Stephen’s Sermon–The Bold Conclusion!

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 General Douglas MacArthur was the commander of the American forces in the Philippines. The same day they launched an assault on the Philippine Islands and President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to escape to Australia to organiz … More

Resistance
In this closing section of his defense, what Stephen has been implying now becomes explicit:
  1. He insists on the continued disobedience of the people.
  2. He insists that they have had the most amazing privileges.
  3. He insists that they have wrongly limited God.
  4. He insists that they have persecuted the prophets
The Tabernacle was built to divine specification by God, and was an object of great beauty and cost. Stephen pointed out how it was forever on the move (vv. 44-45). It was put up and taken down as it was carted from place to place. In all the wanderings of the Hebrews in the wilderness, in their crossing of the Jordan and their conquest of Canaan, the tabernacle moved when they moved. When David came along he decided to build a permanent house of cedar (vv. 46-50). In due time David’s son, Solomon, did build a temple in Jerusalem. However, the idea that God could be confined to a temple was a heathen idea. The Jews tended to make the temple an idol.

Stephen now dropped his defense and went boldly on the attack rebuking his listeners for their persistence and continuing opposition to God (vv. 51-53). He explained how from the very beginning they had broken the law so badly that Moses took the tables of stone, upon which the law was written with the finger of God, and dashed them to pieces.

Application

Today we can see many Christians who make the church their center of worship, and completely ignore a personal relationship with Christ. It is not the time that I spend in Church that is the most important (as important as that is), but the time I spend with the Lord personally each day.

Acts 7:44-53 (English Standard Version)

""Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, "'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?' "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."

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