Acts 7 PROMISES OF GOD FULFILLLED- STEPHEN'S WITNESS
Stephen the first martyr, murdered for his beliefs and speaking the truth about Jesus as the Son of God.
End of chp6, Stephen before the Council faced with charges- accused of speaking against Moses & God,
against the Jews' sacred Temple and the Law of Moses. The Council saw Stephen's face radiant, in the presence of God. Stephen tells God's story , God's promises to Abraham , God fulfills, keeps His promises through Moses .
I. v1-50 STEPHEN'S DEFENCE
V1-8: Stephen full of God's Word and the Holy Spirit, given the courage to witness boldly.
He compelled the Council to listen to the familiar story, Israel's history of God's fulfilled promises.
ABRAHAM: God called him to follow by faith the Covenant, God's promised -v8 to give him and his descendents -3 main promises- God's promised Land- Canaan, / God's promised a child of his own Isaac & descendents / God's promised blessings for His people &all people- the Promised Messiah. A sign of the covenant, the symbolic practice of the ceremony of circumcision (the cutting off of the foreskin of every Jewish male child)
v9-16: JOSEPH : Isaac 's son Jacob - Joseph- one of Jacob' 12 sons. Joseph's brothers sold Joseph as slave to Egypt. Later became the governor of Egypt. There was a famine all over Canaan and Egypt, the brothers came to Joseph for food, God used Joseph to lead and saved His people, Abraham's descendent Jacob's family ,the Israelites, migrated to Egypt and they became slaves in Egypt for 400 years.
v17-43: MOSES: God kept His promises to Abraham through Moses- Grew up in Pharaoh's palace until 40 years old, fled to Midian and lived there 40 years, at 80 God called Moses back to Egypt to lead the nation under slavery out of Egypt into the Promised Land. Moses gave God's Law to the people but the people wandered with Moses in the desert for 40years because they disobeyed God. A new generation entered the Promised land.
v44-50: THE TABERNACLE THE TEMPLE: God was with His people, God blessed His people . v44 Our
ancestors had the covenant Tent with them in the desert called the Tabernacle, as the centre of Israel' worship. Later King David's son- King Solomon built a permanent Temple.
II. V51-60: STEPHEN'S DEATH.
V51-53: Summary: Stephen's turn to accuse the people -their stubbornness just like their ancestors.
Rejected God's messages of promises, resisted the Holy Spirit/ broken, disobeyed the Law of Moses/
persecuted and killed God's messengers , prophets and the Promised Messiah v52 His Righteous Servant.
The entire Council was furious, angry with Stephen . But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit v55
Stephen saw God's glory and Jesus , the Son of Man standing at God' right hand.( proved Jesus was raised from the dead, Fully God in God's presence)
v57-60: STEPHEN'S STONING: The people stoned Stephen to death, witnessed by a young man named Saul. He died pleading for God's mercy and grace on these people following Jesus words at the cross.
Lesson: Main truth about God: He is a Promise Keeping God. He called and used individuals as His witnesses to accomplish His promises and plan for the world.
God empowers God's people to live and die courageously.
Today God has accomplished His redemption plan, the real temple , God's redeemed people.
The Lord Jesus ,Immanuel , God with us lives, indwells in all who accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord.