In our last “Ripple Effect” sermon, we learned of the fact that seven men full of faith and the Holy Spirit were chosen to help care for the needs of the Greek speaking widows who were being neglected. One of these men was named Stephen, and in this message we see how he stood for truth even when it cost him everything. He became the first Christian martyr when the religious leaders of the day stoned him to death. He mirrored Jesus’ words on the cross as he cried out for forgiveness for his killers as he breathed his last breaths. As difficult as this event was on the early church, it opened the door for the church to be scattered out from Jerusalem in order to begin the process of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The purpose of this series, “The Ripple Effect,” is to learn more about the life of Jesus and the story of the early church through the writings of Luke. Having looked at some of the highlights of the Gospel of Luke earlier this year, we now will turn our attention to his 2nd writing, the book of Acts. This book follows the history of the Holy Spirit’s influence on the early church and the beginning of the spreading of the Gospel to the corners of the earth. The book of Acts ends abruptly because the mission of the church is ongoing and is to be continued in our day and time by the power of the Holy Spirit.