E-Free Church - Gaylord Campus
Portrait of a Terrorist
We will study the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. We will start when he was first mentioned in the book of Acts and follow him through his first missionary journey. Paul, the guy who was the terrorist becomes one of the greatest teachers in the history of the church.
Locations & Times
  • E-Free Church - Gaylord Campus
    1649 M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735, USA
    Sunday 5:00 AM

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The ANGER of the Jewish Council (7:54)

The SOURCE of their anger

Stephen was on trial before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Council)

His message about Christ was very pointed in showing that He was the Messiah and they were responsible for killing Him

The SERIOUSNESS of their anger

Cut to the quick literally means “sawn in two.” His message had shown them for who they really were – spiritual hypocrites

Gnashing their teeth is an act that shows anger and frustration
The ATTACK of the Jewish Council (7:55-60)

The FAITH of Stephen (v55-56)

His CONTROL (v55a)

Stephen was filled (controlled) by the Spirit (Eph 5:18)
This was a lifestyle of Stephen as seen in Acts 6:3-5
His CONDUCT (v55b-56)

What Stephen SAW (v55)

Gazing into heaven Stephen saw the glory of God and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God

Stephen is one of few who saw a glimpse into heaven (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul and John as the only others)

Other accounts of Jesus in heaven describe Him sitting at the right hand of God (showing that He finished His redemptive work). This shows Him standing out of concern for Stephen and to welcome him into heaven.

What Stephen SAID (v56)

Stephen aloud described what He saw

Describing Jesus as the “Son of Man’ (messianic Title) was in the mind of the council equal to Blasphemy (they had sentenced Jesus to death for using the same title in describing Himself in Matthew 26:63-64)
The FURY of the Council (v57-60)

They cried out with a loud voice and covered their ears in an attempt to keep themselves from hearing Stephen’s words (v57)

They drove Stephen outside of the city and stoned him (v57-59)

“Rushed” in v57 is used in Mark 5:13 to describe the herd of demon-possessed pigs that rushed into the Sea of Galilee

Driving him outside of the city was in keeping with the command given in Leviticus 24:14; Stoning was the punishment for blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16)

This was an attempt to appear to be above reproach while really breaking many Jewish laws

Capital cases required arguments for the defenseNot all the council could argue for convictedVoting should happen individually youngest to oldestSentencing was not to occur until the following day

Stephen’s last words echoed the words of Jesus on the cross (Luke 23:34, 46) and shows grace even in death (v60; Acts 6:8)
The ACCOMPLICE with the Jewish Council (7:58b; 8:1-3)

Members laid their robes at the feet of Saul, a young man (v58)

This is the first appearance in Scripture of the one who would become the Apostle Paul

He was from the city of Tarsus and had been tutored under the leadership of the very prominent Pharisee, Gamaliel

Though not an official member of the Council, this shows Saul as a political “up and comer” who had a front row seat this process

Saul was in hearty agreement with the execution of Stephen (8:1) – some theories indicate that he may have been the investigator

The stoning of Stephen began a great persecution of Christians in Jerusalem resulting in believers scattering throughout Judea and Samaria and it also began a brutal and bloody campaign by Saul against the church (Acts 22:4-5; 26:9-10) and which would lead to him referring to himself as “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:13-15)

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