SERIES: The Book of Acts

TEXT: Acts 6:8-15

MESSAGE: “Full of Grace and Power”

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Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” — Ephesians 6:11-12

“I’m not surprised now when I see Jesus used as a mascot to prop up some identity politics or power agenda, or even to cover up private immorality or public injustice…I know well enough now to see that such is not about him at all…What I want to be is the kind of Christian who is willing to stand for Jesus, to be willing to stand alone if necessary. But, more than that, I want to be the kind of Christian who can stand that way without the fear of being out of step with whatever group of people I am looking to for approval.” — Russell Moore

TEXT: Acts 6:8-15

Question: What do we see in today’s text about standing for Jesus with grace and power?

We can be guided by…(1. A Fullness 2. A Fearfulness 3. A Freedom)

  1. A Fullness (v. 8)

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.”

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” 

— John 15:5

        2. A Fearfulness (v. 9-14)

“Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.

“…and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.” — Matthew 26:61

“Ah,” the neighbor says. “I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place?” “We don’t have a temple,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our temple.” “No temple? But where do your priests work and do their rituals?” “We don’t have priests to mediate the presence of God,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our priest.” “No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?” “We don’t need a sacrifice,” replies the Christian. “Jesus is our sacrifice.” “What kind of religion is this?” sputters the pagan neighbor. And the answer is, it’s no kind of religion at all.” — Timothy Keller

           3. A Freedom (v. 15)

And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” — Galatians 1:10

TAKEAWAYS:

  • What’s guiding you? (Fullness or Fearfulness)
  • Is God’s presence evident in your life?

 

“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” — Revelation 21:22-23