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Philip & the Ethiopian

(140)

Sermon shared by Jeff Hughes

May 2003
Summary: Philip is sent on a mission - for 1 man.
Audience: General adults
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Old Testament – “Look for Jesus on every page.” Philip would show this man Jesus in this passage.
iii. The passage that the eunuch was reading provided a perfect opportunity for Philip. This speaks of God’s sovereignty. God led Philip to the right place, at the right time, to meet a man who God was preparing for the encounter. I like to call things like this that occur in my life divine appointments. Philip had a divine appointment.
iv. The passage he was reading is found in Isaiah chapter 53, verses 7 and 8. This passage deals with the suffering servant hood of Jesus Christ. Jesus would be our substitutionary sacrifice, the lamb that was slain for our sins. Isaiah had prophesied this, and God set these events in motion to bring this man to Christ.
v. The eunuch asks a strange question here. He doesn’t ask about what the verses mean. He could read the words, but he wanted to know the deeper meaning. He asks if the prophet was talking about himself or someone else.
vi. This is because there was much confusion among the Jews at the time what this passage meant. Some thought it referred to the prophet’s own experiences. Others thought that the servant was a representation of the entire nation of Israel. Still others though that it must point to the Messiah, God’s salvation to the nation.
vii. The question in the passage is fitting as well. “Who will declare his generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” It was clear to Philip who this passage was talking about. Philip was a Christian. It would be himself and his brothers in Christ that would declare Jesus to the world.
viii. Philip was obedient. He followed God’s direction. He was enthusiastic. He ran to overtake the chariot. Just as important as the first two, he was ready.
ix. Paul tells Timothy this in 2nd Timothy chapter4, verse 2 - Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
x. Philip was ready to open the scriptures to this man and let God do the work on his life. We see God at work in verses 35 through 37.
f. The Salvation (Acts 8:35 - 38)
i. 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" 37 Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
ii. Philip opens a mouth. It is significant here because in classical Greek writing, what it means is that this is the central point, the most important part, the climax of Philip’s conversation with the Ethiopian.
iii. Philip takes this opportunity to digress from the passage and explain the fulfillment of the passage itself through Jesus Christ. No doubt that Philip
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