What can we learn from the persecution that starts with the martyrdom of Stephen and the resulting preaching of the Word in Samaria, especially what God does through Phillip and Simon’s “conversion”?
Summary of Acts 7
- The Holy Spirit speaks through Stephen, recounting Israel’s history and God’s hand upon them and accuses them of being “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears” and always resisting the Holy Spirit, at which point, Stephen is stoned to death as Saul watches and consents, approves of this murder.
God allowed persecution achieves God ordained purpose (v1-8)
- Challenge: Is your faith in Jesus strong enough to face hardships and persecution?
Transforming faith that saves the soul is evident in a transformed life (v9-25)
- Challenge: Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to change you from the insider, to be like Jesus OR like Simon, are you poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity?
Go where God leads you to go, not where you want to go or think you should be
- Challenge: Are you obedient to God/the Holy Spirit or yourself?