Insights on Today's Reading
Acts 7 - The new deacon, Stephen, was placed on trial before the Jewish council and asked to defend himself against false accusations (6:11). Stephen took the opportunity to point out the idolatry of the Jews in worshiping the Temple rather than the God of the Temple. He even made it clear in verse 48, that "...the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands..." (That was to show that putting a name-tag on a building and calling it "the House of God" is highly questionable. Later on in 1 Corinthians Paul will make clear that the Christian's body is "God's Temple!") The Jews were so angry at Stephen's accusations that they took him and stoned him to death. In his death he was like the Lord as he cried with his dying breath, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin" verse 60. Something else to note: their was a young man who held the coats of those who did the stoning. That man was Saul, verse 58.
Acts 8 - A wave of persecution started with the martyrdom of Stephen. Saul was angry with the new Church and he began going into every house-church, verse 3, and dragging believers off to prison. This persecution, however, was used by God to scatter the believers into "...Samaria and to the ends of the earth" 1:8. Christians went everywhere "...preaching the word" verse 4. God used another deacon, Philip, to go to Samaria and he began preaching and people began believing! The church in Jerusalem heard and sent Peter to see what was happening. Peter found the Spirit coming on these Samaritans just as He fell on the people in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost! Later, Philip was led by the Lord to travel a road to Gaza in the desert. There he met an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading out loud the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, verses 32,33. Philip asked if he needed help in understanding the passage, and when he was invited into the chariot, Philip showed how this passage spoke about Jesus! The eunuch got save and was baptized! God was fulfilling His plan to reach out to the world with the Gospel.
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288