This chapter is full of boldness. Stephen is such an excellent example of bold proclamation that the believers have been praying for throughout the book of Acts (Acts 4:29).

Stephen is the first Christian martyr. He was killed under the observation of a man named Saul. We will see in the coming days how God takes this man, Saul, convicts him of his sin and uses him to plant the church throughout the world.

Stephen’s Speech

Did you recognize much of Stephen’s speech? Most of chapter 7 is an excellent telling of the sovereign work of God throughout the history of the Old Testament through the crucifixion of Jesus, the Righteous One. A goal that I have for my family is that myself, my wife, and each of my children will be able to share this story with understanding and conviction. Stephen did not step aside to prepare a sermon. He was saturated with the story of God in His people for the salvation of the nations, just as we have saturated ourselves with this story in recent months. When the time came for Him to speak the Spirit filled Him with these words again and He spoke with boldness.

A Few Observations

  • It is when Stephen was proclaiming Christ that he was brought into the presence of Christ to see His glory.
  • Every passage that refers to Jesus and the throne of God speaks of Him either sitting on the throne or sitting at the right hand of God. Jesus has finished His work and He is seated. This passage, on the other hand, says that Stephen saw Jesus “standing at the right hand of God”. I don’t know how much to read into this observation, but certainly the death of His saints, for whom He died, is precious in His sight.
  • Truly, Stephen took up His cross and died with the sight of Jesus in his eyes and the words of Jesus on his lips.