Stephen “a Man Full of Faith and the Holy Ghost”
The First Century Mega Church has chosen seven deacons. The Twelve Apostles blessed them and Stephen was one of those deacons. Our reference for today, Acts of the Apostles Bible Study, Acts 6: 8 -14.
According to Acts 6:3, the four requirements for a deacon are, disciple of Jesus Christ, possess a good report among the citizens, full of the Holy Ghost and full of wisdom. Stephen was the first deacon chosen by the disciples, Acts 6:5.
Interesting, how Acts 6:4 described Stephen as “a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost.” However, a few verses later, Acts 6:8 provides a comparable description of him, being “full of faith and power.” Just in case anyone has forgotten, power comes from receiving and possessing the Holy Ghost, Acts 1:8. Stephen was full of power because he was full of the Holy Ghost. Stephen was also full of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ because you cannot receive the gift of the Holy Ghost unless you believe Jesus Christ, is the Son of God.
Therefore, Stephen being full of the Holy Ghost’s power (the resurrection power of Jesus Christ) did “great wonders and miracles among the people,” Acts 6:8.
Just in case you were questioning the need for deacons to be full of wisdom, observe how Stephen was able to defend his faith because he was full of wisdom, Acts 6:9 – 10.
The Libertines, Cyrenians and Alexandrians and those of Cilicia and Asia are all religious folks, Acts 6:9. These different groups of people were “of the synagogue” or temple of Jerusalem.
The proliferation of denominations and diverse beliefs is nothing new. Such infestation existed since the fall of the first man Adam and during the First Century Church era also.
Folks “of the Synagogue” Orchestrated & Murdered Stephen
These religious folks “of the synagogue” orchestrated and murdered Stephen due to Scriptural blindness and ignorance. They murdered Stephen because he preached Jesus Christ to them. Stephen told them, there is no salvation out side of Jesus Christ but they refused to believe because they still cling to Moses laws. Stephen told them repentance, baptism in water calling on the name of Jesus Christ and the receiving of the Holy Ghost speaking with tongues is the only way of eternal life. They were hurt by these words because of spiritual blindness and ignorance.
Stephen had an appropriate response for all their religious queries and questions about the law and the Old Way of forgiveness of sins and salvation.
The Apostoles’ Doctrine face a similar battle today for we preach and teach Jesus Christ. Recall the Scriptures, all who oppose the Apostoles’ Doctrine are anti-Christ in every sense of the word.
However, Stephen spoke with such authority such power and with such convictions, they could not resist him. The conclusion is they lost the “dispute” or debate with Stephen for “they were not able to” deny “the wisdom and the” attitude “by which” he spoke.
Consequently, these religious folks pay people to be false witnesses against Stephen, speak lies and distort his words, Acts 6:11, 13.
Reject the old way of Salvation Stephen Preached Against
The similar scenario plays out today too. Have you ever wondered why your church services are so dull, boring and lifeless? The short answer is, powerless! Powerless because there is no Holy Ghost power in those services your assembly still embrace the old way that Stephen preached against.
If your assembly does not teach and preach Jesus Christ, find one that does. If your assembly does not teach salvation is through Jesus Christ by repentance, water baptism by immersion and calling on the name of Jesus Christ and the receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues, find one that does. Your assembly would be similar to the religious folks of Acts 6:9.
It does not matter the name of your assembly, if your assembly does not emulate the teachings and preaching of the First Century Mega Church you are lost and without salvation. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. We can only access eternal life the way he and his Apostles taught us to not our own personal interpretations.
The Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles are not theirs but Christ for he gave it to them. Therefore, if you deviate from the Apostles’ Doctrine you stray from the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Folks, the Twelve Apostles are the same persons who wrote all the books of the New Testament Bible. An Apostle wrote every book of the New Testament, and he was coming from the First Century Church. How can you reject the teachings of Acts because it is not similar to you local assembly’s but embrace the other teachings in the remainder of the NT? It is the same doctrine, the Doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Now having “stirred up the people,” the same religious (denominational people) caught Stephen and presented him to the Sanhedrin Council, which would judge and sentence him, Acts 6:12.
Religious Folk’s Statement to Council Explained Stephen’s Sermon to Them
The religious folk’s statement to the Council explained Stephen’s sermon to them. Stephen told them the truth, the temple will be destroyed, Acts 7:14. However, because of spiritual ignorance, malice and resistance to change they distorted his statements and made them into lies. Jesus of Nazareth preached the same message. Christ preached of the destruction of the synagogue or temple of Jerusalem. See the following references Matthew 24:1-2, Mark 13:1-2 and Luke 21:5-6. Recall, the Apostles’ Doctrine is not theirs but Jesus’ teachings.
These religious folk’s statements against Stephen also include an accusation that Jesus will change the “customs which Moses delivered us”, Acts 7:14. Denominations and assemblies are more interested in protecting their customs and traditions than you receiving salvation. They are resistant to change but if you do not make the change, by finding an assembly that teaches Christ, you will die in your sins.
Some of the “customs which Moses” gave the Jews concern atonement. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection changed those “customs” for the gospel changed how we receive forgiveness of sins. Therefore, Stephen preached Acts 2:38, repentance, baptism in Jesus name and receiving the Holy Ghost to receive salvation.
Finally like Stephen told them then I am telling you today, believe on Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins and be baptized in water, by immersion, calling on the name of Jesus for the remission of sins and you too shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. That is Jesus’ plan for your life; it is the ONLY way to salvation. Embrace it and you shall have life everlasting, in Jesus precious name.
Jesus confirmed Stephen‘s words by giving his face a radiance or “glory” similar to Moses in the Old Testament, Acts 6:15.
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