Acts 6:8

Stephen Kane is fraidy as he approached the Horses at Las Colinas.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Acts 6:8

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse spoke of the multiplication of the number of disciples. It also referred to the fact that many of the priests were obedient to the faith. The words now bring in Stephen again who was introduced as one of the seven in verse 6:5, saying he was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Of him, it reconfirms this saying, “And Stephen, full of faith and power.”

It is of note that some manuscripts say “grace” rather than “faith” here. The word “faith” is more suited to verse 6:5, confirming that thought. Either way, he is carefully described here, being singled out from the other six chosen with him. The narrative will continue focusing on him throughout Chapter 6 and Chapter 7. As noted, saying that he is full of faith and power is given to parallel verse 6:5 –

And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit…
And Stephen, full of faith and power…

As such, the “power” is set in parallel to “the Holy Spirit.” That is then further defined by saying that he “did great wonders and signs.”

The verb is imperfect. More rightly, it should be rendered saying he “was performing great wonders and signs.” It wasn’t that he simply did these things once, or a year ago, or when he was a certain age. Rather, it is speaking of him doing them during the entire time of the record set before us, and he continued doing them as well. Luke’s words further define his doing these things as being “among the people.”

It is an important inclusion. Stephen didn’t just do these things in the courts of a king. Nor did he do them in a traveling show for money. He was among the people and his actions were personally witnessed by them. What he did is not defined, but it can be supposed that it included miraculous healings and the like.

Or it could be that the coming words concerning him define what he did – that he was a great and effective orator. No matter what, so full of faith and of the Holy Spirit was he that he was able to do great things right among the people.

Life application: From time to time it is good to remember that being filled with the Holy Spirit is a passive thing. One is prepared to receive the Spirit. If a cup has a lid on it, it must have the lid removed in order for it to be filled. But the cup simply sits there and is filled. It happens passively. The cup doesn’t reach up and start filling itself.

Likewise, we need to be prepared for the reception of the Spirit. The way to do this is to have our lives opened up for His coming. Stephen was a man of faith. If we lack faith, we will not receive the Spirit. One can sing praises to God in a church band, but if he doesn’t believe in God (he was simply hired to sing for $150.00 a gig), then there is nothing about him that would allow the Spirit to fill him.

If we prepare ourselves through true faith, and if we live our lives in accord with the word and in a state of being opened up to God, then we will be filled. The more opened we are (through faith, love of God, appreciation for His goodness, in praising Him, in telling others about Him, and so on), the more we will be filled.

Let us live our lives totally in tune with God as He is presented in Scripture. Let us think on Him at all times. Let us overflow with His goodness in praise, prayer, and thanks! Be filled with the Spirit by being open receptacles prepared to receive Him.

Lord God, how good it is to read Your word, to think on You and Your goodness, to hold fast to You even in times of trial and difficulty. How good it is to know You in the most intimate of ways. Fill us with all of who You are, O God. Amen.