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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Acts 7 - Stephen's Sermon & Martyrdom


Acts 7

Stephen’s Sermon. This one sermon is one of the best summaries in Scripture of God’s plan for communion with mankind, and the role Israel played in God’s plan. In many ways St. Stephen sums up the whole of OT history in this one sermon.

3. Gen 12:1

7. Gen. 15:14

28. Exodus 2:14

30. St. Stephen is building up to his conclusion that these OT appearances where Jesus Christ. He was the Angel of the Lord.

32. Ex. 3:6, 15

33. Ex. 3:5

34. Ex. 3:7,8, 10

35. Again He is showing that it was Jesus Christ who gave the law to Moses.

37. Deut. 18:15; Peter had used that same passage in his Pentecost sermon.

40. Ex. 32:1, 23

42. Amos 5:21 - 25

43. Amos 5:26, 27

45. The Greek version of Joshua is Jesus. So the Hebrew leaders would have called Jesus by the name Joshua rather than using the Greek name Jesus.

49. Is. 66:1

50. Is. 66:2

53. Deut 33:2; Gal. 3:19, Heb 2:2

56. St. Gregory the Great Why does mark (16:19) testify that Christ is seated, and Stephen that he saw Him standing? You know, my friends that one is seated to judge, and one stands to fight or bring assistance. Our Redeemer was taken up into heaven; He judges all things now, and at the end He will come as Judge. Mark describes Him as sitting after His ascension, since we will see Him as Judge at the end…Stephen, who was still engaged in a painful struggle, saw the One Who was his Helper standing, because His grace was fighting for him from heaven so that he could overcome the unbelief of his persecutors on earth.

- Stephen: Being the first martyr and one of the first deacons Stephen is commemorated on the iconostasis of most Orthodox Churches. The door he is on is called one of the Deacon’s door.

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