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March 29, 2012

ACTS 6:8-10

 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.  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—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke
When you talk about Jesus, expect God to use you. The Lord Jesus promised His supernatural resources to all who join with Him in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. You are assured of that same resurrection power and presence today through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord honors the faithful witness of all who place their trust in Him. Self-consciousness and fear of what others will say, however, will hinder our witness. Christ promises in the word that if you are bold to others about Him that He will be bold to the Father about us! Stephen was a table waiter (Acts 6:2-5), not an apostle. Here is another example of a normal person like you and I but Stephen was different in one way. HE LOVED GOD AND DIDN'T CARE WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT ABOUT HIM AS HE TALKED ABOUT JESUS!!! He was brought before the most wicked opponents of Christianity. He could have retreated because he felt inadequate to face these people, but he yielded to the Holy Spirit's control of his life. As a result, his faithfulness to Christ, even to accepting death by stoning, mightily moved the unbelievers and laid the basis for Saul's conversion. You and I too can have this same type of fierceness for the Gospel if we are willing to step out on faith through our love for the Lord and ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTROL not caring about the desires of the flesh like embarrassment or shyness!

Work of the Holy Spirit in a Believer's Life

1. Read Acts 6 & 7. What part did the Holy Spirit play in Stephen's life?

2. What spiritual indictment did Stephen pronounce upon his hearers that cut them to the heart?

3. As a Spirit-filled man, Stephen had two purposes that were his greatest concerns, as seen in his desire to witness and in his dying prayer. What were they?

4. How do these concerns show the fullness of the Holy Spirit in Stephen? (Compare Galatians 5:22-23 and II Corinthians 5:14-15)

Work of the Holy Spirit in Witnessing

1. What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit? (John 15:26, 16:13-14)

2. How is it accomplished in a person who witnesses of Christ? (Acts 1:8, 6:10) How is it being accomplished in your life?

3. What will the Holy Spirit do for the witnessing person? (Acts 4:31)

4. What will the Holy Spirit do for the person receiving the Good News? (I Corinthians 2:10-12) How does this passage compare with II Corinthians 4:3-4?

5. It is the Holy Spirit who brings us face to face with the facts regarding our condition and our need. This action is called "convicting, reproving, exposing, bringing to light." If we were to witness on our own, we would accomplish nothing. But when the Holy Spirit uses our witness, He brings a person face to face with important facts, presenting them so forcefully that these facts must be considered. What are these facts? (John 16:7-11)

6. What promise does God give us regarding His Spirit? (II Corinthians 1:21-22)
Life Application

1. Record the names of at least three persons to whom you believe God would have you speak about Christ within the week.

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare these individuals, freeing their minds so they can make a logical, intelligent choice to receive Christ as Savior. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to these individuals at the proper time, and to speak through you in giving them the message of Christ.

3. As you witness, remember that it is the Holy Spirit who penetrates the mind of the other person, revealing spiritual truth.

4. Are you sure you are prepared? If not, review the earlier lessons in this Step.

The whole purpose of this class is to let you know that there is nothing to witnessing if you only let go of your fears and TRUST in the Holy Spirit to do it's job which is to speak for you. As you begin to do this more often the feeling is incredible as you can feel that our DAD is smiling as He watches us trust Him and being used by Him to spread the Gospel. After a while you will start to look forward to witnessing because you know that it pleases our Father because He is a God that wants NONE to perish but knows that many will reject His son. Satan will tell you, that you are no one and you are not worthy and you tell him right back, I AM WHAT MY FATHER SAYS THAT I AM  and that is AN AMBASSADOR FOR JESUS!