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The Face of an Angel (15 of 24)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles: A Verse-by-Verse Study
November 14, 2007
INTRODUCTION: In our last lesson, we looked at (vv. 1-7), with the calling of the first deacons. This evening, we will begin to examine some of the events that took place in the life of one of those deacons, a man by the name of Stephen. We have three points:
I. The Faith of Stephen
II. The Foes of Stephen
III. The Face of Stephen
I. THE FAITH OF STEPHEN
Last week, we studied the requirements for choosing the new deacons. In (6:3), the Apostles said, "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."
These men were to be men of outstanding character and integrity; they were to be above approach, men who were honest--men who were filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom.
Notice, how, in (6:5a), it says, they chose "Stephen, a man full of faith..." In (vs. 8), it says the same thing: "And Stephen, [was] full of faith and power..." This does not mean that the other six deacons were not filled with faith; it simply underscores the faith of Stephen. Apparently, he had an extra measure of faith. He was going to need it, wasn't he. Put down two things:
A. His Faith
1. What is faith, anyway? Basically, faith is simply trusting in someone or trusting in something. Keep in mind; a person can exercise faith and not even be a Christian. Psalm 20:7 states: "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God."
a. However, when we talk about spiritual faith or biblical faith, we are talking about something entirely different. When we say, "Stephen was a man of faith," or "Dave Hedger is a man of faith," or "Jeanette is a woman of faith," what do we mean? These are people who have placed their faith in God. The direct object of faith is God. Faith is a ...
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