Summary: Disciples are never content to RECEIVE the Gospel, because a key element of the Gospel is that it is to be shared! The Spirit prompts us to share the Gospel - are we listening?
-ACTS OF DISCIPLESHIP-
DISCIPLES REACH OUT TOGETHER
Disciples are never content to RECEIVE the Gospel, because a key element of the Gospel is that it is to be shared! The Spirit prompts us to share the Gospel - are we listening?
Acts is Dr. Luke’s account of the spreading flame of the beginning of Christianity. We have walked about Acts of
Discipleship: Disciples Get Together, Disciples Work Together, and in this message we note that Disciples Reach
The first church of Jesus was an outreaching church.
Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 4:4 The number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
Acts 5:42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
When we get to Acts 8:
-Stephen had been stoned - the first Christian martyr
-The church was beginning to experience persecution
-8:4 “those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went”
Philip went down to Samaria and preached.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
3. Our text today centers around three important questions!
1. Do You Understand What You Are Reading?
(Acts 8:30-31 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
The Ethiopian Eunuch. From Ethiopia (modern Nubia on Nile river, Northern Sudan) - several hundred miles from Jerusalem. A nobleman, an important official, charge of treasury. Some translations say the treasury of Candace-which is not a name, but a title (like Pharaoh). A Eunuch - the most common use: a castrated male. As such, he would not be allowed into the temple. Traveled so far, to just get close - a religious man. He was not a Jewish person by birth, but a proselyte. Philip was asked to go and see a person who had some religious background, interest, and who was reading a scroll of Isaiah.
A few thoughts about this for us today:
-Access to the Bible does not mean willingness to read
-Willing to read does not mean ability to understand
-Read the Bible all you can. How does your Bible reading match up to your TV watching?
-Do whatever you can to understand the Bible you read. So many helps and guides available.
-Christians should be students of the Bible. When opportunity arises, we can engage in discussion.
2. Who is the Prophet Talking About?
(Acts 8:32-35 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth." 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.)
Isaiah 53 is a chapter about the suffering of the Savior. It is an amazing prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. What a perfect launching pad to have a great conversation about Jesus! The Ethiopian had an earnest desire to know more about this Jesus.
Jesus is the center - the good news about Jesus! When we talk to people about the Lord, we are not trying to convince them that our church is right, or the way we practice is the only way that can be practiced - we are focused instead on the beauty of the Jesus story! What do we need to know? There is a God! Jesus is His Son!
Jesus gave his life on cross to save us from sin. The Good News of the Gospel is a Savior who gives believers Forgiveness, Family, and Forever!
3. What Can Stand in the Way of My Being Baptized
(Acts 8:36-38 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.)