Sermon Quotes: "First of Many"

“There are certain facts in history which the world tries hard to forget and ignore. These facts get in the way of some of the world’s favorite theories, and are highly inconvenient. The consequence is that the world shuts its eyes against them. Little by little they sink out of sight of the students of history, like ships in a distant horizon. Of such facts the subject of this book is a vivid example.” J.C. Ryle

“What Stephen did was not just to rehearse the salient features of the Old Testament story, with which the Sanhedrin were as familiar as he, but to do so in such a way as to draw lessons from it which they had never learned or even noticed. His concern was to demonstrate that his position, far from being ‘blasphemous’ because disrespectful to God’s word, actually honored it. For the Old Testament Scripture itself confirmed his teaching about the temple and the law, especially by predicting the Messiah, whereas by rejecting him it was they who disregard the law, not he.” John Stott

“The Lord Jesus culminates the hopes of Scripture and the promises of God from Abraham to Moses, David, Isaiah and ‘all the prophets.’ His reign as the Lord who sends the Holy Spirit and in whom forgiveness is found (Acts 1-2) means that believers find all they need in him. There is now no need for the old temple system and its leadership, as both have come to an end for the true people of God…The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of and replacement for the temple and the one through whom previous temple boundaries may now be overcome. The inadequacy of the temple is contrasted with the all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus: all of God’s blessings are found through faith in him alone. He is the Lord to whom all, including the temple leadership, must submit.” Alan Thompson

“Yet there is at least one man who remained unmoved and was not sorry to see him die.” I. Howard Marshall

“Stephen functions as a model of faithful witness and godly response for readers who may be in the midst of opposition and suffering.” David Peterson