Acts Devotionals


There is opposition in any Church. It does not matter how right the pastor and elders do things, opposition will happen. We see this in families, business, sports world, neighborhoods, societies, political parties, etc. Opposition will happen whether we like it or not.

This was bound to happen in the Early Church because the Gospel of Jesus, although fully in line with Old Testament teaching and prophecy, was not the way the Jews and their leaders expected or wanted Messiah to arrive and serve. They, as said previously, wanted a king David-type messiah, who would fulfil all their worldly, political and economic requirements.

Right here we find a lesson for Christians today. We may not develop some philosophy, ideology, theology or doctrine to suit our requirements and then be angry and disappointed when it does not line up with the Word of God. We return to our reflections in Acts 6:

Ac 6:9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

1) The opposition took the form of arguing with Stephen. There was nothing gentlemanly about this as it was not debating. It was arguing … anger and hatred were involved because of the Jews rejection of the Gospel Stephen stood for. They could not stand up to his wisdom because his wisdom was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Remember what Gamaliel said:

Ac 5:39 “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Today we who are Christian have the same wisdom! It is the Bible and the Bible is the wisdom of God provided by the Holy Spirit. See …


2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.


2 Pet 1:20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

It does not matter how much, how aggressive or how persistent they oppose the Gospel and argue with us, no one can fight against Truth. They might seem to win but God and not them, is the actual Judge.

2) Once the opposition realized they could not win their verbal fight they resorted to evil tactics.

Ac 6:11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.”

(1) The word “secret” refers to something that is hidden. Without anyone knowing or behind closed doors these Jews approached other Jews to do assist them.

(2) The word “persuade” means to change someone’s mind through influencing them by reason or morality. In this case it was by holding up their warped understanding of the Cross of Jesus and Him being God’s Messiah. So they secretly took some men aside and convinced them to say … “We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” You might recall that the chief priest made the same accusation against Jesus:

Mt 26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.

When they could not get their way they resorted to wicked tricks. We need to be cautious and careful that as God’s people and as His representatives on earth that we do not copy what the enemy does towards us. As hard as it is we need to remember that God sees and knows all. He will deal with those who falsely accuse His people of wrong doing.

3) The opposition forces mobilized a mob.

Ac 6:12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law.

The word “stir” means to “keep in full flame”. As with a fire that tends towards burning out, one would kindle the fire until it burns strongly again. So with those who agitated those who would do their dirty work for them. They stirred, kindled, excited the men to keep the anger burning in their hearts so that when called upon to be witnesses they would produce a convincing testimony. We see the same thing happening in so many countries where people are stirred up to demonstrate with the intent of destroying (burning, looting and damaging), to fulfil the desires of those who have agitated and excited them. Apart from getting others to do their dirty work, these Jewish leaders and those they agitated were in the wrong. As Christians we may not resort to such wickedness. Jesus was right when He accused them of being their father’s children!

Jn 8:43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

We have a saying … “The truth hurts”. These people heard the Gospel Truth. It hurt them because they did not want the Messiah God the Father sent. So, at all costs they needed to silence the Gospel. Christians however seek to shout the Gospel from the rooftops because the Gospel alone saves the vilest offender from hell.

Lord of Truth, graciously enable us to respond in holy ways when we are opposed and hurt because of the Gospel. Amen.

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