Acts 7:51 - Don't Be Stubborn and Oppose the Holy Spirit.
Acts 7:51: Don't Be Stubborn and Oppose the Holy Spirit.
Acts 7:51 (KJV) Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and
ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do
Acts 7:51 (NRSV) "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in
heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your
ancestors used to do.
Acts 7:51 (NCV) Stephen continued speaking: "You stubborn
people! You have not given your hearts to God, nor will you listen to
him! You are always against what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell
you, just as your ancestors were.
Acts 7:51 (GWT) "How stubborn can you be? How can you be so
heartless and disobedient? You're just like your ancestors. They always
opposed the Holy Spirit, and so do you!
Acts 7:51 (CWR) When Stephen saw how disturbed the council
members became when he said he didn't believe the Temple was not
necessarily a sign of the presence of God, he cut his speech short and said,
"How stiff-necked and stubborn can you be? Your ears are no better
than those of the Egyptians who refused to listen to God and to let
His people go. You're resisting the Holy Spirit today just as your
fathers did in the wilderness.
If this sermon of Stephen has a major idea or theme, this verse
is it. (Life Application Commentary mod)
In his remarkable and eloquent sermon, Stephen revealed his
accurate grasp of Jewish history and its relevance to the new faith he
had embraced in Christianity. J. Oswald Sanders [Time With God SB
7:51-60 Stephen confronted the religious leaders about their
denial. They were resisting the Holy Spirit and didn't like being
rebuked. We would think that as mature adults, these leaders would have
pondered Stephen's words and made some kind of honest self-assessment.
However, they reacted in anger and set out to kill Stephen. Despite their
rage, Stephen did not desire revenge or harbor a grudge. Instead, he
kept his focus on Christ, forgiving the people who were killing him.
Stephen's peace and self-control are gifts of the Holy Spirit that are
available to us all through faith. [Life Recovery SB]
"Stiff-necked" refers to their unbending stubbornness in their
unjust and unholy causes and their absolute refusal to turn back to
"Uncircumcised hearts and ears" pointed out the fact that though
his audience had been circumcised in the literal sense and, thus,
bore upon their bodies the sign of the Abrahamic covenant, their
hearts were untouched, unbroken, and unavailable to the voice of God as
spoken by his Holy Spirit. They were resisting the Holy Spirit. This
means that they were willfully thwarting his leading by disobedience
or rebellion. (Life Application Commentary)
They were not truly consecrated to the Lord. [NIV SB]
Make sure your heart is devoted to God and that your activities
reflect that reality. (Life Application Commentary)
The blessed characteristic of Stephen lay in his being
perpetually full of the Holy Ghost....
Those who are full of the Holy Spirit are always looking
steadfastly upwards. They look not at the things which are seen, but at
those which are not seen.... Whilst others look around for help, they
lift up their eyes to the hills whence cometh their help; and to them
heaven stands always open.
Those who are full of the Holy Spirit see and are transfigured
by the Glory of God. What wonder that those who sat in the Council
beheld Stephen's face, as it had been the face of an angel.
Those who are full of the Holy Ghost see the Lord Jesus, in His
glory, as their Priest. It is the special work of the Holy Spirit to
direct the gaze to Jesus. Those who are full of the Spirit may hardly
be aware of his gracious presence, but they are keenly alive to
their Lord's. F. B. Meyer [Spirit Filled Life Devotional SB]
I am glad for those people in my life who make me long to know
God better. God's character in them makes me hunger and thirst for
him. That is what happens to me when I am exposed to Stephen. I read
about him and I want to know God. [Quiet Time SB]
Have you developed the practice of constantly looking to Jesus?
If you have, you will reach to him during your most difficult hour.
If you haven't, ask him to accompany you in all your thoughts.
1 Thes. 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
Eph 4:30 (KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby
ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
2 Cor. 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you
also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.