Stephen’s Defense

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Psalm 98 [ Scripture Reading ]
Oh Great Is Our God [ Song ]
Prayer of Confession
My One Comfort [ Song ]
Heidelberg Catechism Q.72 & 73
Amazing Grace [ Song ]
Come Behold The Wonderous Mystery [ Song ]
Come As You Are [ Song ]
We Are Not Overcome [ Song ]

(Psalm 98 ESV) Make a Joyful Noise to the LORD A Psalm. [1] Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. [2] The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. [3] He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. [4] Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! [5] Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! [6] With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! [7] Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! [8] Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together [9] before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

72. Q. Does this outward washing with water itself wash away sins?
A. No, only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sins.[1]
[1] Matt. 3:11; I Pet. 3:21; I John 1:7.

73. Q. Why then does the Holy Spirit call baptism the washing of regeneration and the washing away of sins?

A. God speaks in this way for a good reason. He wants to teach us that the blood and Spirit of Christ remove our sins just as water takes away dirt from the body.[1] But, even more important, He wants to assure us by this divine pledge and sign that we are as truly cleansed from our sins spiritually as we are bodily washed with water.[2]

[1] I Cor. 6:11; Rev. 1:5; 7:14. [2] Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3, 4; Gal. 3:27.

Acts 6:8-15 – Stephen Is Seized

[8] And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. [9] Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. [10] But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. [11] Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” [12] And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, [13] and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, [14] for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” [15] And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.


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