“But they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.” (Acts 6:10 NIV84)
Stephen was a strong believer and a powerful witness to the Gospel message of the kingdom of God. He boldly defended his faith in his community. Often, he did so under quite a bit of opposition. We ourselves might find it challenging to think about standing up to people in our community and defending our faith. Most of us begin to choke up thinking about having to speak at church, let alone to family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Our verse for today tells us that Stephen was so convincing that his opposition could not stand up against his arguments. How was Stephen able to do it? Our verse for today gives us two keys.
First, he spoke with wisdom. He spoke with the authority of the Word of God — the same wisdom of God that has existed for all eternity, the same wisdom that created the universe and holds it all together today. He spoke with a wisdom rooted in God’s eternal, unchangeable truths. Second, he spoke with the power of the Holy Spirit. Stephen did not have to rely on his own persuasive power; he could rely on the power of the Holy Spirit — a power that can cause the dead to rise, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He relied on the power that makes the Word of God living and active and can cause a grown man to be born again.
Friends in Christ, the good news is that we are promised by God that He will have our backs like He had Stephen’s. As long as we are committed to the truth (wisdom) of God’s Word, He will provide us the authority and power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen our defense and work to convince those we speak to. Isn’t it good to know that God always has our back!?!