Summary: 1. Baptism reminds us of the Lord's love. 2. Baptism reminds us of a caring Christians. 3. Baptism reminds us of the miraculous meeting in salvation.

Baptism Is a Big Deal!

Acts 8:26-39

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - August 21, 2016

*Baptism is a very big deal in Ukraine. Most of the churches don't have a water tank inside to baptize people. And the winters over there are very cold, so they only get to baptize once or twice a year. On those days the whole church loads up and goes to the lake or river. And I have seen 70 people lined up on the bank of the river to be baptized!

*As each person came out of the water, the choir broke into a chorus of praise. Then they greeted the people coming out of the water with hugs and kisses. They also gave them a bouquet of flowers, and a new Bible.

*Baptism is a big deal in Ukraine. It's also a big deal in here in Grayson. Let's look into God's Word and see why.

1 First: Baptism is important because it reminds us of the Lord's love.

*Baptism can remind us how much God loves each and every one of us.

[1] In today's Scripture, we see the Lord's love in the way He directed Philip.

*That's one of the things I have always loved about this story: The way the Lord directed Philip to the Ethiopian. Back up in vs. 5-8, God's Word tells us that:

5. . . Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

6. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

7. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

8. And there was great joy in that city.

*There was a great revival going on in Samaria, and we might have told Philip to stay right where he was. But God cares about the one just as much as He cares about the crowd. God cares about you just as much as He cares about the crowd.

*So the Lord had another assignment for Philip. In vs. 26: "An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, 'Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is desert."

*God sent Philip in a new direction. It was a desert place, and ordinarily it was a deserted place. But God knew who was going to be on the road that day, so, the Lord put Philip in just the right place at just the right time to help the Ethiopian.

*God loved that one Ethiopian man, and God loves you! In a world of over 7 billion people, it's easy to feel small and insignificant. In a world of big cities, small towns may feel insignificant.

*I like a story that was in Reader's Digest years ago. It was about a little town in Iowa called Imogene. At the time only 80 people lived there. Someone from Imogene put out a funny magazine once a month. It was called "The Imogene Hub" One month they had this big headline: "Imogene Zoo Closes" Underneath was a one-line story that said, "The chicken died." (1)

*Well, you may feel smaller than a one-chicken zoo, but you are important in God's eyes! He loves each one of us! We see it in the way the Lord directed Philip.

[2] And best of all, we see it in the way the Lord died. We see Jesus Christ's love in the way He died on the cross for our sins.

*Now at first glance, you might not think this man from Ethiopia needed the cross. Verses 27-28 tell us that he was:

27. . . a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,

28. was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.

*This man was a very rich and powerful leader in his country. He had almost everything the world could offer. Plus he was religious. The Ethiopian had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was even reading the Bible when Philip got to him.

*But his religion was not enough to save him. His money was not enough. His position was not enough to save him. His power was not enough. His prestige was not enough.

*That man desperately needed Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for our sins! Everybody desperately needs Jesus! And vs. 29-30 point us to the cross, because here:

29. . . The Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot.''

30. So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?''

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