Monday, September 21, 2015

On 9-27-15, Acts 7:2-4, 8-10, 17, 33, 34, 45-47, 52, 53 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Standing Firm Against Opposition or Remembering God’s Faithfulness

Standing Firm Against Opposition 
Remembering God’s Faithfulness
Acts 7:2-4, 8-10, 17, 33, 34, 45-47, 52, 53 

September 27 2015

Jed Greenough

Let’s face it, we doubt our spouses, our children, our bosses and our political or legal leaders.  Some of us have more of an issue with this than others.  Sometimes it is because we ourselves at times have been untrustworthy.

John 8:44 reads, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Isn’t that interesting?  In fact the entire chapter of John 8 is worthy of reading, with this idea of believing what you hear, believing what Jesus has promised.

The nice thing is that God cannot, will not, nor ever will lie.  When you read Numbers 23:19 “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” you see God’s character.

As Stephen spoke in our scripture for today He reminded them of their character as men just as Jesus did in the aforementioned John 8:44 and God’s character as just mentioned in Numbers 23:19.

It is a very interesting quandary is it not, or at least frustrating that some believe and some do not?

We know that no one is worthy (Romans 3:10).  We see Jesus say no one can come to the Father unless He enables them (John 6:44).  We see those that didn’t believe Stephen and we read the words of Jesus to certain Jews in John 8 also mentioned previously who did not believe in Him and we read of the early church growing by 3,000 Jews who did come to faith at once in Acts 2.

Those that Stephen talked to did not believe but how many countless have read what he said about God’s faithfulness and Stephen’s faith in that and have come to believe?

They are living proof of Hebrews 6:18 which reads, “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.”

Don’t you love that?  They fled to take hold of the hope.  I guess we don’t have to understand why some believe and some don’t we just have to tell them God’s truth and we will just have to wait and see what happens. 

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss whether for you this scripture is more about God’s faithfulness, the character of men or standing up for God.
  2. Discuss the faith of Abraham versus our faith.
  3. Discuss why Stephen gave a history lesson they already knew.
  4. Discuss why omitted verses from this chapter must be included for clarity.
  5. Discuss the anger expressed for the facts Stephen had said in verses 51-54.
  6. Discuss their anger then for what Stephen said in 55-56.
  7. Discuss the issue of those who hear and believe and those who hear and do not.
  8. I wonder, would it be possible for you to sing the song from way back in 1882 Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus by Louisa M. R. Stead  in your class?  It would be cool!

Upcoming Lessons

10-4-15     Simon is Rebuked or the Spirit is Not for Sale    Acts 8:9-24
10-11-15   Saul Earns Credibility or Saul Begins to Preach    Acts 9:19b-31
10-18-15   Peter Takes a Risk or Peter Preaches to Gentiles     Acts 10:24-38
10-25-15   Trusting the Spirit or Peter Defends His Actions    Acts 11:1-18

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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