Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bible Study: Acts 6 & 7

So I'm reading Acts 6, and figure I'll do chapter 6 & 7 this time.  It's the same story with no noticeable break between chapters.

We start out in Chapter 6 with the Twelve saying they'd rather not deal with the financial day to day matters, and so they delegate that job to Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus.  They prayed over these men, and set them off to do the accountant jobs.

Stephen was "full of grace and power" (Acts 6:8) and many worldly men started arguing with him, but he was speaking with God's Holy Spirit, and so they couldn't win that way.  So, what do they do but hire/persuade others to lie about Stephen.

Since he was accused, he was brought before the Sanhedrin. (into Chapter 7)
Stephen then gave the priests a history lesson. Counting down from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob and to the 12 patriarchs - including Joseph.  On throughthe story of Moses and continuing with Solomon.  He was very brief in the history.  He then called out the priests with...

Acts 7:51  "You stiff-necked people . . . You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your ancestors did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? ... You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it"

This of course made the priests/Sanhedrin very very mad ... Can you say PO'd?    Stephen of course didn't see this, because he was busy gazing on the sight of Jesus on the right hand of God.  The priests attacked Stephen and took him outside to stone him.  And while they were stoning him, Stephen "cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin!" (Acts 7:60).

I don't know if I can do that.  Could I forgive my murderers as they were murdering me?  That would be one of the most difficult things to do. 

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