"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man
of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
-- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I. Big Idea: Rejection because of righteousness reveals the rewards of Christ’s acceptance.
II. The Freedmen
A. The religious leaders, in response to God’s work, became jealous and angry.
B. The Freedmen found their identity in their national and religious heritage.
III. Israel’s History, in a Nutshell
A. Stephen’s message is a birds-eye-view of God’s faithfulness. Acts 7:2-53
B. Stephen’s message also illustrates how people resist and reject God’s grace.
A. The people who attacked Stephen thought they could stop the gospel.
B. If we’re faithful we’ll be rewarded. Luke 22:69: 1 Corinthian 4:2-4; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:1
A. Pray for opportunities to share the good news.
B. Seeing Christ leads to fearlessness.
I. Big Idea: God weights our motives because His salvation occurs from the inside out. 1 Corinthians 4:2-5
II. Murderous Treats
A. If we do something in faith – it’s going to bother people who don’t believe. Acts 9:1
B. God moved the church to disburse. Acts 1:8
III. The Scattered
A. The true motives are often revealed amid hardship.
B. God has a plan for all peoples to become one in Christ. Revelation 5:9
A. God is not a power to be manipulated.
B. Have the motives of our hearts changed? Matthew 7:15
A. Receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
B. Preach the gospel.
Big Idea: Because God calls, we can respond.
A. God does a work within us to call us to Him. Isaiah 53:3-5; John 6:44; Romans 3:11; Ephesians 2:8-9
B. Philip’s devotion was reflected in his actions and words.
III. The Gospel
A. Our awareness of Christ allows us to point others to the Savior we’ve found in Him.
B. The Spirit spills out. Ephesians 1:7-9
A. Faith in Christ is demonstrated and celebrated through baptism.
B. The eunuch’s focus was on Jesus, not Philip!
A. The narrowness of the gospel offers limitless possibilities.
B. Learn to express the gospel at every turn.
Big Idea: Jesus opens our eyes to His glory, so we can live for His purposes in a blind world.
A. Saul loved his traditions more than God. Acts 26:11; Philippians 3:4-6
B. Jesus isn’t dead!
A. In moments, Saul went from being a Jesus hater to trusting Him as LORD. Isaiah
42:18-21; Acts 22:6
B. Saul met His God and Savior. Philippians 3:7-12
A. Ananias had faith, despite his fears.
B. Paul showed he had surrendered to Jesus as his Savior. Romans 7:7-25
A. Pray that Jesus turns enemies into His friends. Matthew 5:44
B. Changing with God’s help — speaks a powerful, undeniable word.