us that Israel’s history should be a warning to us not to crave evil things as they craved, nor to be idolaters, as they were, nor to act immorally, nor to try the Lord, nor to grumble as they did (1 Cor. 10:6-10). It is a gross misunderstanding and misapplication of God’s grace to presume that we can go on sinning and just keep on claiming His grace. As Paul puts it in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be!” Jude 4 warns us about “ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” In Titus 2:11-12, Paul shows us the proper response to God’s grace. He says that it instructs us “to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.”

– WE SHOULD GUARD AGAINST GOING THROUGH THE OUTWARD MOTIONS OF WORSHIP, WHEN OUR HEARTS ARE FAR FROM GOD.

Like Israel, we have had great spiritual privileges. We live in a nation founded upon biblical principles. We have a history of great spiritual opportunity. We have the Bible in our language in multiple translations. We have freedom to worship without persecution. We can hear the Bible taught on Christian radio or through many other resources. And yet it is easy to fall into the trap of going through the outward motions of Christianity, but not walking in reality with the living God. The building that we meet in is not God’s house. Our bodies are the temple of the living God, and so we must walk in holiness before the Lord, beginning in our hearts. To offer worship to God when we have not repented of our sins is an offense toward Him (Mark 7:6-8, 20-23).

– WE SHOULD IMITATE STEPHEN BY BEING MORE CONCERNED ABOUT BEARING WITNESS TO THE TRUTH THAN ABOUT OUR OWN PROTECTION.

As I said earlier, Stephen does defend himself with this sermon. He shows that he reverenced God, he thought highly of Moses, and he did not speak against the temple or the law. But his main thrust was not to defend himself, but to bring God’s truth to bear on the consciences of these hypocrites. He identifies with them repeatedly throughout the sermon. Eight times (7:11, 12, 15, 19, 38, 39, 44, & 45) he refers to “our fathers.” But when he gets to the pointed application at the end, he shifts to “your fathers” (7:51, 52). He isn’t speaking with polite generalities that no one would connect with their own behavior. He wants them to feel the guilt of their terrible sin of murdering Jesus. Only when they have been convicted in their hearts will they see their need for God’s forgiveness and salvation.
While we should treat each person with grace and tact (Col. 4:6), we also should not be so nice, focusing only on God’s love, that the person never comes under conviction of sin. Until a sinner feels the weight of his guilt before a holy God, salvation is a nice idea, but it’s not a crucial necessity. Often we back off from the hard aspects of the gospel because we want people to think well of us. But we have not proclaimed the gospel if we avoid the subjects of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

(Stephen J Cole, Lesson 18: Stephen: the message, http://www.bible.org)

Thanks for joining today.

Have a blessed day 🙂

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***With God all things are possible***

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