Tom Harding

When Stephen went into the synagogue of the Jews to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, they could not resist the wisdom by which he spoke, nor could they collect any evidence to argue against him (Acts 6:9-10). Instead of listening and taking heed to the gospel he preached, they went about to set up false witnesses to say they heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, God, the holy place and the law (Acts 6:11-14). Stephen was a faithful servant of God who would not speak any evil words about the things of God. The Scripture says he was, "A man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 6:5). I will tell you what he really preached that made them so angry. Stephen, when he preached about MOSES, preached that Jesus Christ was that Prophet that Moses said would come (Deut. 18:18). Moses wrote about the coming of the Just One. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me" (John 5:46). When Stephen preached about GOD, he plainly told them that Jesus Christ was God almighty manifested in the flesh, come to redeem His people from their sins. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). When he preached about THE HOLY PLACE, (the mercy seat, the ark of the covenant and the Day of Atonement), he preached unto them that they were only pictures pointing to the real Lamb, Mercy Seat and the only atonement for sin is, Jesus Christ (John 1:29). When Stephen preached about THE LAW, I am sure that he told them that Jesus Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill, honor and magnify the law on the behalf of His elect (Matt. 5:17, Isa. 42:21). This true messenger of the gospel was faithful to declare that Jesus Christ is "ALL AND IN ALL" in the gospel. Even though this message cost him his life, he never compromised the message to pacify his enemies, but was faithful to glorify Jesus Christ. God help us to emulate Stephen's attitude and his boldness in declaring the message of grace! Even when the enemies of the gospel of God's grace accuse us of speaking blasphemy, let us never compromise one word of truth (l Cor. 9:16).

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.

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