Acts 6:10 They could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.
No argument can stand against the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. Failing in that, those in opposition to Stephen turned to violence, and eventually stoned him to death. That particular reaction has been repeated countless times down through the ages, starting with Cain killing Able. When evil is losing, it strikes out. We see that a great deal today, with violence being utilized by those on the losing side of clear, reasoned debate. Their goal is to silence those speaking truth by fear and intimidation, but we need to remember the Biblical record. Stephen was stoned to death, but received a clear vision of the glorified Christ in the process, (Acts 7:55-56) and was without question received into glory with great honor. Among those left behind, many if not most were emboldened to proclaim God’s truth all the more. Those in Christ need to remember that the worst anyone can do to us is kill us physically, and as Paul said, that has many advantages! (Philippians 1:23) Those on the side of truth aren’t to seek confrontation, but they aren’t to shy away from it. Not every member of the Body of Christ is called to Polemics or even Apologetics, (the areas of verbally attacking opposition and defending the faith) but we are all to stand firm in Christ whatever comes against us. The same wisdom and Spirit that empowered Stephen are available to us, should the need arise.
I haven’t gotten into too many arguments over the truth, but I will confess to being frequently tempted these days! I have been saddened to see people who have every reason to know better standing on the side of those opposing Biblical principles. As God allows me I do speak truth to them, but I must always be very careful to do so in love. (Ephesians 4:15) Even saying that, however, I must love God before and above everything else, and not let humanistic considerations cause me to abandon His truth. Yielding to a lie is not love! I have been in the painful position of having to tell a transgender person that God, and I, accepted them as a person, but that we could not accept them as a woman, because that was not what God created them to be. They went away sad, but I still pray for them. I have seen numbers of people messed up by other people, thinking they were being loving, failing to counter the lies they were proclaiming. I am to love God and love my neighbor enough to always speak the truth, whatever the consequences to me. That’s what Stephen did, and he is a worthy example to follow.
Father, I don’t expect to be martyred, but I don’t fear it. Help me be Your vessel of truth so that people may be set free, (John 8:32) for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!