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When Righteousness and Wickedness Meet

Acts 7:54-48

They were respectable, law-abiding religious leaders. But when Stephen truthfully said that they were resisting the Holy Spirit and had murdered the Messiah (Acts 7:51-53), they became incandescent with rage.

Blessed Assurance

Acts 7:59-8:1a

Stephen's life on this earth was over. The high ranking religious leaders had decided that he was too great a threat to their religious control. So they took matters into their own hands and personally stoned him to death. Despite the violent hostility of the Sanhedrin Council, Stephen was at peace before he died.

Hatred Unleashed

Acts 8:1-3

Until the Sanhedrin unleashed their hatred of Jesus onto Stephen, by stoning him to death, Jerusalem was quiet.

Joy Out Of Pain

Acts 8:4-8

After Stephen's murder by the religious leaders, there was a large scale persecution of the new believers in Jesus. Many people left Jerusalem; some travelled north into Samaria. It was safer because the zealous Jews despised the Samaritans and would not go there, even to travel through the region, because of their mixed race and religious background (

Evil's Fascination With Godliness

Acts 8:9-13

Philip's gospel mission in Samaria attracted many spiritually hungry people. They had previously felt they were spiritual outcasts, because of their history and their rejection by apparently holy people in Jerusalem and Judea (John 4:9).

Receive The Holy Spirit

Acts 8:14-17

The church started in Jerusalem at Pentecost, and grew there as the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to preach Christ. But Jesus also wanted them to take responsibility in global mission (Acts 1:8).

The Enslaving Grip Of Bitterness

Acts 8:18-24

Philip the Evangelist was preaching the gospel in Samaria, when Simon the Sorcerer was attracted to hear what he had to say. As people believed, they were baptised; Simon among them. But there was something wrong in the heart of this man who craved public recognition, presumably making money from his 'magic powers' (

The Necessity Of Gospel Ministryy

Acts 8:25

The apostles had learned a lot from Jesus in less than three years, but their training was not finished. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth, reminding them of what Jesus had already taught them (

Spirit Directed Ministry

Acts 8:26-29

Philip's evangelistic ministry in Samaria was effective. People were hungry for God's Word and many believed in Jesus (Acts 8:12).

Christ-Centred Scripture

ACts 8:30-35

God had sent Philip away from his popular and effective mission in Samaria, to a desert road (Acts 8:26). The Lord gave no further instruction until Philip saw a chariot with a high ranking official sitting down and reading a scroll. "Go up to the chariot and keep pace with it", the Lord said.