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Lesson 15. Acts, Chapter 7. Time Frame (Acts 7). Paul’s conversion (Acts 9) A reference back to Lesson 3 reveals that we have placed the conversion of Paul to approximately 34 AD The events of Chapter 6 take place not long before his conversion.

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lesson 15

Lesson 15

Acts, Chapter 7

time frame acts 7
Time Frame (Acts 7)
  • Paul’s conversion (Acts 9)
    • A reference back to Lesson 3 reveals that we have placed the conversion of Paul to approximately 34 AD
    • The events of Chapter 6 take place not long before his conversion.
    • Chapter 7’s events immediately follow the accusations of Acts 6:8-15
stephen s address vs 1 53 1
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 1
  • The Purpose of Stephen’s address
    • First, a defense against the false accusations of blasphemy lodged against him.
    • Less a defense of self, and more a defense of the gospel he preached
    • Second, a means of convicting the Jews of their sins. Specifically, of rejecting the one sent by God
    • Note: Any perceived discrepancies in Stephen’s history can be resolved.
stephen s address vs 1 53 2
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 2
  • A Breakdown of His Address (Reese)
    • The case of Abraham and the Patriarchs (emphasis on God). 7:1-16
    • The case of Moses in Egypt (emphasis on Moses). 7:17-29
    • The case of Israel in the Wilderness (emphasis on the Law). 7:30-43
    • The case of the Tabernacle and the Temple (emphasis on the Temple). 7:44-50
    • The application. 7:51-53
stephen s address vs 1 53 3
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 3
  • The Call of Abraham (1-8)
    • Stephen, in giving this long history, showed a reverence toward the history and institutions of the Jews. (Thus contradicting the false charges against him).
    • Note: Stephen reveals details concerning Abraham’s calling (first from Mesopotamia) that are not found in the Genesis account. His words supplement our knowledge of O.T.
stephen s address vs 1 53 4
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 4
  • The Call of Abraham (1-8)
    • Events of Genesis 11:27 – 12:4 summarized.
    • Abraham lived a nomadic life in Canaan. Yet, God has promised that his descendents would possess the land.
    • Abraham begot Isaac, and circumcised him on the eight day (a covenant with God).
    • Isaac, Jacob, 12 patriarchs.
stephen s address vs 1 53 5
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 5
  • The Patriarchs in Egypt (9-16)
    • God used the patriarchs’ jealousy of Joseph, and installed him with favor as governor of Egypt
    • Brothers and then Jacob all came to Egypt, where Jacob died (Gen. 49:33).
    • Note: Genesis 50:13 reveals that Jacob was buries in the field of Machpelah (Hebron).
    • It is believed that the burials in Schechem refer to the Patriarchs. (vs. 16)
stephen s address vs 1 53 6
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 6
  • God Delivers Israel by Moses (17-36)
    • Moses’ appearance was “the time of the promise” (made to Abraham by God)
    • The people grew numerous in Egypt (Exodus 1:6-9)
    • New Pharaoh antagonistic toward Israelites (killed male children)
    • Moses escaped this fate, raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter
stephen s address vs 1 53 7
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 7
  • God Delivers Israel by Moses (17-36), cont.
    • Moses was well educated and mighty (22)
    • At age 40, all changed as Moses saved a slave by killing an Egyptian oppressor. He fled to Midian (23-29)
    • At 80, God called him to deliver and rule over the Israelites (30-35)
    • Moses did as God commanded (36)
    • Note: Stephen answered claims of blasphemy by accurately and reverently recounting Moses’ history
stephen s address vs 1 53 8
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 8
  • Israel rebels against God (37-43)
    • Note that Moses prophesied about the Christ (37) (cf. Deuteronomy 18:15-18)
    • If these listeners were really concerned about Moses, they would have heeded his words
    • “In their hearts they turned back to Egypt” (vs. 39) (cf. Exodus 32)
    • God turned away from them (42)
    • Sacrifice not enough (42-43) (cf. Amos 5)
stephen s address vs 1 53 9
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 9
  • God’s True Tabernacle (44-50)
    • Stephen now answers the accusation that he had spoken against the Temple (6:13)
    • Main point: It is not speaking evil of the temple to note that God would not choose that house as his abode forever
    • Tabernacle first, until David (45)
    • Temple next, by Solomon (47)
    • However, God’s abode not in temples made with hands (48-50) cf. Isa. 66:1-2, Psa. 102:55 (Irony, Paul: Acts 17:24)
stephen s address vs 1 53 10
Stephen’s Address (vs. 1-53) 10
  • The Application (51-53)
    • Sharp change in tone with the application. Evidently, his hearers were unwilling to heed his message
    • “Uncircumcised in heart and ears” (not acting as God’s people. Unwilling to hear the truth from God.
    • When messengers of God resisted, the Holy Spirit is resisted
    • Fathers killed the prophets, they now killed Jesus, the Son of God
    • As such, disobedient to the law of God
stephen the martyr vs 54 60 1
Stephen the Martyr (vs. 54-60) 1
  • The Council’s reaction
    • Contrast with Acts 2:37. They were enraged
    • They stopped their ears, and stoned him to death
    • Saul was there
  • Stephen’s Demeanor
    • Filled with the Holy Spirit – Vision (55-56)
    • Forgiving spirit at his death (59-60)
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