A Sermon (#542) Preached By William “Bill” Touchton
Edited By Michael D. Lawson
If you have your Bibles turn with me to Acts 7. As you will recall in Acts 6, the church looked out among themselves and called seven men to help serve with the Apostles. While the Apostles ministered through the Word, and through prayer, these seven men ministered through serving the needs of the people.
Now five of these you never hear from again. They serve behind the scenes. they do the lowly tasks that no one else will do.
I had a conversation with a lady several months ago who’s husband is a deacon, and at this church the deacons have been assigned the tasks of locking up the church and carrying out the garbage, and she said, “I just don’t think the deacons ought to be carrying out the garbage.”
But listen to this, God doesn’t call any of us to be superstars. He called us to serve, and it is in doing the lowliest of jobs that God sees us as greatest. And our goal should be to be something great in the eyes of God, instead of being something in the eyes of man.
And I guess we all need to be reminded that Jesus Himself, God in human flesh laid aside the robe of royalty to wear the robe of a servant. He laid aside His position and reputation and got down and washed the filthy feet of his disciples. And the Bible says He did this as an example to us so that we would do as He did.
Have you ever thought about why He washed the disciples’ feet? It needed to be done, and no one else was willing to stoop that low, but Jesus did. And I pray for the day that I could have such a heart as that. And I pray for the day that our men could have such a heart as that.
Now, of the seven, there was one who stood out above the rest. His name was Stephen. He was full of faith and full of power, and God used him not only in the church, but also in the world. According to Acts 6, Stephen took his faith to the streets, and as he did, opposition came from the Jews and they publicly debated them.
Now let’s start in chapter 7, verse 1.
Now what Stephen’s going to do is preach a sermon and like most preachers, when he gets the floor, he get’s a little long-winded, so let’s just read it and let me comment as I go.
7.1-4 – Listen, He’s saying that God got personally involved in the life of Abraham. He revealed Himself to him. Spoke. And Abraham obeyed.
7.8 – Circumcision is the cutting away of the flesh. God has called his people to be different.
7.9 – But God was with him, this is the theme of his message…When God is with you, people know it. Have you ever thought about how unimpressive we are to the world? In 1 Corinthians, Paul said not many wise men are called, not many mighty, not many noble. But God chose the foolish things, the weak things, the base things, things which are despised…If you think about it, the only impressive thing about us is the fact that God is with us. It’s the only thing that sets us above the rest.
7.20-21 – What’s the theme? (God was with him) He’s moving history, bringing it to his desired end.
7.32 – “I am the God…” Why didn’t He say, “I was the God?” These people mentioned have been dead for centuries. No, they are very much alive, when Jesus defended the resurrection of the dead, He uses this passage.
7.33 – Why was the ground holy? Because God was there? Now is this place (sanctuary) holy? I have been in the ministry since August 1, 1983. I have rarely heard anyone cuss in here. I have never seen anyone pull out a bottle of alcohol and start drinking it. Never seen anyone pull out a porno magazine – but sometimes we forget that this today is the Temple of God. This is a holy place, and we should guard it from defilement.
7.37 – What’s the theme? God is with us. Now Moses is saying God is going to come in human form.
7.39-49 – God literally manifested himself to His people, but they rejected Him. God was with us…and you rejected HIM.
7.51 – Jesus was God among us all yet we rejected Him. The Holy Spirit challenges us, but you resist. The same word is used of God, He gives grace to the humble, but resists the ground. God pushes them away. He is saying the Holy Spirit of God comes with the truth – this Jesus is God among us. He was to dwell with you, but you pushed him away.
7.55 – Look at Colossians 3.1. Christ sitting…Listen, when we make a stand for God, He stands for us.
7.60 – He became like Christ. He only served for days. He only preached one sermon. But, because of his ministry, God’s going to change the world.
We never know who is watching us. We never know who we will influence for good or for bad. That’s why it is so important to live each day with the living Lord in control.