Ye Do Always Resist
Acts 7:51 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and
ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers
did, so do ye.” This charge was made against the wicked
Jews who stoned Stephen to death. It explains the reason why
the unregenerate resist the gospel. The text has nothing to
do with men resisting the Holy Spirit in his work of
Men who are dead in trespasses and sins may take up the
outward form religion, but they do not seek after true
religion. That is a settled fact, as Stephen here records: “Ye
do always resist the Holy Ghost.” It was not something
they did one day because they were in a bad mood, but
changed the next when they felt better. It was not a matter
of attitude, but of a lack of circumcision; and not an
uncircumcision of the flesh, but of the heart and ears.
Their hearts were hard because they were unregenerate hearts
- hearts of stone.
Notice that this stiffnecked and uncircumcised condition had
been just as true of the forefathers of these Jews as it was
of them. It was not a new condition, but an old one that
dated back to their fathers; indeed, all the way back to
their first father Adam. In the day that he ate of the
forbidden fruit he died in trespasses and sins, and passed
that condition of death along to all his posterity. “The
wicked are estranged from the womb,” David said. To be
estranged from someone is to have the affections alienated.
Estranged individuals exhibit hostility toward one another.
These stiffnecked Jews were estranged from God, and this
episode with Stephen showed just how hostile their hearts
were toward Him.
Brother Paul said, “We have before proved both Jews and
Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” Not only does
this condition that afflicted the Jews in our text extend
across time, but it also afflicts all of humanity in every
ethnic and geographic division. “There is none righteous,
no, not one.” Surely, Paul, there are a few exceptions to
this rule. Surely there are a few who are good! No, not one.
Every man is conceived in sin and has this uncircumcision of
heart passed to him by his father.
Thank God, however, that not all of humanity stays in this
condition! Some portion of the human race are rescued from
this uncircumcision. Those are the elect of God, who
sometime between conception and death are born of the Spirit
and have their hearts made tender by the grace and mercy of