8 Stephen was full of God’s grace and power. He did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 But members of the group called the Synagogue of the Freedmen began to oppose him. Some of them were Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria. Others were Jews from Cilicia and Asia Minor. They all began to argue with Stephen. 10 But he was too wise for them. They couldn’t stand up against the Holy Spirit who spoke through him. 11 Then in secret they talked some men into lying about Stephen. They said, “We heard Stephen speak evil things against Moses. He also spoke evil things against God.” 12 So the people were stirred up. The elders and the teachers of the law were stirred up too. They arrested Stephen and brought him to the Sanhedrin. 13 They found people who were willing to tell lies. The false witnesses said, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place. He also speaks against the law. 14 We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place. He says Jesus will change the practices that Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked right at Stephen. They saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
If you believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, what would you say?
Stephen was one of the first deacons. He was full of grace and power from God the Holy Spirit; great signs and wonders were done through him. You would think he would be the type of person everyone would want to be around. Some from the synagogue of the Libertine – (largely made of up slaves who had become free) challenged the teaching from Stephen. They sent their best debaters to disprove his teaching.
Stephen knew the Word, and being filled by the Holy Spirit, was able to defend the Gospel against those who challenged it. Once the investigators from the synagogues had no arguments against the words of Stephen, they chose a different tact. They instigated men, stirred up the people, and set up false witnesses against Stephen. They brought Stephen before the council and accused him of three things:
1. Blasphemy against Moses (the law) and speaking against the holy places (the temple)
2. Criticizing God and how He called us to live
3. They also said “this Jesus of Nazareth” will destroy the temple and change the Law of Moses.
How do cialis in the united kingdom we respond when we meet someone who objects to our faith –what would we do if they rejected what we said?
We could be the best debater in the world, but unless God intercedes and a persons heart is open to believe, he will not believe. We may be rejected or persecuted – it is not our words that change a person, it is the power of the Holy Spirit. When Stephen faced the false witnesses with the truth of the Gospel, his face shone in a way that made him look more heavenly than human.
Let people see Christ’s light in us as we speak truth.
Written by Catherine Croft