We Are Missionaries!

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This is a major turning point in the book of Acts.
This ends a series of three trials before the Sanhedrin.
The Sanhedrin was - A group that served as the judicial authority for the Jews.
The first trial ended in a warning Acts 4:21 “21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.”
The second a flogging Acts 5:40 “40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.”
Than the third trial ended in Stephens death.
So you see the progression of the assault on Christians.
And its interesting the greater the persecution the larger the church got.
Stephen was a man who wasn’t afraid of the persecution.
He was a man that had a heart after God. He loved the mission that God has given him for his life.
Stephen was a missionary, the early church had to be missional because if God
Cannot you not see we are on a mission!
We are missionaries!
Satan will do what ever it takes to stop you from your mission. He will scare you with words like safety, impossibility, no time, etc. etc. to hinder you from carrying out a mission.
I looked at my wife this morning and said we are missionaries. We are missionaries in Edgewood.
When you know your on a mission from God everything else piles in comparison.
My big toe hurts who care you’re on a mission from God!
Someone talked about me, who cares your on a mission from God!
My cars not working who cares I will walk you are on a mission.
Stephen had one of the greatest critiques of his contemporary fellow Jews in the Bible in Acts 7
Acts 6:8 NKJV
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
Steven was the only one outside of the Apostles in the book of acts that performed these signs and miracles.
Power from The Holy Spirit.
But Stephens character is mentioned three times throughout the book of Acts .
Acts 6:3 NKJV
3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
Stephen was a man of good reputation, Full of The Holy Spirit and wisdom.
His good reputation stemmed from him being full of the Holy Spirit and having wisdom.
So how he was known was based upon his character not just proclamations of who he thought he was.
So He was known for being full of The Spirit and wisdom. He had a reputation of being this way.
Stephen didn’t just claim he was a man full of The Spirit and wisdom but he was indeed a man full of The Spirit and wisdom.
This was a pattern in his life.
It’s easy to make claims about your character . Its entirely another thing to be known as a person with good character.
Proverbs 20:6 NKJV
6 Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?
He wasn’t just a man that claimed to be righteous but his life exemplified that.
This is who he has been consistently revealing himself to be.
Acts 6:5 “5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,”
- It said that Stephen was full of faith and wisdom
Acts 6:8 Now we see that Stephen was full of faith ( allot of translations say grace) and Power .
And he did great wonders and signs before the people.
Not to mention he was responsible for managing the distribution of goods to the widows.
Stephen was an incredible man of God.
He was a man that didn’t have a Apostle in front of his name. No Pastor in front of his name. Recent appointed to be a deacon.
You don’t need a title for your life to be consecrated unto God.
A man under authority but yet a force for the kingdom of God.
Faith, wisdom, grace, power, and above all the presence of the Spirit were the personal qualities that equipped him for the ultimate witness he would soon bear.
The Spirit and power are closely linked and led him to perform signs and wonders among the people.
He was the first other than the apostles to be described as working miracles.
Acts 6:9 NKJV
9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen.
Acts 6:10 NKJV
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
They couldn’t resist:
The couldn’t formulate they’re arguments to combat against Stephen .
They couldn’t out wit him .
The couldn’t process proper arguments to refute him.
They didn’t have a sustainable rebuttal to combat against he wisdom he was speaking.
They weren’t able to be hostile toward him.
Acts 6:11 NKJV
11 Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
They couldn’t resist the wisdom and the Spirit which he spoke so all they could do is start a conspiracy against him.
Imagine if someone knew some very personal things about you that involved sin. But not just one sin but multiple sin . And Not just your sin but sin about your mother and you grandmother and great grand dad.And they just went public with it on social media . How angry would you be? Now take that same angry and multiply it times 10
The filling of the Spirit
What does it mean to be Filled with the Spirit.
I will say intensity is not a fruit of The Spirit.
Some of the greatest messages I heard where from men of God very composed. Very calm reverencing God as they communicate the scriptures.
The filling of The Holy Spirit is related to Christian experience , power , and service .
The work of the Holy Spirit happens at the point of salvation which is once and for all, which is Baptism , regeneration, indwelling, sealing. That’s once and for all .
But the filling of The Spirit is on going. It’s a repeated experience.
The filling of The Spirit may be defined as a spiritual state where The Holy Spirit is fulfilling all that He came to do in the heart and life of the individual believers.
It is not a matter of you acquiring more of the Spirit , but rather The Spirit acquiring of you.
Being filled with The Spirit shouldn’t be an abnormal situation but every believer is commanded to be filled with the Spirit
Ephesians 5:18 NKJV
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
If you are not filled with the Spirit you are in a state of partial disobedience.
The state of spiritual maturity should be contrasted with being filled with the Spirit.
A new believer can get saved and be filled with the Spirit but that doesn’t make them mature. You can manifest the power of The Spirit but still need time for maturity . Maturity happens with time and experience with God .
Matt 13:30 - The wheat grows until the harvest.
God works in His church through gifted men with spiritual gifts to perfect the saints for the work of the ministry and to edify the body of Christ so that Christians may grow up in faith knowledge and spiritual stature
Eph 4:11-16 “11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
Peter speaks about new babes needing spiritual milk 1 Pet. 2:2 “2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”
We are told to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18 “18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” .
There is a relation to one who is filled with the Spirit and spiritual maturity. The person who is constantly filled with The Spirit will grow more rapidly toward maturity than one who is not.
The the early church the Spirit of God repeatedly filled those who sought to do the will of God, as in the case of Peter Acts 4:8, the company of Christians for prayed for boldness and the power of God Acts 4:31, And Paul after his conversion Acts 9:17
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