Acts 6:8-10 ” Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen – Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.”

Stephen was not among the original twelve disciples. Rather, he was part of the seven appointed by them as the early Church grew. (Acts 6:5) But this obscure and little known man holds the distinction of being the first Christian to die for his belief. But why? Stephen boldly spoke God’s Message of a crucified Jesus Christ that was raised from the dead on the third day and would be coming back again someday. And with strength and favor found only in the Lord, he preached repentance and salvation to a hostile Jewish crowd that couldn’t handle the truth, let alone verbally outmaneuver him. So all they could do was falsely charge him with blasphemy. But Stephen never faltered in his faith, conviction, or obedience to the Lord…and so he was martyred for speaking the truth.

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