Tuesday, October 21, 2008

37 AD ?: The Debate Rages and Stephen Gets Stoned

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother.
Shakespeare- Henry V.

Stephen stood amongst the stones.

He then crumpled in a pile dead.

The hated stones were thrown in defense of darkness and chaotic thinking. The hated stones were thrown in the defense of tradition. The hated stones were thrown in the defense of idolatry of the day. He had stood strong amongst the pain of being hated to death. He stood strong for the truth. He stood strong as God would have him do in Love of Christ, the Spirit, and God himself.

Stephen represents what is the good message in the gospel. If we utter the truth of the Gospel today, we need to be watchfull. We need to reason out that it may be costly. But we must embrace the call:

1 Peter 3:15
but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (ESV)

Titus 1:9

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instructions in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (ESV)

Titus 1:10-11

For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers especially those of the circumcision party (Israelite Jews). They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (ESV)

Rd More on Stephen in your bible in Acts 7

Prayer for the day using the ACTS model: Adore, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication

YHVH your decision to stay true to your word, you chose a small remnant despite our ugly need to embrace different forms of idolatry. I know I have chosen different idols that limited my thinking of you; these idols included money, education etc.... I have not embraced you enough for I still fear upsetting others with telling of the Gospel. I need to stand amongst the pain that may come with following your lead. Thank you LORD for chosing to die so that I can live. I am so thankful you looked beyond my current chicken hearted, selfish heart, and loved me anyway. I ask that you strengthen me as a witness in your kingdom.

Written while listening to the Podcast:
Renewing Your Mind by R.C. Sproul
Books Referenced:
Bruce F.F. New Testament History. Garden City, York: Anchor Books, 1972. (217-226)
Mac Arthur Mac Arthur New Testament Comementary Acts 1-12 Chicago, Illinois: The Moody Bible Insitute of Chicago, 1994

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