logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Christian Living Site

BellaOnline's Christian Living Editor

g

Stephen the First Christian Martyr


Stephen's first appearance in the Bible is in chapter 6 of the book of Acts. We see that he is an active member of the church. Due to the growth of the early church, the disciples began to experience problems in the distribution of food to the needy. After complaints began to surface that some of the widows were being overlooked, the apostles asked the church body to select seven men, who were known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom, to take the responsibility for this ministry. Stephen was one of the seven men chosen by all the disciples.

Stephen was also an effective preacher of the gospel and did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. In response, this drew strenuous opposition from the members of the Synagogue. They argued with Stephen but couldn't stand up against his wisdom for he was led by the Spirit. When debates failed his antagonists resorted to spreading lies about his preaching.

Stephen was taken in front of the Sanhedrin where he was accused of speaking against the law of Moses and the temple. There he gave the longest speech recorded in the book of Acts, thoroughly defending himself and mapping out God's plan of salvation.

Beginning with Abraham, he spoke of God's involvement with the patriarchs and prophets, throughout history until the coming of Jesus. He explained that God does not reside in a man-made temple, nor is He limited to a particular place. God calls His people out, accompanying and directing them as they go. God resides with His people and the holy place is wherever God may be. Jesus came to replace the temple and fulfill the law. Stephen then accused the Jews of being stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears. He said that they resisted the Holy Spirit, persecuted and killed the prophets and betrayed and murdered the Righteous one of whom the prophets spoke. They had received the law of Moses but did not obey it.

The Bible says that as he spoke, and the Sanhedrin looked intently at him, they saw that his face became like that of an angel. This may be the same radiance that appeared on Moses' face when he came down from Mount Sinai after meeting with God.

After Stephen's speech, the men of the Synagogue were furious and intent of stoning him to death. Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and said that he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. His persecutors covered the ears, yelled louder, and began to stone him. They laid their clothes at the feet of a young Pharisee named Saul. (This was the Saul, also called Paul, who was to become a great evangelist for Christ.) As Stephen was being stoned, just before he died, he prayed two prayers. The first was, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." and the second, "Lord do not hold their sin against them."

Stephen is known as the first Christian martyr.
    There are several similarities between Stephen's trial and death and that of Jesus.
  • He was accused by false witnesses.
  • He told the truth.
  • He prayed for God to receive his spirit and forgave his attackers.
    Stephen is described as a man "full of faith and of the Holy Spirit," and "a man full of God's grace and power."
  • By faith in Jesus' sacrifice, we are saved.
  • The Holy Spirit takes residence within us when we become part of God's family.
  • God's grace is the sweetest thing we can ever know.
  • God's power takes my breath away. It is both wonderful and frightening.

In Hebrew, the name Stephen means wealth or crown.

Read about Stephen in Acts 6:3-8:2, Acts 11:19, and Acts 22:20




A Walk With the Women of the Bible
EBook by Lynne Chapman

Join me in getting to know some amazing
women of the Bible
while we extract valuable insights and
lessons from their lives.

Now available for Kindle under new title
A Walk With EVE

Also availble in paperback from Cafe Press.

Names of God Ebook

Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
Our God is given names in Scripture that
describe the characteristics of His personality.
Experience God through the names given Him in Scripture.

Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Twitter Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Facebook Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to MySpace Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Del.icio.us Digg Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Yahoo My Web Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Google Bookmarks Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Stumbleupon Add Stephen+the+First+Christian+Martyr to Reddit



 



Apostles
Barnabas - Son of Encouragement
Amos
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map




For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Christian Living Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
talk
Talk to Editor
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Lynne Chapman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lynne Chapman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lynne Chapman for details.

g


g features
Expectations

Prayer With Friends in High Places

Prayer Power

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor