THE STONING OF STEPHEN
A. W. Tozer said "It's doubtful if God will use a man greatly
until He has hurt him deeply." Stephen was such a man.
Ezekiel tells us that God sought for a man to
stand in the gap.(EZK. 22:30) "And
I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not
destroy it: but I found none." Again Stephen was such a man. He was one of the seven men chosen to do the unwanted task
of serving the widows. Although he was called to such a task he overleaped the limitations and became a powerful preacher.
Stephen was called to another task which hurt him deeply. He was called to be the first martyr of the Christian church, being
stoned to death by the Jews. It's doubtful if anyone in this church will ever be called upon to give their life for the faith,
yet there is a remarkable application for everyone who names Christ as their Savior.
Paul, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, challenges
us to be a "living sacrifice" (ROM. 12:1-2) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will
My prayer is that the testimony of Stephen may be a challenge
for you to live your life as a sacrifice to Christ.
I. THE PEOPLE DOING THE STONING. (verse 51-54)
1. They were stiffnecked.
Who were they? (the religious crowd) (Acts 6:8-15)
B. They were harsh
would not submit to the yoke of Christ.
2. They were uncircumcised.
A. In their heart. ("unsaved")
To circumcise means to remove a covering
An uncircumcised heart is one that is closed in, one that
cannot be penetrated or effected by good influences and
or good impressions.
3. Do you
have and uncircumcised heart? Good cannot
seem to influence you? Maybe your heart has been
B. In their ears Hearing impared,
couldn't hear or wouldn't
hear the words of God.
Does America have uncircumcised ears? You?
Can not America hear the words of Jesus?
C. In their lips. Just
listen to the way folks talk now a days.
1. People need to hear the words of Jesus in
3.They were resisting the Holy Spirit.
A. In doing so they
were resisting salvation! (JH. 6:44)
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath
sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last
4. They were following after the traditions
II. THE PERSON BEING STONED. (verse 55-57)
1. "He was filled with the Spirit of God."
A. What does it mean
to be filled with the Holy Spirit? To be
totally controled by!
B. How does one get
to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
1. One must empty self and present self to God.
2. One must ask to be filled. (LK.11:9-13)
3. One must obey the word of God. (Acts 5:29-32)
2. He was filled with the
Word of God. (PSA. 119:11)
A. Most Christians today
do not know the Lord because they
do not know His Word.
3. He was filled with the
compassion of God. (verse 60)
A. These are the words
that Christ said as He ws being
B. This is the difference
between a good Christian and a
4. He was full of faith. (Acts 6:8)
III. THE PURPOSE OF THE STONING. (verses 58-60)
1. He was cast out of the
city. (verse 58)
A. If you stand up for
Jesus and righteousness you to will be
cast out from the worldly crowd and there ways.
2. He was received by the
Lord. (verse 60)
5:8) "We are confident, I say,
rather to be absent from the body, and to be present
3. He was admired by Saul
A. Saul was later saved.
never forgot the death experience of Stephen.
4. There are only a few things in this
life that really make an
upon your life.
A. The people you meet.
B. The people close
to you who you see die.
C. Let me tell you about
a man that I met twenty some years
ago, that not only has made an indelible impression on
life but has totaly changed my life. As a matter of fact I
trying to pattern my life exactly after His. His name is
and you can meet Him to day. Won't you come to
Are you really wanting to and are willing to be a follower
of Jesus Christ??????? If so then notice these followers
and what their faith cost them.
St. Matthew suffered martyrdom by being slain with a sword
at a distant city of Ethiopia.
St. Mark expired at Alexandria, after having been cruelly
dragged through the streets of that city.
St. Luke was hanged upon an olive tree in the classic land
St. John was put into a caldron of boiling oil, but escaped
death in a miraculous manner, and was afterwards banished to Patmos.
St. Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downward.
St. James the Greater was beheaded at Jerusalem.
St. James the Less was thrown from a lofty pinnacle of the
temple, and then beaten to death with a fuller's club.
St. Philip was hanged up against a pillar at Heiropolis in
St. Bartholomew was flayed alive.
St. Andrew was bound to a cross, where he preached to his
persecutors until he died.
St. Thomas was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel
in the East Indies.
St. Jude was shot to death with arrows.
St. Matthias was first stoned, and then beheaded.
St. Barnabas of the Gentiles was stoned to death by the Jews
St. Paul after various tortures and persecutions, was at
length beheaded at Rome by the Emperor Nero.