Grace Greater than All Our sin
What is the relationship between Acts 8:1-3 and 1 Timothy 1:12–17? Last Sunday, Pastor Nick helpfully walked us through the account of Stephen’s stoning. This morning, a brother and I were reflecting on how difficult it would have been, while stones are sapping our life away, to say what Stephen said. Are you ready to be freshly shocked again at what comes out of a person's mouth whose gaze was on the ascended and standing King? And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Acts 7:59–60). Stephen fell asleep, asking that his killers might be forgiven! There is no other explanation for this that I could think of other than this is what Jesus and the Spirit of Jesus do to a person. On Sunday, Pastor Toph will dive into the next central character of Acts. He, too, was a witness to Stephen’s martyrdom. He was no innocent bystander, though. Acts 8:1 — And Saul approved of his execution. Saul thought that Stephen’s murder was good. One result of this will be great persecution against the church. And yet, in 1 Timothy 1:12–17, Saul turned Paul can say that he is an example of Jesus' perfect patience. What’s the relationship between Acts 8 and 1 Timothy 1? We see a needed reminder that this is what Jesus and the Spirit of Jesus do to a person. I saw it like this from Jackie Hill Perry— I am what God’s goodness will do to a soul once God’s grace gets to it. Brothers and sisters, drink deeply this week from the grace greater than all our sin.