STEPHEN THE MARTYR

Acts 7:51

“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

Always resisting the Holy Spirit. In the new covenant, faith is described as a rest (Rom. 4:5Heb. 4:3), while unbelief is described as in terms of actions and verbs.

Rom 4:5 KJV

But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Heb 4:3 KJV

For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Unbelief is a dead work. Unbelief is resisting the Holy Spirit and clinging to worthless idols (Acts 7:5114:15). Unbelief is rejecting Jesus (John 3:36) and denying the Lord (Jude 1:4). It’s thrusting away the word of God and judging yourself unworthy of life (Acts 13:46). It’s suppressing the truth (Rom. 1:18) and delighting in wickedness (2 Th. 2:12). It’s turning away (Heb. 12:25), going astray (2 Pet. 2:15), and trampling the Son of God underfoot (Heb. 10:29).

Act 14:15 NASB

and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men, of the same nature as you, preaching the gospel to you, to turn from these [fn]useless things to a living God, who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND EVERYTHING THAT IS IN THEM.

Jhn 3:36 NET

The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him.

Act 13:46

Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles.

Rom 1:18

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness,

Heb 10:29 NET

How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace?


Acts 7:52 KJV

“Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become;

Righteous One. Jesus Christ is the Righteous One and the Righteous Branch spoken of by the prophets (Is. 24:1653:11Jer. 23:533:15). Just as Jesus is the Word made flesh, the living Truth, and the personification of the Father’s grace (John 1:1414:6), he is the embodiment of God’s righteousness.

Isa 53:11

Having suffered, he will reflect on his work, he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done. “My servant will acquit many, for he carried their sins.

Jhn 14:6

Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

But these men reject the only way to the God they said they were serving.

Act 7:54 KJV

When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him.

Act 7:55

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and Love for His oppressors including Saul who would become the great apostle Paul. The Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish court for their religious decision decide to reject Jesus and the Gospel. Stephen could do no more than to submit to the call of the Holy spirit in him and continue to be a witness or “martyr” even to the end of his life.

God gave Stephen revelation of Jesus standing for Him cheering Stephen and welcoming him to Eternal bliss. No loss but everything to gain. So they killed Stephen, but not the spirit in Paul.

Acts 7:58

When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

(a) Stoning him. The Sanhedrin had the authority to put people to death for religious crimes. They stoned Stephen (Acts 7:58), they discussed stoning a woman caught in adultery (John 8:5), and they had tried before to stone Jesus (John 10:31).

(b) A young man. The word for young can mean anyone under the age of 40. Saul was probably in his thirties.

(c) Saul. This is the first mention of the most influential apostle in the New Testament. Before he became known as Paul the church-planting writer of epistles, Saul was a zealous Pharisee who hunted Christians (Acts 22:4). Saul was an extremely dangerous religious terrorist who “persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison” (Acts 22:4).

After his dramatic conversion, this champion sinner became a champion of the gospel. Paul and four other authors collectively wrote almost half of the entire Bible. (The others are Moses, Ezra, Luke, and Jeremiah.)

Saul did not change his name to Paul but was rather known by both names. “Saul, who was also known as Paul” (Acts 13:9). As a zealous Jew he went by his Hebrew name Saul; as an apostle to the Gentiles he went by his Roman name Paul.

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