Lessons from Acts 7

15 Incredible Lessons from Acts 7 Plus Summary of Acts Chapter 7: Applying the Book of Acts to Your Daily Life

There are lots of life-changing lessons from Acts chapter 7. Imagine unearthing a gem that has been waiting for ages, just for you! Acts Chapter 7 in the Bible is precisely this gem, brimming with wisdom and lessons.

Friends, Acts 7 isn’t just history; it’s a guiding light for our paths today.

So, we’re going to delve into the summary of Acts chapter 6. Afterwards, we’ll draw out the invaluable lessons from Acts 6 that we can apply to our lives.

When we soak ourselves in Scripture and apply it to our daily lives, we’re shaped and molded in unimaginable ways. Acts 7 is waiting, so let’s jump right in!

Please note that this is a detailed article, so it may be quite long. However, there is a convenient table of contents available to assist you in navigating. Feel free to jump directly to the specific section that captures your attention. Let’s begin our exploration!

[Read: Summary and Lessons from Acts 6]

Summary of Acts Chapter 7

Before Acts 7 (Setting the Stage)

This chapter follows the events of Acts 6, where Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to serve the widows in the church, and where he faced false accusations of blasphemy from some Jews who brought him before the Sanhedrin.

In this Chapter, we will see how Stephen defended his faith in Christ, how he saw a vision of Christ in heaven, and how he died praying for his enemies, while Saul approved of his death and the gospel spread beyond Jerusalem.

Location and Time of Acts 7

The location of the chapter is Jerusalem, where Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin and stoned to death outside the city.

The time of the chapter is not explicitly stated, but it is estimated to be around AD 34 or 35, based on the chronology of Paul’s conversion and ministry. This means that the events of this chapter took place about four or five years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

One-Word Summary of Acts Chapter 7


Reason: The word “witness” is chosen because it captures the main theme and message of the chapter. Stephen was a witness of Christ, who testified to his identity and work through his speech and his death. He also saw a vision of Christ in heaven, confirming his faith and hope. His martyrdom was also witnessed by Saul, who later became a witness of Christ himself. Finally, his death was the catalyst for the church to witness to the gospel beyond Jerusalem, fulfilling Christ’s command in Acts 1:8.

One Sentence Summary of Acts Chapter 7

Before the Sanhedrin, Stephen testifies to Christ’s fulfillment of Israel’s history, sees Christ standing at God’s right hand, and forgives his killers as he dies, while Saul approves of his death and the gospel spreads beyond Jerusalem.

Comprehensive Summary of Acts 7

Stephen’s Arrest

  • Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to serve the widows in the church.
  • He was arrested by some Jews who accused him of blasphemy.
  • He was brought before the Sanhedrin, where he faced false witnesses who repeated the charges against him.

Stephen’s Defense

  • Stephen gave a long speech that summarized the history of Israel from Abraham to Solomon.
  • He showed how God had been faithful to his promises and how the people had been rebellious and idolatrous.
  • He also showed how Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies and the true temple of God.

Stephen’s Accusation

  • Stephen ended his speech by accusing his listeners of being stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, of resisting the Holy Spirit, of persecuting the prophets who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and of betraying and murdering him.

Stephen’s Vision

  • The members of the Sanhedrin were enraged by Stephen’s words and gnashed their teeth at him.
  • But Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at his right hand.
  • He declared what he saw to them, but they covered their ears and rushed at him with one accord.

Stephen’s Execution

  • They dragged him out of the city and stoned him to death, while he prayed for their forgiveness and committed his spirit to the Lord.
  • Saul was among those who witnessed and approved of his death.

Acts 7 Summary in Table Format

Section Verses Summary
Introduction 1 The high priest asks Stephen if the charges against him are true.
Stephen’s Speech 2-50 Stephen gives a long speech that summarizes the history of Israel from Abraham to Solomon, showing how God fulfilled his promises and how the people rebelled and rejected Jesus as the true temple of God.
Stephen’s Accusation 51-53 Stephen accuses his listeners of being stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, of resisting the Holy Spirit, of persecuting the prophets who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and of betraying and murdering him.
Stephen’s Vision 54-56 The members of the Sanhedrin are enraged by Stephen’s words and gnash their teeth at him. But Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, looks up to heaven and sees the glory of God and Jesus standing at his right hand. He declares what he sees to them, but they cover their ears and rush at him with one accord.
Stephen’s Execution 57-60 They drag him out of the city and stone him to death, while he prays for their forgiveness and commits his spirit to the Lord. Saul is among those who witness and approve of his death.

Summary of the Stephen’s Speech in Table

Subsection Verses Summary
Abraham 2-8 Stephen recounts how God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia and called him to leave his country and go to the land that he would show him. He reminds them that God gave Abraham no inheritance in that land, but promised to give it to his descendants, even though he had no child at that time. He also mentions how God predicted that Abraham’s descendants would be strangers and slaves in a foreign land for four hundred years, but that he would judge that nation and bring them out to worship him in this place. He then moves on to describe how God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision, and how he became the father of Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs.
Joseph 9-16 Stephen narrates how the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt, but how God was with him and made him ruler over Egypt and his house. He explains how a famine struck Egypt and Canaan, and how Jacob sent his sons to buy grain in Egypt, where they met Joseph and were reconciled with him. He also mentions how Jacob and his family moved to Egypt, where they died and were buried in Shechem.
Moses 17-44 Stephen tells how God fulfilled his promise to Abraham by multiplying his people in Egypt, until a new king arose who did not know Joseph and oppressed them. He introduces Moses as the one whom God raised up to deliver his people from bondage, and describes his birth, education, and early life in Egypt. He recounts how Moses tried to help his fellow Israelites by killing an Egyptian who was mistreating one of them, but how they rejected him as their leader. He then describes how God appeared to Moses in the burning bush at Mount Sinai, and commissioned him to bring his people out of Egypt. He proceeds by summarizing how Moses performed signs and wonders in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness, and how he received the living oracles from God on Mount Sinai for the people. He points out how the people turned away from God and made a golden calf to worship, provoking God’s anger and judgment. He quotes from the prophets Amos and Isaiah to show how God rejected their idolatry and sent them into exile. He then shifts his focus to the tabernacle and the temple, which were symbols of God’s presence among his people. He reminds them that God instructed Moses to make a tabernacle according to the pattern he had seen on Mount Sinai, which was later brought into the land by Joshua and remained until David’s time.
Solomon 45-50 Stephen acknowledges that David desired to build a house for God, but that it was Solomon who actually built it. However, he challenges their assumption that God dwells in temples made with hands, by quoting from Isaiah 66:1-2, where God declares that heaven is his throne and earth is his footstool, and that he looks for those who are humble and contrite in spirit.

Theme of Acts Chapter 7

The theme of the chapter is the witness of Stephen, who defended his faith in Christ by giving a sweeping overview of God’s redemptive plan for his people, and who demonstrated his courage and love by facing death with grace and forgiveness.

His martyrdom sparked a great persecution against the church, but also paved the way for the gospel to spread beyond Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

Some of the sub-themes of the chapter are:

  • God’s faithfulness to his promises and his presence among his people, regardless of their location or circumstances.
  • The people’s rebellion and idolatry, and their rejection of God’s messengers and Messiah.
  • Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophecies and the true temple of God.
  • The role of the Holy Spirit in empowering and guiding Stephen and the church.
  • The contrast between Stephen’s wisdom and spirit, and the ignorance and rage of his opponents.
  • The vision of Christ in heaven, confirming Stephen’s faith and hope.
  • The prayer of forgiveness, echoing the prayer of Jesus on the cross.

15 Life-Changing Lessons From Acts 7

Lesson 1: Dear Reader, Hearken! (Acts 7:2)

There is a difference between listening and hearing, just as there is a difference between seeing and knowing.

Meg Cabot

In Acts 7:2, Stephen begins his speech by saying, “Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken.” The word ‘hearken’ means to listen carefully. It paints a picture of leaning in close, eagerly drinking in every word. You see, there’s hearing, and then there’s listening. Now, if you’re anything like me, you might sometimes find your thoughts wandering during a sermon or while reading the Bible.

But let this be a gentle nudge – God’s Word is speaking to you! The beauty of Scripture is that it’s alive and active. When Stephen says, “Hearken,” it’s a call to us too! It’s a whisper, urging us to lean into God’s Word, let it simmer in our souls, and transform us from the inside out. It’s Isaiah 55:3 in action: “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.

What treasures might you find if you truly hearken? Make it a decision today to always pay close attention whenever and wherever the word of God is being spoken. Remember, it is the word of your King! (Ecclesiastes 8:4) Proverbs 2:2 says, “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding.”

Next time the word of God is spoken, endeavor to listen closely and not just to hear it.

Lesson 2: Get thee out…and come into (Acts 7:3)

As Stephen continues, he recounts God’s words to Abraham: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee” (Acts 7:3). It’s an invitation – no, a loving command – to step out of familiarity and into promise. Just imagine the rush of emotions Abraham must have felt. The trepidation, the anticipation!

What’s striking here is that God is asking Abraham to leave what’s familiar and step into the unknown.

Friend, is God calling you to step out of your comfort zone? To embrace change for His glory?

Now, think about your life. Has there been a time when God nudged you to leave behind the familiar? Is He requesting that you:

  • Get thee out of toxic relationships…and come into community with those who build you up.
  • Get thee out of endless worrying…and come into the peace of trusting in Me.
  • Get thee out of holding grudges…and come into the freedom of forgiveness.
  • Get thee out of the life of habitual sin…and come into that of holiness.

These might really be hard to get out of, truth be told. But the loving command is, “get thee out!” (1 Peter 2:1-3).

So, as we see in Abraham’s life, stepping out in faith can lead to immeasurable blessings. Let’s remember that it’s not just about taking a leap of faith; it’s about knowing who’s guiding our steps.

Won’t you make a decision today to get out of…and come into?

Lesson 3: Harden Not Your Heart (Acts 7:39)

In Acts 7:39, Stephen talks about the Israelites’ rebellion: “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt...”. They were no longer in Egypt, but their hearts were. Friends, this is a heart issue! How often do we, like the Israelites, harden our hearts and yearn for our own ‘Egypts’ – the things we should have left behind?

God calls us out for a purpose, but sometimes our hearts can be stubborn. In times like these, it’s vital to remember that a hardened heart is like a wall between us and God’s best for us. Let’s pray for a heart that’s soft, open, and responsive to God’s calling. Ezekiel 36:26 promises, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”

Won’t you cry out to God today for this promised heart?

Lesson 4: Forgive and Pray for Your Persecutors (Acts 7:60)

As stones pelted his body, Stephen’s heart was filled with love. Acts 7:60 says, “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” This is a profound moment. Stephen chooses forgiveness and love in the face of hatred. What about us? Are we holding on to grudges or bitterness?

Forgiving those who have wronged us is one of the hardest things to do. But let’s be inspired by Stephen and remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:14, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” We are called to love, even when it’s tough. Especially when it’s tough.

Lesson 5: Be Attentive to God’s Call (Acts 7:2-3, 7:34-35)

As Stephen recounts the calling of Abraham and Moses, we’re reminded of how attentive they were to God’s voice. What’s amazing is that God’s call came in the midst of their ordinary lives. Friends, God still speaks today! Are our hearts tuned to His frequency? Sometimes we’re so caught up in the hustle that we forget to pause and listen. But God could be calling you right now, for something incredible.

Yes, even you with all your perceived shortcomings. Take Moses, for instance. He was not eloquent in speech, but God used him mightily. Don’t doubt for a moment that He can use you.

Let’s create space in our lives to hear Him. Whether it’s through prayer, reading the Bible, or worship, let’s cultivate an attentive heart.

Lesson 6: He Knows the Future (Acts 7:6-7)

Stephen speaks of God’s promises to Abraham about the future. Here’s the mind-blowing part: God sees the tapestry of our lives from beginning to end. Sometimes we worry about tomorrow, next month, or next year. But here’s the comforting truth: God’s already there. He holds our future. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Can we, from henceforth, rest in the knowledge that He’s got this?

Lesson 7: He is the God of Judgment (Acts 7:7)

Stephen, in Acts 7:7, highlights that God is a God of judgment. Sometimes, to serve Him the way He desires, we need Him to step in and judge situations. Friends, is there something in your life that you feel is holding you back from fully serving God?

Do not shy away from bringing it before God and asking Him to judge it. This is not a judgment of condemnation, but a righteous judgment that breaks chains and sets hearts free to serve Him without hindrance. Psalm 89:14 reminds us, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” As we desire to serve Him wholeheartedly, let’s call upon God to remove the barriers and let His judgments pave the way for a deeper commitment to Him.

Lesson 8: The Covenant of Circumcision Still Holds(Acts 7:8)

When Stephen speaks of the covenant of circumcision in Acts 7:8, you might wonder, “What does that have to do with me?” Much indeed! You see, circumcision symbolized the Israelites’ set-apartness for God. Today, this covenant takes on a deeper meaning.Paul sheds light on this in Colossians 2:11, saying, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” It’s a circumcision of the heart! It’s about being set apart, with hearts pure and devoted to God.

Lesson 9: But God Was with Him (Acts 7:9-10)

The story of Joseph is rich with divine orchestration. Despite the pit, the chains, and the prison, Acts 7:9-10 says, “But God was with him.” What comfort those words bring! Now, think about your own life. You may be facing trials or be in a place you never expected to be. But here’s what matters most – is God with you? If He is, then you have all you need. Just as He was with Joseph, turning his trials into triumph, He can and will do the same for you.

Lesson 10: Keep Your Focus on Heaven (Acts 7:55-56)

As the stones hurled towards Stephen, something extraordinary happened – he looked up and saw the heavens open, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Imagine that! Even in the face of death, his focus was not on his pain but on heaven.

What does this teach us? In life’s storms, it’s easy to become consumed with our worries and fears. But like Stephen, we need to keep our focus on heaven. Our earthly journey is but a blip compared to eternity.

Having an eternal perspective or keeping our focus on heaven helps us navigate life with hope and grace. Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Lesson 11: Trust in God’s Timing (Acts 7:17-20)

In Acts 7:5, Stephen speaks of God’s promise to Abraham – a promise made when Abraham had no child. God’s promise was sure, but the timing seemed mysterious. Eventually, in the midst of affliction, when the time of the promise drew nigh, Moses was born.

How does this apply to us? At times, God’s promises may seem distant, almost out of reach. But take heart, for God’s timing is perfect. He knows what He’s doing. Maybe you are waiting for an answered prayer or the fulfillment of a promise. Remember, like with Abraham, God’s timing often doesn’t align with ours, but it is always impeccable. Your “Moses” might be born when all hope seems to be lost. As Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.”

Lesson 12: The God that Sees, Hears, Comes, and Sends (Acts 7:30)

In verse 30, Stephen recounts the story of Moses and the burning bush, highlighting how God saw the affliction of His people, heard their cries, came down, and sent Moses to deliver them. This was not just a story of old; this is the character of our God.

Today, He still sees, hears, comes, and sends. Whatever your situation, know that God sees your struggles, hears your cries, and is actively involved. He’s a God of action, and in His perfect timing, He sends deliverance, peace, and answers. So don’t lose hope! As Psalm 34:17 assures us, “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”

Lesson 13: As for this Moses, which Brought Us Out: A Dangerous Misattribution (Acts 7:40)

Stephen recounts how the Israelites said, “Moses who brought us out” from Egypt. Notice how they attributed their deliverance to Moses and not God. It’s a piercing reminder that they didn’t truly know their God. Not recognizing the Almighty who parted the Red Sea for them, led them by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, is baffling.

This lack of recognition and relationship with God is what caused their hearts to turn back to Egypt and led them to create a golden calf to worship. They didn’t know the God who saved them, and so they turned to idols.

Now, let’s turn this mirror to ourselves. Do *you* know God? Do you recognize the One who has granted you life and breath today? Have you, perhaps unknowingly, made other gods for yourself? Do material possessions like money and wealth, or pursuit for a career captivate your heart more than the Almighty? It’s time for a heart-check.

The Apostle Paul had one desire, which he expresses in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.” Today, let’s make this our fervent desire too, to know God deeply, whatever it takes. Because in knowing Him, we find true purpose and joy, and our hearts are safeguarded against turning to lesser things.

Lesson 14: What House Will Ye Build Me?

In Acts 7:49, Stephen quotes God’s words, “What house will ye build me?” Friends, this is a deeply probing question. God doesn’t desire buildings or monuments; He desires our hearts. Have you built a dwelling place for God in your heart? Is your heart tender, open, and devoted to Him? Let’s be people whose hearts are God’s sanctuary. As Ephesians 3:17 prays, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.”

Lesson 15: Always Learn from the Past (Acts 7:51-53)

In the closing of his speech, Stephen calls out the Sanhedrin, reminding them of the past mistakes of their ancestors. Dear reader, there’s a lesson for us too. The past is a treasure trove of lessons.

How often have we, like the Israelites, repeated mistakes? The past is not just stories; it’s a roadmap of what to embrace and what to avoid. As we learn from the past, we become wiser, and our walk with God becomes steadier. As Romans 15:4 tells us, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Let’s glean wisdom from the past, even the Word of God.

Thank you for going through these lessons. I hope you are richly blessed by them. May God grant you grace to apply them!

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