Stephen: The First Christian Martyr. Acts 8: 1a & 3 “… On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem … Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison .”. Acts 8: 1b & 4 “… all except
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Stephen: The First Christian Martyr
Acts 8: 1a & 3 “… On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem… Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.”
Acts 8: 1b & 4 “… all except the Apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
John 12:24 “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
John 4 Luke 9 Luke 10 Luke 17 Jesus and The Samaritans
Philip travels on his own to bring • the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Samaria, • despite facing huge Ministry Barriers • Racial&CulturalDifferences • Political & Religious Differences
Preached the Gospel Performed Miracles Philip Goes to Samaria (Acts 8: 4-8)
Philip’s missionary success in Samaria is just one of countless stories in The Bible which show that the faithfulness of even one person can make a huge difference.
Acts 8: 9-13 • Simon’s “magic” is popular in Samaria • Philip’s miracles trump Simon’s tricks • Simon “believes” and is baptized
Acts 8: 14-17 • Peter & John are sent to investigate • this new Samaritan church. • The Holy Spirit falls noticeably upon • the new Samaritan believers through • the laying on of hands and prayer.
Acts 8: 18-19 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the Apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 8: 20-24 Peter rebukes Simon for his sinful thoughts and fascination with power. Simon is removed from the church’s fellowship. Peter urges Simon to flee from his sinful lusts and to pray for repentance.
From the time of Simon the Sorcerer onward, people have tried to blend Pagan AND Christian beliefs & values.
Witchcraft, magic, sorcery, astrology, divination, palm reading & horoscopes are all viewed as detestable to God. 1.) O.T. Commands (Deut. 18: 9-14) 2.) N.T. Teachings (Galatians 5: 19-21) 3.) Final Warning (Revelation 22: 14-15)
With many new believers in Jesus; the oldlifestyles, habits, and sins they used to engage in can cling hard to their hearts. This can be true even of sincere believers.
Simon was so dazzled and attracted by the miracles he saw that he missed the “true power” of God at work… the freedom from sin, the unity and peace among believers, and the joy of a new start that can be found in Jesus Christ!
Acts 8:25 “After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”
Who Do You • Most Resemble? • Philip • The Samaritans • Simon the Sorcerer • Peter • John