Stephen was a man of character. His words and actions were the same. He spoke boldly and cut to the heart of the matter. Let’s follow him as he addressed the council.
He was intentionally falsely accused. Yet in the face of the accusations, his gaze was upon the Lord. Acts 6:15 says, “And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.”
I love Psalm 34:5 which says, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.”
Stephen was focused on the Lord. How do you react when falsely accused? It is human nature to want to defend ourselves. Stephen is a great example for us.
Acts 7:2-50 recorded Stephen’s verbal historical account of the children of Israel. He was speaking things the council knew to be accurate. They listened until he addressed their personal hearts. Verse 54 says, “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.” They were beyond furious.
Stephen was so focused on the Lord that he told them what he was seeing. Verse 55 says that he was full of the Holy Spirit. Verse 56 says, “…Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
We know, from Scripture, that Jesus sits at the right hand of God. He was perhaps standing up to receive Stephen. The council’s reaction was to drag Stephen out of the city and stone him to death.
In all of the accounts of Stephen, he never once flinched. He was not intimidated. He did not shrink back. He spoke out of the integrity of his heart. He never reacted in the flesh.
Galatians 1:10 says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”