ACTS 6 - STEPHEN

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


Stephen's Ministry

A. As a deacon - Acts 6:1-7

Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. "But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. "But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:1-7)

B. As a minister - Acts 6:8 He possessed remarkable spiritual gifts.

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6:8)

Stephen's Message

A. Occasion of the message - Acts 6:9-15

But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and dragged him away, and brought him before the Council. And they put forward false witnesses who said, "This man incessantly speaks against this holy place, and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us." And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel. (Acts 6:9-15)

Study Questions

1. What were the three outstanding qualities of the first "deacons"? - Acts 6:3

"But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. (Acts 6:3)

2. What was the main work of the apostles? - Acts 6:4

"But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:4)

3. What was a "proselyte?" - Acts 6:5

And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. (Acts 6:5)

4. What two things did Stephen possess that made his ministry noteworthy? - Acts 6:8

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6:8)

5. What two things characterized Stephen's witness? - Acts 6:10

And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. (Acts 6:10)

6. What does it mean in Acts 6:11 when it says "they suborned men?"

Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." (Acts 6:11)

7. What remarkable thing about Stephen attracted the council's attention? - Acts 6:15

And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel. (Acts 6:15)

8. What stands out as the result of the faithful witness of the Christians? - Acts 2:41, Acts 4:4, Acts 5:14, and Acts 6:7

So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)

But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)

And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number; (Acts 5:14)

And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

9. What explanation can you give for the success of the early church?


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