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The Book Of Acts Chapter 8 (18 of 44)
Dr. Harley Howard
Paul The Pharisee and The Persecution of The Church
During our study in chapter 7, we looked at the death
of Stephen. This saint of God was the first martyr
for the Lord Jesus Christ that is recorded in
scripture. His life was so much like his Savior and
in his death that he saw Jesus standing up at the
right hand of God to receive him into glory. His life
is a great example for us all of one who, in the face
of certain death, proclaimed the word of God boldly.
There amongst the crowd of Stephen's accusers and
killers stood a young man, giving his consent or
approval to the death of this brave follower of Jesus
Christ. This man's name is Saul. Later he is called
Paul is another character study from this great book
of Acts. His story will begin here and finish at the
end of the book, and fourteen letters of the New
Testament later, his life will finish as well. As
with Stephen, Paul is an example of how God can take
the chief of sinners and converts him to His own
1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that
time there was a great persecution against the church
which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered
abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria,
except the apostles.
Above all the screams of this mad religious crowd,
this young man witnessed something that was
unbelievable. A man who was tried and accused
falsely, dragged and stoned to death unjustly, asking
forgiveness for all of his enemies that crushed him
The love that was displayed by Stephen affected Paul.
Paul thought, as I'm sure that most of the other
religious leadership thought, that the end of this
Jesus movement would come as a result of His death.
With their leader gone, surely Paul, and many of the
religious leadership thought, that this would be the
end of all of this foolishness a ...
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