Acts 6:7-9 “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
(Saying) For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.”
LESSON - When God begins to bless, Satan begins to move in the hearts of obstinate people. Stephen was one of the men chosen from the congregation and ordained by the apostles to do the work of the ministry. It was obvious to everyone that he was a Spirit-filled man and that the hand of God was upon him and his ministry. Just like Jesus, the leaders within the religious community rose up against Stephen. V14 outlines the two main reasons why these people withstood Stephen, but it also shows the reasons why there is so much division within churches today.
1. Idolatry - We ascribe holiness to things rather than God.
“For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place”
2. Change - They would rather see the church split than implement much needed change. Many churches have accepted the status quo programming within the church because they have settled for mediocrity in every other area of their lives.
“shall change the customs which Moses delivered us”
Beware of things in your own mind which could become sacrosanct in church. If those things ever become more important than the people, you have already bought Satan’s deception. That’s when you become part of the problem instead of the solution. Opposition comes from without and from within!