Summary of message
This week we studied Acts 7 which shows us the trial and subsequent stoning of Stephen. Stephen is the first martyr for the faith and there were many important things that we can glean from his story. To begin with, we observed that both at the end of chapter 6 and in chapter 7, the Scripture tells us that Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave Stephen the boldness to speak the truth of the Word of God to those who were in opposition against him. Stephen gave a great explanation of how the entire Old Testament speaks to the coming of the Messiah and the importance of having a personal relationship with God and a circumcised heart unto Him. This heavily contrasted his opponents who were focused on the law and tradition and land, but their hearts were far from God. Stephen boldly and firmly declared that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God who gave his life on the cross for our sins and subsequently resurrected and ascended into heaven to stand at the right hand of God the Father. In doing this, Jesus demonstrated his power over death, sin, and the grave. If we would place our faith in Jesus and accept him as our Lord and Savior, we will not be condemned to death for our sins, but would have everlasting life in him. After declaring these things, the people stoned Stephen to death.