Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 7:1-3

Chapter 7:1 The high priests said, “Are these things so?”

Chapter 7:2 And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

Chapter 7:3 and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’

The high priest at the time was Caiaphas, who we have spoken of earlier and he is asking Stephen to explain himself. In verse 2, we begin the longest sermon recorded in the book of Acts and the theme of the sermon is found in verse 51 in which Stephen states to the people, “you are doing just as your fathers did”. In this sermon, Stephen reminds the people of all the privileges of the nation of Israel and their rejection of God’s messengers and then, finally, in verse 52, Stephen puts the blame for the death of Jesus on the hearers of his sermon.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:11-15

Chapter 6:11 Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”

Chapter 6:12 And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council.”

Chapter 6:13 They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against the holy place and the Law;

Chapter 6:14 for we have heard him say that this Nazarene , Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.”

Chapter 6:15 And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.

These men from the Synagogue of the Freedman were asking men to say that Stephen was making false statements about Moses and God. Stephen, because of these lies, was then led to the Council, or the Sanhedrin, which consisted of 70 or 72 elders and teachers of the nation, where these enemies of Christ twisted his words from most likely John 2:19 in which Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” We see in verse 15 how God used Stephen by giving him the face of an angel. Isn’t it amazing how God works!!!

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:8-10

Chapter 6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and power was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

Chapter 6:9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia rose up and argued with Stephen.

Chapter 6:10 But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

Stephen, with the power of the Holy Spirit, was stirring the people which was allowing more people to be converted. The Freedmen in verse 8 refers to Jewish freedman or descendants of free slaves from the various places mentioned. They had their own synagogue in Jerusalem. In verse 10, Stephen by using the power of the Holy Spirit had them baffled. The lesson here for me is that if I get in situations that are difficult and I do not quite know what to say, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can handle any situation in which I need to speak if I will get out of the way and allow Him to speak through me.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:5-7

Chapter 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, a proselyte from Antioch.

Chapter 6:6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

Chapter 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

The two of these men we know about are Stephen and Philip, who became known for their boldness in the spreading of the word. All these men were not Jews but had Greek names. Nicholas was a proselyte from Antioch which meant he was a resident of Antioch. By laying on of hands, the seven were given a formal sign of this service. The laying on of hands was sometimes related to healing as in Mark 5:23 or to the impartation of the Spirit (Mark 8:17, Mark 9:17 and Mark 19:6) or as a sign of ordination (Mark 13:3, I Tim 4:14). In verse 7, we see the spreading of the Gospel and the numbers increasing in the faith. The tearing of the veil in the Temple at the time of Christ’s death, probably aided in the conversion of the priests in the Temple. Isn’t it awesome to see people serving the Lord? I had this written in my notes on these verses and wanted to share: These men were changing people’s lives by their servanthood. The question is: Who am I having a direct or indirect impact on life changing?

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:1-4

Chapter 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.

 

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Chapter 6:2 And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.

Chapter 6:3 “But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

Chapter 6:4 “But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

Hellenistic Jews were Greek-speaking Jewish Christians and the Hebrews were Aramaic-speaking Jews and apparently they were having problems because the widows of the Hellenistic Jews were not receiving daily food like the Hebrew widows were. The apostles decided to appoint seven servants to serve food so that they, the apostles, could focus on the Word and prayer.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 5:40-42

Chapter 5:40 And they took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them to speak no more in the name of Jesus, and then released them.

Chapter 5:41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Chapter 5:42 And every day, in the temple, and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

These are some of my favorite verses in the Bible and the reasons are threefold: notice their obedience, suffering and their attitude. In verse 42, they continued to do what the Council had told them not to. They put Jesus first!!! Lesson to be learned. Second, they suffered for Christ. When is the last time you heard someone ask for prayer for allowing them to suffer for the cause of Christ? I personally do not remember in all my time in prayer services someone thanking the Lord for allowing them to suffer for the cause of Christ with the kind of attitude the apostles showed in verse 41. We have spoken about the attitude of the apostles and I ask you: How are you handling your obedience, suffering and attitude that God has put in your path in dealing with your daily life?

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 5:38-39

Chapter 5:38 “And so in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men, and let them alone, for if this plan or action should be of men, it will be overthrown;

Chapter 5:39 but if is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

Gamaliel gives them some great advice and I personally do not know what Gamaliel truly believed about Christ at this point in his life but I love verse 39 because I have found this true in my life. I need to be in God’s plan for what He wants to do with my life or else I am spinning my wheels and making a mess of the situation. Where are you today in what God has planned for you? Do you even know? Ask Him and He will guide you.