Book of Acts – Week 19 – Acts 7:54-60
Before working on this discussion guide, please do the following:
- Watch the message from this past Sunday if you were unable to attend the online service. You can find the message on our Facebook Page and on our website (renovationchurchsd.com).
- Spend 5 minutes or so in prayer. You can either pray through the “Lord’s Prayer” or simply share what is on your heart. It is also good to spend at least 1 full minute in silence so that God can quiet your heart and mind as you prepare to study the Scriptures.
- Read slowly and prayerfully through Acts 7:54-60. What stands out to you? What questions do you still have after reading through the text?
- In the beginning of this passage (Acts 7:54-55), Luke contrasts how the religious leaders were full of rage while Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. In a similar way, all of us are often blinded by our own kinds of anger. Read through James 1:19-27. What stands out to you from this passage? How can we learn to rid ourselves of all “moral filth” including rage?
- Before Stephen’s death, he gazed into heaven and saw two things: the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55). Explain in your own words why these two realities are significant.
- The statement that truly “triggers” the crowd and makes them want to murder Stephen is what he proclaims in Acts 7:56, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” What does Stephen mean by the “Son of Man”? What Book of the Old Testament does this phrase come out of it and what does it mean when applied to Jesus?
- During Stephen’s stoning, the witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a man named Saul. As many of you know, Saul later becomes Paul the Apostle. To have an understanding of Paul’s life before becoming a Christian, read Galatians 1:13-24. What are some things we learn about Saul/Paul from this passage?
- One of the most remarkable things about Stephen’s death is he follows the pattern of Jesus and prays for God to forgive the sins of those who were killing him. Stephen’s example shows us that bitterness, anger, and resentment has no place in the life of a Christian. Why do you think it’s so difficult for us to forgive those who have hurt us? Can you think of any Bible passages that instruct us on how to forgive?
- Finally, what is at least one takeaway from this passage that you will apply to your life this week?