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Tanya~
Oct 14th 2008, 07:16 AM
Acts 7:54-60 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:54-60;&version=50;)

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
NKJV

~~ Question numbers below correspond to verse numbers above. ~~
~~ Questions marked with an *asterisk are optional challenge or for extra study. ~~~

54.
To whom is this verse referring? (Acts 6:9, 12, 15; 7:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2012,%2015;%207:1;&version=50;))
What ‘things’ are in view? (Acts 7:51-53 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:51-53;&version=50;))
How did Stephen’s words affect them?
What did they do?

55-56.
What does this verse say about the Holy Spirit?
Describe Stephen’s experience, what he saw and what he said.
Who is the Son of Man?
Where is He, and what is He doing?

57-58.
How did they respond to what he said?
What did they do to Stephen?
*Who were the “witnesses?” (Acts 6:9, 13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2013;&version=50;))
What new person is named in this verse?
What do we learn about him here?

59-60
Describe what happened next.
What do we learn about Stephen’s expectation concerning his spirit?
*How might this help answer the question, “What happens to a Christian at death?”
What do we learn about Stephen’s attitude toward his executioners?
*Why do you think Stephen might have made this his last prayer? (See Luke 23:33-34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:33-34;&version=50;))



Additional discussion available on this passage here (http://bibleonlinestudy.blogspot.com/2008/10/stoning-of-stephen.html).

mcgyver
Oct 14th 2008, 03:38 PM
TanyaP,

Thanks so much for this week's installment!

Something I'd like to add, that ties directly into the verse by verse study that you're doing here...and that is the nature of the message.

We saw it in Peter's great sermon, and we see it here in Stephen's apology before the Sanhedrin; something I believe is well worth looking at:

To preface, in the early church there were 4 kinds of preaching:

1. Kerugma: A plain statement of the facts of the Christian Message.

2. Didache: (Lit. Teaching), Explaining the meaning of the facts
of Kerugma

3. Paraklesis: (Lit. Exhortation) "Walk the talk"

4. Homolia: The treatment of any aspect of life in light of the Christian
message.

Throughout the book of Acts, we see primarily Kerugma; which (as outlined by Barclay) follows a pattern that is repeated through the entire NT:

1. There is proof that Jesus and His works are the fulfillment of OT
prophecy.

2. That in Jesus, the Messiah has come, fulfilling the Messianic prophecies
and lineage.

3. That He was of the house of David, that Jesus taught, worked miracles,
was crucified, raised the third day, and was (is) at the right hand of
God.

4. That in Jesus alone there was (is) salvation, and that He would come
again.

Kinda wanted to throw that out, so as we go verse by verse we can see how all these things worked together to proclaim the message. :)

RoadWarrior
Oct 15th 2008, 05:07 AM
54.
To whom is this verse referring? (Acts 6:9, 12, 15; 7:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2012,%2015;%207:1;&version=50;))
The Synagogue of the Freedman (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia)
The elders, scribes, and those who sat in the council
The high priest


What ‘things’ are in view? (Acts 7:51-53 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:51-53;&version=50;))
Stephen has been reminding them of the sins of the fathers, and pointing out that they did the same sins.

How did Stephen’s words affect them?
They were "cut to the heart"

What did they do?
They gnashed at him with their teeth.

55-56.
What does this verse say about the Holy Spirit?
Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit.
Describe Stephen’s experience, what he saw and what he said.
He gazed into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at His right hand. He said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
Who is the Son of Man?
Jesus
Where is He, and what is He doing?
Standing at the right hand of God.

57-58.
How did they respond to what he said?
They cried out loudly to drown him out, and put their hand over their ears to keep from hearing him.
What did they do to Stephen?
They ran at him with one accord, cast him out of the city, and stoned him.
*Who were the “witnesses?” (Acts 6:9, 13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2013;&version=50;))
The people who were there and looking on, who also laid down their clothes and helped stone Stephen.
What new person is named in this verse?
a young man named Saul
What do we learn about him here?
He was chosen to guard the clothing of those who were doing the stoning.

59-60
Describe what happened next.
They were hurling stones at Stephen to kill him, and he cried out to God. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
What do we learn about Stephen’s expectation concerning his spirit?
That his spirit would go to Jesus, who was standing waiting for him.
*How might this help answer the question, “What happens to a Christian at death?”
Stephen expects to be with Jesus immediately. Paul said a similar thing later, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."
What do we learn about Stephen’s attitude toward his executioners?
Stephen knelt, knowing he was dying, he said, "Lord do not charge them with this in."
*Why do you think Stephen might have made this his last prayer? (See Luke 23:33-34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:33-34;&version=50;))
Stephen had compassion for those who were killing him. Like Jesus, he realized that they were blinded and unknowing of the sin that they were commiting. So he asked that it not be held against them. He loves them as brothers, in spite of their hostility and hatred toward himself.

Great section, Tanya. It is perfect for me right now, as the Lord has been teaching me deeper truths about compassion for others during the last few weeks.

P.S. I read your blog entry, that is excellent. I have also been pondering during the last 24 hours the same truth. When someone hurts us, we have two ways to respond. We can be upset, angry and grow bitter toward them. Or we can choose to have compasssion for their damaged, blinded selves, and forgive them. The first will set up a stronghold for Satan in our lives. The second will set us free to worship God in spirit and in truth.

Phroggie
Oct 15th 2008, 09:27 PM
54.
To whom is this verse referring? (Acts 6:9, 12, 15; 7:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2012,%2015;%207:1;&version=50;)) The Synagogue of Freedmen (Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia), the elders and teachers of the law, the high priest, and other members of the Sanhedrin

What ‘things’ are in view? (Acts 7:51-53 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:51-53;&version=50;)) Stephen is reminding them of the sins committed by their forefathers (persecuting prophets, killing anyone predicting the coming of the Messiah) and pointing out they are doing EXACTLY the same thing.

How did Stephen’s words affect them? they were cut to the heart (i.e. furious)

What did they do?gnashed their teeth at Stephen

55-56.
What does this verse say about the Holy Spirit? Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Describe Stephen’s experience, what he saw and what he said. The presence of the Holy Spirit in Stephen's body allowed him to gaze into heaven and to see the glory of God and Jesus standing at God's right hand. Stephen says, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!'

Who is the Son of Man? Jesus

Where is He, and what is He doing? in heaven, standing at the right hand of the Father.

57-58.
How did they respond to what he said? They covered their ears, and yelling at the top of their voices, rushed at him. (NIV)

What did they do to Stephen? dragged him out of the city and stoned him.

*Who were the “witnesses?” (Acts 6:9, 13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2013;&version=50;)) Those individuals who had been persuaded by the Synagogue of the Freedmen to falsely testify against Stephen.

What new person is named in this verse? a young man named Saul

What do we learn about him here? The witnesses laid down their clothes at his feet for him to watch over while they joined the others in stoning Stephen.

59-60
Describe what happened next. As they threw stones at him, Stephen prayed 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.'

What do we learn about Stephen’s expectation concerning his spirit? That his spirit would go to Jesus who, Stephen could see, was right there before him.

*How might this help answer the question, “What happens to a Christian at death?” Thanks RoadWarrior for your answer to this one, it gave me a better understanding.

What do we learn about Stephen’s attitude toward his executioners?
Knowing he was going to die at the hands of these men, he knelt down and cried out, 'Lord, do not charge them with this sin.'

*Why do you think Stephen might have made this his last prayer? (See Luke 23:33-34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:33-34;&version=50;)) Luk 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Like Jesus, Stephen realized that these men were being blinded from the truth and had no idea as to the immensity of the sin they were committing. So, he asked God to not hold their actions against them. Despite their hatred towards him Stephen still loved them as brothers.

ph33r
Oct 20th 2008, 04:22 AM
Acts 7:54-60 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:54-60;&version=50;)

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
NKJV

~~ Question numbers below correspond to verse numbers above. ~~
~~ Questions marked with an *asterisk are optional challenge or for extra study. ~~~

54.
To whom is this verse referring? (Acts 6:9, 12, 15; 7:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2012,%2015;%207:1;&version=50;))
Jewish people from the area Stephen was.
What ‘things’ are in view? (Acts 7:51-53 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:51-53;&version=50;))
Stephen was pointing out their past sins and what they had done to previous prophets.
How did Stephen’s words affect them?
They freaked out, it really hurt them deep because they knew it was true.
What did they do?
They yelled at him and eventually stoned him.

55-56.
What does this verse say about the Holy Spirit?
He was full of the holy spirit and it showed him the Heavens
Describe Stephen’s experience, what he saw and what he said.
He saw the Glory of God and Jesus standing with him in Heaven. He then said look I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing next to God.
Who is the Son of Man?
Jesus
Where is He, and what is He doing?
He is at the right hand of God, standing

57-58.
How did they respond to what he said?
They covered their ears to not hear him then they drug him out of the city to stone him.
What did they do to Stephen?
They drug him out of the city to stone him.
*Who were the “witnesses?” (Acts 6:9, 13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%206:9,%2013;&version=50;))
The false witnesses who testified againist Stephen.
What new person is named in this verse?
Saul
What do we learn about him here?
He wasn't on Stepehens side he was a witness but still not one of the group persay.

59-60
Describe what happened next.
They stoned Stephen.
What do we learn about Stephen’s expectation concerning his spirit?
That his spirit was going to be with Jesus in Heaven
*How might this help answer the question, “What happens to a Christian at death?”
His soul goes to heavan and he is given a glorified body.
What do we learn about Stephen’s attitude toward his executioners?
He asked for forgivness for them and he had compassion for them.
*Why do you think Stephen might have made this his last prayer? (See Luke 23:33-34 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:33-34;&version=50;))
He knew where he was going and he wanted them to have the same chance, also Jesus prayed this when he was killed.

The end kind of parallels Jesus's death in that he asked God to forgive the people who killed him. Also another thing is amazing is that even after the obvious signs Stephen showed they still hardened their hearts towards Jesus.

Tanya~
Oct 20th 2008, 09:41 PM
Please find the next set of Questions for this study here! http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1833591#post1833591