Stephen – Like the Face of an Angel – Acts 7
After the apostles began going house to house teaching and preaching about the risen Lord Jesus, the apostles were so busy that they needed to have men who were well thought of, full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit, that could do some of the needed things for other people. So seven men were chosen so that the apostles could continue their work of prayer and teaching of the Word.
One of the men chosen was named Stephen. He was full of faith and power, and did great wonders and miracles among the people. But some people rose up that did not like the things that Stephen was teaching, and they told lies against Stephen, and said he was speaking wrong things about Moses and about God. And they got the elders to take Stephen and bring him to the council, and they made people say that Stephen would not stop telling things that were not true about the law.
But everyone that sat in the council looked at Stephen, and saw that his face looked like it was an angel’s face. And so the high priest asked Stephen if the things that were said about him were true. Then Stephen told all the people about how God appeared to Abraham, and about the promise of Isaac. He told them about Joseph and how God delivered him, and about Moses and how he brought the people out of bondage in Egypt. He told them about Solomon and how he built the temple, and about how God has made all things.
Then he told them that they always resisted the Holy Spirit, the same as their fathers had done. Stephen told them how their fathers had killed the prophets who had told of the Holy One to come, and how the Lord Jesus had been betrayed and murdered, and how they taught about the law but had not kept it.
The people who heard Stephen were very, very angry, but Stephen, who was full of the Holy Spirit, looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and he said “Look! I see heaven opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God!”
Then the people cried with a loud voice, and plugged their ears, and they all ran toward Stephen. They threw him out of the city, and they all threw stones at him. But Stephen called upon God, and said “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And then he died.
1. Why did the apostles choose seven men? Answer: So that they could continue their work of prayers and teaching the Word.
2. What did Stephen do before he was taken? Answer: He did great wonders and miracles.
3. What did Stephen look like when the people looked at him? Answer: His face looked as though it were the face of an angel.
4. Why did they become so angry at Stephen? Answer: Because he told them he saw heaven open, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
5. What did Stephen say when the people were throwing stones at him? Answer: He asked that their sin be not charged to them, and he asked the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit.