TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
“…I am set for the defence
of the gospel.”
THE WISDOM FROM THE SPIRIT
The chosen disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and they were faithful stewards of the church. It is the primary role of the deacons to see to it that the church is conducive for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Apparently, the appointment of deacons brought peace to the church. The Word of God was preached resulting in an increase of believers.
Disputed: Stephen preached God’s Word and did great wonders and miracles. There came from the synagogue of the Libertines (thought to be free men of the citizens of Rome) who questioned him. Stephen was ready to give an answer to those who asked him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:15). He defended the faith with wisdom from above. The Libertines could not withstand his words. Instead of believing, they hated him and wanted to kill him.
Accused: Evil men accomplish their works in evil ways. The Libertines searched for people who could bear false witness against Stephen. They were determined to persecute him. He was accused of speaking blasphemous words against the temple and the law of Moses. They accused him of preaching that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy the temple and change the traditions they had received from Moses.
Feared: The council saw Stephen’s face as if it had been the face of an angel. This was God’s way of reminding them that they were fighting against God. Yet, they continued to harden their hearts although God had offered them mercy through Stephen that they might believe the words he preached to receive forgiveness of their sins and the hope of life eternal. They feared when they saw his face resembling a heavenly being. However, it did not deter them from persecuting Stephen.
Are you ready to answer those who ask about your faith? Are you afraid to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ?
THOUGHT: Am I ready to defend the faith?
PRAYER: Father, give me the courage to answer the unbelievers.