The Assurance of Things Hoped For

By Levi Magruder, February 13, 2022

The Assurance of Things Hoped For

  1. Serving Tables
  • Read Acts 6:1-7
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.v20 there are many parts, yet one body.
  • We are all unique and have unique role to play in the body of Christ

2. Stephen is Seized

  • Read 6:8-10
  • So what do we know about Stephen
    • Good repute (chosen out of thousands), full of faith and the Spirit, wise, Full of Grace and Power.
  • First responsibility to serve widows and others in need
  • Most likely a Hellenist himself. Certainly speaks their language.
  • Read 6:11-15
  • Exodus 34:29-35 Moses’ face also shined like an angel
  • Jesus stood in front of the same court not even a year before this. ““But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"” And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."”‭Mark‬ ‭14:61-62‬ ‭ESV‬‬
  • This same court also falsely accused
  • The world is not always fair but we must always respond with the truth and grace that can only come from the Holy Spirit. (examples)

**3. The Holy Spirit Speaks Through Stephen **

  • Stephen gives a sermon refuting their two main accusations
  • He Walkthrough the Narrative of the whole OT
  • Stephen admits that the law was given to Moses by God
  • verse 35 takes a turn towards accusation
  • v42 -43 quotes from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos
  • He says the Law is good but Israel doesn’t follow it.
  • Then he tracks the Holy Presence of God and clarifies that it is not restrained.
  • Read 7:51-52
  • The Holy Spirit empowers us (God gives Stephen the courage)
  • Luke 12:11-12 “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

**4. Stephen is Martyred **

  • Hearing Stephen’s Sermon the Sanhedrin are infuriated
  • Read 55-56
  • This is the conclusion of his sermon
  • They cry out and stop their ears for a few reasons
  • Jesus words in Mark 14:61 and 62 After remaining silent in the face of the sanhedrons questions the High priest asks Jesus Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed and Jesus responded “I am and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.
  • 1 Cor 2:14 says that the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are folly to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
  • Read 7:58 - 8:3
  • The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church - Tertullian
  • In Acts 1:8 Jesus says to his disciples. “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.” The persecution causes the Gospel to spread
  • What Man meant for evil God meant for good.
  • Jesus on the Cross
  • “Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing.”
  • Stephen is an imitator of the one who stood to receive his spirit
  • Another man spoke the same words as stephen as he unjustly died at the hands of sinners.
  • Jesus of Nazareth lived a perfect life and died at the hands of pilate and the jews and us, suffering the wrath of God so that all who believe in Him can be with him and have eternal life.
  • Stephen is proof of this eternal life. While those stoning him are focused on death, stephen is focused on life.
  • Filled with Faith and the Holy Spirit
  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Explain the content of Hebrews 11)
  • “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” Augustine
  • Being Filled with faith and the Holy Spirit has given courage to millions of Christians who have been martyred for the faith.