Acts 6:8 - 7:53 Stephen • Mission or Compliance • Just a normal guy. Not someone who saw Jesus. Has just embraced the gospel. • What makes him on mission? • Full of Grace, God’s unmerited favor. Not deserved or earned. • • Have we cheapened it? Power (dynamis) • Acts 1:8- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth 6:9-15 • Luke 21:12-18 • Jesus is with his followers on his mission. ALL AUTHORITY has been given to him. • • Find comfort and boldness in this. Stephen is going up against the established religion of the day. They have taken God’s Word, twisted it and added practices to it. • Our established religion of the day is Nominal Christianity or Nominal Theism. • How would we respond in our hearts if we saw what Stephen was doing? • What do we think of Abrasive Christianity? • Nominal Christianity also twist God’s word and adds to it. • • 11th Commandment. The two objections • Destroy and devalue Temple • Change the customs of the law. Stephens Defense • Stephen knows his Bible. Growth in God’s Word is a symptom of being full of grace. • Maturity in the word protects us from Apostasy • Hebrews 5:12-14 - For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. • Abraham • God is with Abraham before he is in the promise land and tells him that his descendants will be enslaved by another nation. • • Joseph • God blesses the patriarchs through Joseph, the rejected and enslaved brother. • God blesses Israel in Egypt Moses • Rejected • Trying to reconcile his Jewish brothers after killing an Egyptian. • Continually throughout their pilgrimage from the Red Sea into the dessert. • When he goes on Mt. Sinai • God blesses Moses and Israel and they never make it to the promise land. • Prophesied that Jesus would come as the prophet like himself. Continually rejected. • Received living Oracles directly from God away from the promised land. • Built the Tabernacle away from the promised land • Israel • Continually blessed by God outside the promised land. • Continually rejected Gods redeemer and message. • Worship idols • • Golden Calf • God finally gave them over to Idol worship. DIdn’t actually have the temple until the time of Solomon. The temple became a golden calf on steroids. • • Verse 7: 48-50 Why so much rejection? • Our natural state. • Romans 3:9-12 - What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Stephens Conclusion • correlates resisting the Holy Spirit with not keeping the law. • The Spirit authored Scripture. • 2 Timothy 3:16 - All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. • 1 Peter 1:21 - For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. • Do we lack that Dynamos of the Spirit because there are things in God’s word that we are not keeping or resisting? What things in the Bible don’t we like? • What are those things? • • Husbands leading and wives submitting? • Homosexuality? • Conquest of Canaan? • Giving money/tithing? • Disciplining children? • Women roles in the church? • God’s Judgment? Can’t live on mission like Stephen did if we are trying to do it in a way that we would require if we were God. • As King of all that exist God can do and require as he pleases. • The call to be on mission is come and die to pursuing your Kingdom and be on mission to further Jesus Kingdom.