A Church that Acts – Antagonism to the Truth

Today we continue with our journey through the book of Acts. Remember, our objective here is to rediscover the origins, history, divine influences and governing principles which drove the first century church and followers of Jesus through the centuries to follow in order to discover some practical lessons which are relevant to our walk of faith today.

Central to what we hope to glean from the book of Acts is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost. Apart from this event the early followers of Jesus would have been committed but powerless. The arrival of the Holy Spirit is THE defining catalyst for the success of these early believers.

Today we continue with Acts, chapter six, where we are confronted with the consequence of bold adherence to the truth.

Acts 6:8-15
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.

Stephen was a deacon not an apostle.

His obedience to the Holy Spirit resulted in miracles.

Principle: The Holy Spirit works not only through the leadership but through any obedient servant.

9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen.

 We see opposition to Jesus manifested not only toward the leaders of the faith, but against any convincing and influential voice.

10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.

Principle: The Holy Spirit enables supernatural boldness and wisdom.

11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”
12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law.
14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”

Sometimes the truth threatens the status quo.

Tactics:

When you cannot win the debate, attack the debater.

When the truth is too confrontational, expect the rebuttal to be a lie.

15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Principle: We must never employ evil tactics to make a righteous point.

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