Daily Word

Power beyond the Apostles | Acts 6:8-15

8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and [ h ]signs among the people. 9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and [ i ]Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. 10 But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

11 Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” 12 And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him [ j ]before the [ k ]Council. 13 They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; 14 for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.” 15 And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the [ l ]Council saw his face like the face of an angel.

Acts 6:8-15 (NASB) 中文

Church growing pains

The new church continues to grow and impact Jewish society. They encountered their first internal challenge that had the potential to split the group. But wisdom from above allowed them to come up with an amicable solution that all agreed to. The selection of the first “decons” is complete and we’re seeing the fruit of discipleship and witnessing. Now persecution continues, and continues through to today.

Power beyond the apostles

Stephen is one of the chosen 7 first deacons of the church. As we said in a previous post, as the apostles are not just praying and teaching but also serving, so the deacons were not just handling church matters, they also did ministry. Stephen was well used by the Spirit – and he wasn’t even an apostle. What’s the message? The power of the Spirit extended beyond the apostles but to other men of godly character and moral integrity.

Persecution continues in earnest

The greatest persecution began with Jesus. After a brief period of unhindered growth of the church, persecution continues now in earnest. “Previously, persecution against the apostles had been limited because popular opinion was with them (Acts 2:47, 5:26).” (enduringword.com) The Synagogue of the Freedmen was called that since they were freed Jewish slaves. For some reason they opposed the Gospel and tried to argue with Stephen to no avail. Out of frustration or embarrassment, they had him arrested on false charges and brought to trial by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council.

They seem to re-use a concoction of false allegations first used against Jesus now against Stephen. 

Face like an angel

Sometimes when seeing a cute, innocent baby, someone may say, “They have the face of an angel.” Maybe this is where the idea came from. Though Stephen was not a baby, his face indeed showed brightly, like Luke and people of that day would expect of an angel.


  • Some will say the gifts like we see in this passage are not for today, but were only for the early church. Yet I believe there are “early churches” that need the work of the Spirit manifested. Not that the miracles will save anyone, but they can surely be used to draw people to the Lord. Your thoughts?
  • Do you ever give consideration to what power, through the Spirit, you have? Paul itemizes gifts of the Spirit and challenges us to seek the higher gifts. The Spirit distributes gifts as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11) and, for the building up of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:12). What is yours? Are you using them?
Army tank firing a round. Image from nationalinterest.org

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