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Acts 7 - The purpose of the Old Testament

The Bible has lots of uses & applications, but it only has one key purpose. Make sure you know what it is.


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Acts 7 Summary


Stephen is one of the first set of deacons appointed to serve the needy in the early Church. Certainly nobody would criticize him for the work he did to make sure the widows and disenfranchised were taken care of. So why is he on trial with the establishment?


He's on trial for preaching the gospel, and for many in this world, calling people back to the truth of God's Word and His grace, mercy and peace is the most offensive thing a person can testify to because in order to accept the gospel, one must also submit to the Lordship of Christ, something the establishment - both then and now - refuses to do.


Stephen defends the gospel by demonstrating that the Old Testament history that the Jewish establishment clung to so tightly was not a story of Israel's greatness as they supposed it was, but it's rather a story of God's faithfulness to Israel despite Israel's repeated rejection of the truth.


Stephen begins with Abraham and his descendants and then shows how the Israelites continually rejected the leaders and prophets that God had sent to them.


The final straw comes when Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit (v55), tells his persecutors that he sees the Son of Man - Jesus - standing at the right hand of God. Full of rage, the establishment drags him out of town and kills them, all while a new character to the story looks on: Saul of Tarsus.



Dig Deeper


There are lots of good reasons to read the awesome stories in the Old Testament: they're really entertaining for starters, and we can glean a ton of good advice as to how we should - or more often should not - conduct our own lives.


But Stephen reminds us of the primary reason for the Old Testament: to point us to the coming Savior, Jesus Christ.


You're invited to join us every Sunday evening at 6 PM this year as we work our way through these stories that point to Jesus.



AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of glory (v2)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you do not resist the Holy Spirit the way that so many others throughout history have done (v51)

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

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