A lesson From The First N.T. Martyr- May We Be The Same

Act 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Act 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Act 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

This was the fulfillment of what Jesus said in Matt Ch 10;

Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.


Full of faith - Full of “confidence” in God, or trusting entirely to his promises. See the notes on Mar_16:16.


Act 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Act 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

GILL:

Acts 6:10
And they were not able to resist the wisdom,... In Beza's most ancient copy, and in another manuscript it is added, "which was in him"; that divine wisdom, which the Spirit of wisdom gave him; they were not a match for him with respect to the knowledge of divine things; they could not answer the wise arguments he made use of, fetched out of the Scriptures of truth, in which he was well versed, and had a large knowledge of:

and the Spirit by which he spake; that is, the Holy Spirit, as the above exemplars of Beza, and the Ethiopic version read; the meaning is, they could not resist the Holy Spirit, by which Stephen spake, so as to overcome him, or put Stephen to silence, or confute him; otherwise they did resist him, or oppose themselves to him, but in vain, and without success; for they always resisted the Holy Ghost in Christ and in his apostles, as their fathers before them resisted him in the prophets, as Stephen observes to them, Act_7:51 hereby was fulfilled what our Lord promised to his disciples, Mat_10:19.



Act 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

Act 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Gill;

And all that sat in the council,... The whole Sanhedrin,

looking steadfastly on him; to observe whether his countenance altered, his tongue stammered, or he trembled in any part of his body, neither of which appeared; but on the contrary, they saw his face, as if it had been the face of an angel.

Barnes wrote;

The face of an angel - This expression is one evidently denoting that he manifested evidence of sincerity, gravity, fearlessness, confidence in God.

NOTE: He was fearless and had great confidence in the lord, he did not tremble before men, but God, this is what made this possible by the power of the holy spirit. This stood out to me as I read the commentaries. Back to Gill;


The Ethiopic version adds, "of God"; there was such a calmness and serenity in it, which showed his innocence and unconsciousness of guilt; and such a beauty and glory upon it, that he looked as lovely and amiable as the angels of God, who when they appeared to men, it was in very glorious and splendid forms: his face might shine as Moses's did, when he came down from the mount; or in some degree as Christ's did at his transfiguration; and this might, as it ought to have been, taken as an acquittance of him by God, from the charge of blasphemy, either against God or Moses: the Jews (q) say of Phinehas, that when the Holy Ghost was upon him, his face burned or shone like lamps, and Stephen was now full of the Holy Ghost, Act_6:5.


Barnes:


It is used in the Old Testament to denote special wisdom, 2Sa_14:17; 2Sa_19:27.

In Gen_33:10, it is used to denote special majesty and glory, as if it were the face of God. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, it is said that the skin of his face shone so that the children of Israel were afraid to come near him, Exo_34:29-30; 2Co_3:7, 2Co_3:13. Compare Rev_1:16; Mat_17:2.

The expression is used to denote the impression produced on the countenance by communion with God; the calm serenity and composure which follow a confident committing of all into his hands.

It is not meant that there was anything “miraculous” in the case of Stephen, but it is language that denotes calmness, dignity, and confidence in God, all of which were so marked on his countenance that it impressed them with clear proofs of his innocence and piety.

The language is very common in the Jewish writings. It is not unusual for deep feeling, sincerity, and confidence in God, to impress themselves on the countenance. Any deep emotion will do this; and it is to be expected with religious feeling, the most tender and solemn of all feeling, will diffuse seriousness, serenity, calmness, and peace not affected sanctimoniousness, over the countenance.


Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

Mat 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The message I have for you, in a nutshell, is as we read at the top;

The expression is used to denote the impression produced on the countenance by communion with God; the calm serenity and composure which follow a confident committing of all into his hands.

The key is communion with the Lord in prayer.
Something is produced when we not only pray but pray in full faith, utter confidence in the word, the promises of the holy bible.

How often do w pray this way? I do not always reach this blessed state, but I strive to do so.
If we commit ALL into the hands of the lord and leave it there we will have peace, a true deep serenity.

How many of us are in a true state of serenity?
How many of us are in a place of real peace?

How many of us cast all our care and anxieties on the lord and leave them there?

The key is Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and faith.

If we do not move and live in faith we can not please God. Heb 11:6

O' how we need this kind of Christian walk, we must have this today.
Jehovah Shalom-The God our Peace. Jesus Christ made peace between man and God. Jesus is our peace, we must access this and live it.

With all that is going on in the world, it is a call to such communion and peace.
'Calmness lays great errors to rest'. We do not run ahead, nor lag behind, but walk side by side with our Lord at His pace, not ours.

It is easy to feel, lord this must be done, this thing must be given, and yet our Lord walks and moves as he will and in his time. When we are overly concerned about what we do not have, prayers still not answered, we still can have peace, a deep serenity by a holy confidence in our Lord. God really does know what he is doing, even when we do not.

The Lord deeply impressed this simple truth in my heart the other night in prayer.
Peace, do I have real peace? Do I walk in peace? Live in peace, and not always take an inventory of what I do not have and not grasp what I do have?

The Lord spoke to my heart and said." My son do you trust me, do you believe me, do you know I am with you and have all things covered?'

I was convicted, I felt ashamed, and as always after conviction comes renewal and restoration. Is this speaking to anyone?

Are you in peace?

It starts with a prayer that touches the heart of the lord, and as Heb 11:6 says, we can not please God without faith, are you guilty of this? Start new today, start a different way of praying, pray and leave ALL with the lord. May it be so today.


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