The God of glory appeared to Abraham
1 Then the high priest asked him, Are these things so? 2 And he said, Men, brothers, and fathers, listen; The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3 And said to him, Get out of your country and away from your relatives and come into the land that I will show you.
- Ezekiel 20: which is the glory of all lands
- Deuteronomy 8:7-8 For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey
4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Haran: and from there, when his father was dead, he moved him into this land, in which you now dwell. 5 And he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child.
- This promise was the carrot dangling before the donkey to keep him moving forward in faith.
- 1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ
God judges those that enslave others
God was with Him and delivered Him out of all his troubles
6 And God told him that his seed would sojourn in a strange land; and that they would enslave them and treat them evil four hundred years. 7 And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge, said God: and after that they will come out and serve me in this place. 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: so Abraham fathered Isaac and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac fathered Jacob; and Jacob fathered the twelve patriarchs. 9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
11 Now there came a famine over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13 And the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers; and Joseph's family was made known to Pharaoh. 14 Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob to him, and all his relatives, 75 souls. 15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died, he, and our fathers, 16 And were carried over into Shechem and laid in the grave that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Shechem. 17 But when the time of the promise drew near, that God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 Until another king arose who did not know Joseph. 19 They dealt slyly with our kindred and treated our fathers evil, so that they cast out their young children so that they might not live.
- Pharaoh commanded that all male children born were to be cast into the Nile River—Exodus 1.
20 At this time Moses was born and was beautiful to God and was nourished up in his father's house three months: 21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was a full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and struck the Egyptian: 25 For he thought his brothers would understand that by his hand God would deliver them: but they did not understand.
- God had shown Moses that God would deliver Israel from Egypt through him.
26 And the next day he showed himself to them as they were fighting and would have reconciled them peacefully, saying, Sirs, you are brothers; why do you wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away saying, Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Will you kill me, as you did the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then Moses fled at this saying and was a foreigner in the land of Midian where he fathered two sons. 30 And when forty years had passed an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai in a flame of fire in a bush.
- Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
31 When Moses saw it he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to see it, the voice of the Lord came to him, 32 saying, I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and dared not look. 33 Then the Lord said to him, Take your shoes off your feet: for the place where you stand is holy ground.
- Since God’s Messiah, Jesus, has accomplished the role as sin-bearer, God is now free to forgive men’s sins purely on the basis of their faith in that permanent sacrifice. He can now write His laws in men’s hearts, come and live within them in the person of His Holy Spirit and empower men to keep His laws out of a motive of love and gratitude. From Hal Lindsay’s The Messiah.
- Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love
He sees our affliction
34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made you a ruler and a judge? The same one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out after he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red sea and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel that the Lord your God will raise up a prophet to you of your brothers, like me; him will you hear. 38 This is he who was in the church in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him in the mount Sinai and with our fathers: who received the living oracles to give to us
- Stephen identifies Jesus as the fulfillment of Moses prophecy.
- He says Jesus is the One God promised to send into the world like us.
- In verse 30, 38 the angel of the Lord that spoke was God Himself because he said, I am the God … and gave the 10 commandments.
- John 6:63 The words I speak to you they are spirit and they are life
39 Whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: since this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O house of Israel, have you offered me killed beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness? 43 Yes, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star/constellation of your god Remphan, statues that you made to worship: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
- Romans 1:25-26 they changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…
44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking to Moses, that he make it according to the design that he had seen. 45 Which our fathers that came after brought in with Joshua into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, until the days of David; 46 Who found favor before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built him a house. 48 However the most High does not dwell in temples made with hands; as the prophet says, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me? asks the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 50 Have not my hand made all these things? 51 You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit: you do as your fathers did. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they have killed those that announced beforehand of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have now been betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. 54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, 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 and stopped their ears and ran on him with one mind, 58 and cast him out of the city and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling on God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, do not lay this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
- Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they do not know not what they do.
- 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident and willing to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
God’s word and works bring great joy
1 And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church that was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
- John 15:20-21 Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord is. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you
- Psalm 23:4 though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me…
3 As for Saul, he ravaged the church, entering into every house and dragging out men and women, he put them in prison. 4 Therefore those that were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them. 6 And the people with one accord listened to the things that Philip spoke, hearing and seeing the miracles he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies and those that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.
Only God is good; only God is great
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, who before in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, claiming to be some great one: 10 To whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest saying, This man is the great power of God. 11 And they held him in honor because for a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
- Mark 10:18 There is none good but one, that is, God.
God gave us the greatest gift, Himself
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and was continually amazed, watching the miracles and signs that were done. 14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them: 15 Who, when they came down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit: 16 (For he still had not fallen on any of them: they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus only.) 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 Now when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, Give me also this power, that on whomever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. 20 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be bought with money. 21 You have no part or lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray to God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.
- God’s gift can’t be bought. It is wicked to want what God can do but not want God.
24 Then Simon answered and said, Pray to the Lord for me that none of these things that you have spoken come upon me.
- Praying for others is our privilege.
- John 14:14 If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
He guides into areas of fruitful service
He died in our place willingly
25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. 26 And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near and join yourself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran there to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what you are reading? 31 And he said, How can I unless some man guide me? And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so he did not open his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who will declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch spoke to Philip and said, I ask you, of whom does this prophet speak? Of himself or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
Knowledge of the Lord brings rejoicing
36 And as they went on their way, they came to some water: and the eunuch said, Look, here is water; what hinders me from being baptized? And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 37 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 38 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away so that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 39 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.
SUMMARY: Acts 7-8
- The God of glory appeared to Abraham
- God judges those that enslave others
- God was with Joseph and delivered Him out of all his troubles
- He sees our affliction
- God’s word and works bring great joy
- Only God is good; only God is great
- God gave us the greatest gift, Himself
- He guides into areas of fruitful service
- He died in our place willingly
- Knowledge of Him brings rejoicing