As the Deer As the deer thirsts for the water, LordSo my soul longs after You.My soul thirsts for the living God.Yes, my soul longs after You.And I pour out my soul deep within me,Deep within me, I pour out my soul.Draw me deeper Lord, deeper Lord, in You.Draw me deeper Lord, deeper Lord, in You.
Acts 5 ...great fear seized the whole church
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.(Acts 1:8) Theme of Acts
Outline of Acts 1:8
No Needy People • 4:32-37 • One in heart and mind • No problems yet! • Testifying of the Resurrection (33) • Barnabas intro
Son of Encouragement Barnabas
Dishonesty in the Church • 5:1-11 • Ananias & Sapphira • Claimed a greater gift than they gave • Lied to God • They fell dead
The church is something like Noah’s ark. If it weren’t for the storm outside, you couldn’t stand the smell inside.– a late medieval manuscript
Journal Assignment #2 How have you been disappointed by Christians in the past? What impact did this have on your faith?
Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. Acts 5:11
Aftermath of Ananias & Sapphira (5:12-16) • Apostles performed miracles • Believers met together • People feared them • People respected them • Their numbers grew • People came to them for healing
The Apostles In Jail (5:18) Put there by jealous Sadducees
The Apostles Delivered • Angel opened the jail doors • Told to go to temple courts • Sanhedrin was assembled • They are teaching the people! (25) • Determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood! (28)
Model of Herod’s Temple Solomon’s Colonnade Temple Courts
Peter’s Sermon (29-32) • Must obey God • God raised Jesus • You killed him! • Repentance and forgiveness of sins • We are witnesses • Holy Spirit is a witness
Gamaliel to the Rescue (33-42) • Gamaliel the Pharisee, member of the Sanhedrin – teacher of Apostle Paul (22:3) • False Messiah’s – Theudas and Judas • You can’t fight God! • Had them flogged (40 stripes minus one) • Left rejoicing • Kept on teaching!
Acts 6 The Grecian Widows
Church Complaints • 6:1-7 • Grecian Jews vs. Hebraic Jews
Greek speaking Greek culture Diaspora (scattered) Aramaic speaking Judean Culture Local Grecian Jews vs. Hebraic Jews ישךאל ΕΛΛΑΣ
Church Complaints • 6:1-7 • Grecian Jews vs. Hebraic Jews • Grecian widows were being neglected. • “The 12” responded.
1st Deacons? • Deacon = diakonos • “Wait on tables” (2) = diakonein • Forerunners to the deacons we find in Paul’s letters • Qualifications = full of the Spirit and wisdom (3)
7 The Apostles set the standards. The Church did the choosing.
The Seven • They all had Greek names • Probably trusted by Grecians • Apostles laid hands on them • Sign of selection • Way of bestowing gift of miracles (8:17-18)
Stephen Speaks Out! • Full of God’s grace and power (8) • Performed miracles (1st non-apostle) • Opposition in Synagogue of the Freedmen (former slaves)
Roman Social Status • Emperor • Senators • Equestrians • Decuriones • Plebians • Freedmen • Slaves 1-2% 98%
Synagogue • Jewish houses of prayer and worship • Developed during the Babylonian Exile (586 B.C. and following) • Center of Jewish communities (religion, economics, society) – John 9
Synagogue in Berea
Synagogue in Berea
Stephen Speaks Out! • Full of God’s grace and power (8) • Performed miracles (1st non-apostle) • Opposition in Synagogue of the Freedmen (former slaves) • Brought before the Sanhedrin
Acts 7 Stephen's Sermon
Caiaphas the High Priest(A.D. 27-36) • High Priest during trial of Jesus • Had warned Peter and John (4:18) • Presides over the trial of Stephen
Stephen’s Sermon • Longest sermon in Acts • Only sermon by non-Apostle in Acts • High point of “witnesses…in Jerusalem”
The Sermon Itself • Speaks as a brother (our fathers) – 2, 12, 15, 39, 44 (until 51!) • A review of Jewish history from Abraham to Jesus. • Major points: • God is not confined to the Temple • They had rejected Jesus like their fathers rejected the prophets
So, in conclusion... • You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! (51) • Probably was interrupted before he finished – no mention of Resurrection
The Stoning of Stephen • The Sanhedrin “simply lost it.” • This was not justice; this was a lynching. • Took him “out of the city” • They stoned him.
Stephen’s Response • Saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God • Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. • Lord, do not hold this sin against them. (Lk. 23:34) • He fell asleep (60) – Christian language for death (1 Thess. 4:13)
Journal Assignment #3 Why is forgiving someone who has hurt me such a difficult thing to do?
Introduction of Saul from Tarsus • They laid their clothes at the feet of Saul. (58) • Saul was there, giving approval to his (Stephen’s) death. (8:1)
Introduction of Saul from Tarsus • They laid their clothes at the feet of Saul. (58) • Saul was there, giving approval to his (Stephen’s) death. (8:1) • Tarsus was the capital of Cilicia (6:9)