If you want a quick summary of the OT, check out Stephen’s take on history in Acts 7. Stephen gave the big picture view of the battle between belief and unbelief throughout the Bible. The whole point was that God intended to have a spiritual relationship with man. Stephen not only talked about it boldly, he also boldly lived it.
There has always been opposition and it usually comes from the religious circles of the times. Of course in that time,they accused people like Stephen of being blasphemous against God, Moses, the temple and the law even to the point of lying about him. Their arrogance and desire for control and power had them running around frothing at the mouth to be the ‘spiritually elite’.
In the Acts period, the Sadduces were a group that nixed any mention of resurrection. There were also the Pharisees who were very zealous to adhere to the law both oral and written. Then along comes Jesus Christ who not only was the end of the law but also rose up out of the grave!
Stephen’s response is a focused history of the Old Testament tension between the great men of God and those who just could not get out of idolatry (especially about themselves) and who returned habitually to the quicksand of the senses understanding of things. This is always the battle in every situation. It is the tension between spiritual knowledge and knowledge that comes by way of the five senses. It is not that we can’t learn through the senses, it’s just that it is incomplete and deceptive at times. What appears is not always what is. That’s the point.
To illustrate this, take for example, my Bible opened on the table. It looks, feels, smells, tastes and sounds like a book when read. It has 4 columns across, is written in King James English and to the average eye is unmistakably a Bible. What really lies within the Bible is God’s heart and the true spiritual knowledge of God that becomes accessible when it is read and digested by someone who desires the truth. For someone who reads it for other reasons, it may be an example of literature, history, something to fill a drawer in a hotel room, a dust magnet on a coffee table or it may even be used to twist its words to manipulate power in the religious world.
The Bible is not on the best seller list for everyone, only to those who believe. That’s a no brainer!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (American Standard Version) Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.
‘Furnished completely’ doesn’t mean piously pure or obnoxiously arrogant, it simply means up to the task of doing good stuff, energized and inspired by the God of the universe! (Sorry ” Secret”-readers, he’s not a genie! He’s God!)
Acts 7:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
In the Word that he spoke, Stephen rightly divided the Word to expose the truth. His knowledge of the Word to be able to lay it on the line like he did to the oposition was skillful. He was a man of boldness and believing.