Thursday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Acts 6:1-15 (NKJV)
6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
11 Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
12 And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council. 13 They also set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous 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 change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”
15 And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.
“We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”
The false teachers rejected the truth of what Stephen was preaching and teaching, so they dishonestly appealed to man’s love of outward glory and customs in order to condemn Stephen. Satan has used this means of attack many times throughout the history of God’s Church. People are taught to value buildings, institutions, or customs more than the true doctrine of God’s Word.
Like gold and silver, buildings and traditions are only truly valuable if they serve the truth of God’s glory in Christ crucified. The purpose of sacred places and rites is to proclaim the Lord’s wisdom. If they cannot faithfully serve this purpose they need to be destroyed or changed. The truth of God’s Word does not change, but the things He uses to teach it to us does, as the history of His faithful people illustrates. We are to repent of our transgressions, believe in His grace shown to us in Jesus Christ, and observe all that He commands. Everything else can pass away if it doesn’t serve these things that He works in us.
We pray: Almighty and Everlasting God, who hast given unto us, Thy servants, grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity, we beseech Thee that Thou wouldst keep us steadfast in this faith and evermore defend us from all adversities; who livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.