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Week 41 Day 5
In the Old Testament Scriptures
the Holy Spirit is mentioned
and usually in connection
with a person in a leadership role
In the book of Acts
we are introduced
to the age of the Holy Spirit
poured out on
young and old
men and women
slave or free
lowly or mighty
The source of power for the early church
was the Holy Spirit
filling every believer
Ordinary people were transformed
into extraordinary witnesses for Jesus.
We know little about Stephen
but in this passage
we first hear of Saul
who became the apostle Paul
whose story fills the second half of the book of Acts
and who wrote
most of the remaining books
of the Bible.
THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR One man's death cracked another man's heart of stone. Acts 6, 7 & 8
8Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders among
the people. 9Then there arose some, disputing with Stephen. 10They were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. 12So they stirred up the people and seized Stephen, and brought him to the council. They also set up false witnesses who said, "This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; 14for we have heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses delivered to us."
15All who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at Stephen,
saw his face as the face of an angel. 1Then the high priest said,
"Are these things so?"
48Stephen replied, "The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands. 51You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?
And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One,
of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers.
53You have received the law by the direction of angels and
have not kept it."
54When the council heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55But Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, 56and said, "Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
57They cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and
ran at him. 58They cast him out of the city and stoned him.
The witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young
man named Saul. 59They stoned Stephen as he was saying,
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." When he said this, he fell asleep. 1Saul was consenting to his death.
At that time a great persecution arose against the church; they
were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria,
except the apostles. 2Devout men carried Stephen to his burial.
3Saul made havoc of the church, entering every house, and
dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. This Bible passage was condensed from the NKJV
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The Bible Condensed. From Genesis to Revelation (Old Testament and New Testament) in 365 daily readings plus commentary. This Bible reading plan will help you read the Bible from beginning to end, as one continuous story.