Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 6:1-15 part 2
Last time, we saw howGod continued to build His church. The twelve apostles made the decision to organize the efforts to serve those who were in need allowing the twelve to continue in their prayer and study. This is the first instance where organization as a method of operation is shown. The outcome was that God continued to add to the number of believers. The organization did not add the believers, God did. The organization was a step in effective operation in order to best honor God.
We now see Stephen briefly appear on the scene. The brevity of time should not indicate to us a smallness of his ministry, however. Look at verse 8. Stephen was full of faith and power and he did great wonders and signs among the people. The mention of him in scripture is brief but that does not diminish how we should feel about his impact.
Watch what happens as a result of Stephen’s effective minstry. Opposition arose from a group of religious people. These people did not see eye-to-eye with the truth taught by Stephen because the Bible says they disputed with him. Not only did they dispute with him, verses 10-11 say they were not able to resist his wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke so they secretly induced men to lie about what Stephen was teaching.
So, since the opposition could not win by debating the facts and issues, they formed a group of liars to spread falsehoods in order to swing public opinion away from Stephen. This sounds like typical politics today. Not much has changed over the years. If you cannot win with the strength of your cause, lie, cheat, and steal until you can win through corruption. Yes indeed. This sounds like politics in the US today. The truth matters little. What matters is how many people and how much media you can get to spout your lies until people generally begin to believe you.
There is a huge problem with this tactic however. One day, all people will stand before God. The Bible says that God cannot be mocked and people will reap what they have sown. Abe Lincoln said you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. That seems to be true. It is also true, however, that you cannot fool God ANY of the time.
The disputers stirred up the people and the temple officials. Stephen was brought before the council. More liars were put into place to twist Stephen’s words and to connect him to the same lies told about Jesus when he was on trial.
Watch what happens in verse 15. Despite being on trial before corrupt politicians with a group of lying witnesses, all of the people who were seeking Stephen’s demise saw his face to be like that of an angel. I would imagine that most people would be in a bit of stress standing before a kangaroo court full of cheats, liars, and thugs. Yet, Stephen had the calmness and serenity of an angel. Stephen was given grace by God to withstand the trial he was facing.
It is difficult to imagine how a person could be calm during an uproar like this one. His life was definitely in jeopardy. God gave him the grace he needed when he needed it. It seems to me like God is not one to waste. We cannot imagine how Stephen could remain so calm despite his circumstances because we have never been there. However, for those who have been in similar circumstances and lived, their testimony reveals that God provided what they needed when they needed it. May God bless the study of His word. Comment below if you wish.