Talks for Growing Christians
Conclusion of Stephen’s Testimony and Stephen's Martyrdom
Lesson Number 13
- Stephen’s sermon was God’s final testimony to Israel.
- Stephen’s stoning was Israel’s final rejection of Christ.
- Expect a great welcome in Heaven!
- Review the context of Acts 7.
- Why was the Sanhedrin intent on bringing Stephen to trial?
- What is the major theme of this part of Stephen’s sermon?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament rituals, including the Temple and the message of the prophets?
- What was the Sanhedrin’s response to Stephen’s sermon?
- Which significant New Testament person was present at the stoning of Stephen?
- Acts 6 records Stephen’s outstanding preaching and miracles, which led many people to be saved. As a result, Stephen was brought to trial before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council. Stephen gives a powerful sermon summarizing God’s work throughout the history of the nation of Israel.
- They wanted to stop the spread of Christianity, even if it meant removing its leaders by force.
- Israel’s continued focus on the Law and the Temple was not in line with God’s program.
- All of those things pointed forward to the coming of the Messiah, the Righteous One! The Old Testament system was not the goal, now God’s program was moving on, and the Jews were again rejecting Him.
- They had a violent and furious reaction, and they took Stephen to be stoned.
- Saul of Tarsus, who would become the Apostle Paul was there.
- Discuss: “Stephen’s sermon was God’s final testimony to Israel.” Review the extension of grace Peter presented in Acts 3. The stoning of Stephen seems to be the last straw. What was the consequence for Israel’s continual rejection of the Messiah?
- Stephen had shown conclusively that the Jews were guilty before God, that the Law as a way of life was temporary, and that the Temple must be removed. Jesus was the Messiah and He and His Church were the focus of Gods program for the future. Discuss your reaction to this powerful sermon.
- The way Stephen died as a martyr is a model for all believers. Stephen had a great welcome into heaven, and as a believer, you will too!
- “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” Acts 7:51
“But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55
“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’” Acts 7:59