Acts 7 Study Guide & Breakdown/ Stephen's Martyrdom!!!
"Man Shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God"- Matthew 4:4- "My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it" - Mark 8:21
Having received this day as a gift, I (We) thank You Holy Trinity, for through Your goodness and patience You were not wrathful with me (Us), and idler (s) and sinner (s), neither have You cast me (Us) down in my (Our)sins...But You have shown Your love towards me (us) and have guided me (us) to keep my (our) daily watch to glorify Your power...Enlighten my (our) mind (minds) to study Your teachings in Scripture...Help me (us) to apply what I (we) learn and to praise You with all my (our) heart and glorify Your Holy Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!
Shine within my (our) hearts, loving Master, the pure Light of Your Divine Knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings...Instill in me (us) also reverence for Your Blessed commandments, so having conquered sinful desires I (we) may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You...For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I (we) give, glory, together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever...Amen!!!
CHANT PSALM 23
INTO YOUR HANDS LORD YESHUA (JESUS CHRIST) WE COMMIT OUR SOULS AND BODIES, BLESS US AND HAVE MERCY ON US AND GRANT US ETERNAL LIFE!!!
ACTS 7 STUDY GUIDE & BREAKDOWN
7:1: STEPHEN: does not answer the HIGH PRIEST directly, but uses the charges as the context for his preaching: As with Peter's sermon on Pentecost- (Acts 2:14-40), Stephen preaches Jesus Christ based on OT, showing how the Jews consistently missed the purpose of God's dealings with them due to their hardness of hearts- (v. 51):
7:6: FOREIGN LAND: Egypt- (see Exodus Chapters 1-12)
7:8: CIRCUMCISION: identified each male as being adopted into the community of Israel, and as being a true descendant pf Abraham!!!
7:19: PHARAOH'S ORDER: to destroy the Hebrew BABIES- (Exodus 1:22): prefigured Herod's attempt to kill Christ by destroying all the infants in Bethlehem- (Matthew 2:16): As Moses was preserved from death in order to deliver Israel from bondage, so also Christ was preserved in order to save the world through His Passion and Resurrection!!!
7:30: THIS ANGEL OF THE LORD: is the Son of God Himself, before He became Man: Angel means "MESSENGER" and is a term used for the pre-eternal Christ as the Word of God, the One who speaks to the people- (see also Isaiah 9:6): see how this Angel speaks with the voice of the Lord- (v. 31) and declares Himself to be God- (v. 32):
7:33: THE PLACE OF GOD'S REVELATION IS HOLY GROUND: for God's presence makes creation to be holy: Church buildings are included in this sanctified space because God's revelation comes to the faithful there, and God's presence is experienced through the sacraments there:
7:38: THE CONGREGATION: of Israel under the Old Covenant was a type or picture of the New Covenant Church: Just as the Israelite congregation journeyed with THE ANGEL, now the Church journey's toward the Kingdom in the presence of Christ!!!
7:47-50: THE MOST HIGH DOES NOT DWELL IN THE TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS: this does not mean that God was not present in the temple: It indicates instead that God's presence is not limited to a specific temple, but dwells in every soul that receives Him!!!
7:51: ISRAEL RESISTED THE HOLY SPIRIT: by neither accepting God's plan for them nor receiving His correction through the prophets: The contemporary Jewish leaders continued to resist the Holy Spirit in their opposition to Yeshua (Jesus) and to His disciples!!!
7:55-58: STEPHEN'S VISION: of the enthroned Christ is seen by his opponents as the ultimate blasphemy, which carried the penalty of stoning- (Lv 24:16): SAUL, a participant in Stephen's martyrdom, was a great persecutor of early Christians: He would later be called by Christ to be His apostle and would become the great Christian missionary, Paul of Tarsus- (see- Acts 9:1-22):
7:59-60: IN IMITATION: of his Savior- (Luke 23:34), Stephen offers his soul to God and prays for the forgiveness of his enemies!!!
Acts 7: 59-60
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin". And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Ladders are safer when you first get on them but as you get closer to the top your destination it's get more dangerous!!! Serving Christ is the same as getting on a ladder at first the journey is smooth but as we move along and get closer to the top they become more unstable...Why do we suppose this is the case, well that's because we are doing all the right things and when we do all the right things it sometimes creates pushback...When we serve the Lord and get closer to God, Satan and his puppets are than there to throw you off your game, because that's just it...When we get close to the top there are sometimes others with envy or even jealousy in their hearts looking to cause you harm or misery...Satan does not like when we get closer to God instead he will stop at nothing to destroy your faith, how do we combat this, with imperfect faith!!! Lord we believe but please help our unbelief and help us with the courage and confidence to keep the truth and never forsake You in the process!!!
"Sometimes the ladder we climb to get to God is a ladder that is not climbed very often, so have no fear climb to Your Savior, Yeshua (Jesus) Christ our God, and like I said the other day it's better to punished for doing good than it is fall asleep in evil"!!!
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Closing out remember it's better to serve God with imperfect faith than is to have a perfect faith with arrogance which can lead to the door opening up for Satan to come with his mind games!!! Always watch out when your on top it can be very unstable and can lead to temptations if your foundation wasn't built on rock rather than sand!!! Check your foundations today and see what they are built on, our faith is the foundation to which I'm referring to, I only pray that one day I can have the faith Stephen did right before they stoned him to death!!!
END WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER
WE DEPART IN PEACE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST!!!
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD