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2 www.doubtlessliving.com Which stage of life is your favorite?

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Presentation on theme: "2 www.doubtlessliving.com Which stage of life is your favorite?"— Presentation transcript:

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2 2 Which stage of life is your favorite?

3 Spiritual growth comes in stages too, just like physical growth and in today’s session, we will explore three dimensions of Stephen’s discipleship. 3

4 Stephen demonstrated knowledge of God’s Word 4 Acts 7:2-16

5 5 Acts 7:2-16 Stephen demonstrated knowledge of God’s Word

6 Knowing God’s Word Stephen’s command of biblical details emphasizes the importance of knowing and understanding the grand narrative of Scripture. His biblical knowledge not only strengthened him, it positively influenced others like Peter and Paul too. 6 Have you set aside time and space during the week for the study of God’s Word?

7 Stephen demonstrated his trust in the truth of God’s Word 44 "Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the desert, just as He who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45 Our forefathers in turn received it and with Joshua brought it in when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers, until the days of David. 46 He found favor in God's sight and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built Him a house. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in sanctuaries made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 Heaven is My throne, and earth My footstool. What sort of house will you build for Me? says the Lord, or what is My resting place? 50 Did not My hand make all these things? 51 "You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your forefathers did, so do you. 44 "Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the desert, just as He who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45 Our forefathers in turn received it and with Joshua brought it in when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers, until the days of David. 46 He found favor in God's sight and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built Him a house. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in sanctuaries made with hands, as the prophet says: 49 Heaven is My throne, and earth My footstool. What sort of house will you build for Me? says the Lord, or what is My resting place? 50 Did not My hand make all these things? 51 "You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your forefathers did, so do you. 7 Acts 7:44-51

8 Trusting God’s Word Stephen trusted in the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture and he deftly moved through the biblical story line in this sermon. His unspoken assumptions demonstrate his trust in the Bible’s veracity. It is clear that he believed what the Bible says happened really happened. 8

9 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They even killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. 53 You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it." 54 When they heard these things, they were enraged in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God's glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!“ 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They even killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. 53 You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it." 54 When they heard these things, they were enraged in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God's glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!“ 9 Stephen spoke the truth with boldness Acts 7:52-60

10 57 Then they screamed at the top of their voices, stopped their ears, and rushed together against him. 58 They threw him out of the city and began to stone him. And the witnesses laid their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They were stoning Stephen as he called out: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin!" And saying this, he fell asleep. 10 Stephen spoke the truth with boldness Acts 7:52-60

11 Preaching God’s Word Stephen’s trust in Scripture translated into boldness in witnessing. Have you noticed the pattern in Stephen’s development: – Knowing the Bible – Trusting the Bible – Proclaiming the Bible 11

12 The Centrality of Words Words are the core of the Christian faith. The words of God (Scripture) reveal the Word of God (Christ). Stephen shows us that humility and submission to God’s Word are crucial for every believer and that humility and submission are transformed into bold proclamation of the truth. 12 What do you say? Which do you practice?

13 13 Isenheim Altarpiece Matthias Grunewald, early 16 th century The austere monk holding the Scriptures is John the Baptist and the words painted behind him read, “He must increase. I must decrease.”

14 Today, we have seen that Stephen’s sermon is a great example of a redeemed sinner’s response to God’s Word. – He knew the Bible’s content, – He trusted in its divine origin, – He understood his place in the story, and – He spoke the Bible’s truth with boldness! God’s word affected every aspect of his life. May the same be said of us! 14

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