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Tuesday: Before the Sanhedrin — 5 Comments

  1. Sanhedrin: the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews headed by a High Priest and having religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction.
    Stephen was accused speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God, and against this holy place [the temple] and the law.
    God had to fit the definition of the council.
    The temple became the pride of nation.
    The law became the way to heaven.
    Beginning from Abraham, Stephen's focal point is a message of relationship.
    Stephen emphasizes a faith relationship between Abraham and God. God promised an inheritance and a promised child, yet with no outward proof Abraham trusted in God.
    Stephen again emphasizes Joseph was blessed in a foreign land not in the promised land as was perceived by the Jews.
    When Moses was rejected by his own people and went to the wilderness, God humbled him, called him and commissioned him deliver the people of Israel.
    Continual rejection of God's messengers from the time of Moses to even now led them to reject Christ.

    If you choose sin and refuse to separate from it, the presence of God which consumes sin must consume you.

    Amen!(11)
  2. This is the fulfillment of God's promise through Jeremiah.
    Israel as a nation had broken the covenant - think divorce
    However God offers a new covenant - restored relationship, re-marry
    with His people - who are Israel - and He will re-instate the same laws

    Stephan was not preaching a new religion but a continuation, restoration of the Everlasting Covenant with God's people. The difference being now that the Covenant would be entered into by individuals not a nation and the temple would be in the hearts of the people. Eph 2:11-22

    Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, 
    Jer 31:32  not according to the covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Jehovah; 
    Jer 31:33  but this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, says Jehovah, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 

    Amen!(5)
  3. I find that in my life daily there are ‘little’ or larger situations in which I have the challenge to either stand for principle or compromise. One thing the Lord has been teaching me is that I don’t need to always be on the defensive. Sometimes the battle requires my silent adherence to principle. There are other situations when with few words the encouragement to do what is right is made clear. Then there are times when I have to have courage to say or do what I understand to be right.

    For me, if there’s even a hint of self righteousness or self importance I know I’m probably not speaking by the Spirit of God Who gives me courage and security in the power and righteousness of Christ not by my own righteousness or spiritual intelligence.

    Amen!(15)
    • "One thing the Lord has been teaching me is that I don’t need to always be on the defensive. Sometimes the battle requires my silent adherence to principle." I whole heartedly agree...and encouragement, yes goes a long way, especially when we go out visiting members, they don't need to hear the faults or disagreements within the church, even constructive critism should be laid to rest when we go visiting. I know this is a carry over of Mondays lesson but that is ok. We are still in the example of Steven's ministry.

      Amen!(1)
  4. Stephen's speech was not to save his own life or discount the false witnesses hired against him, but to give, by the Holy Spirit, the last appeal to these leaders of Israel, who's action was to "finish the transgression" spoken of in Daniel 9:24, thus fulfilling the 70 sevens determined upon them. In this act they would seal their fate and demonstrate their determined rebellion against God. Yet, Stephen's faithful testimony would become instrumental in the conversion of Saul/Paul.

    Stephen's underlying message was a call to "repent and believe the gospel". He recalled the goodness and faithfulness of God in His leading of Israel, while being faithful to remind them of their need of Christ's redeeming blood.

    The reaction of these leaders reveals the power of conviction that fell upon them.

    Amen!(9)

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