Summary: EASTER 5(B) - April 28, 2002 - Our gracious God directs His eternal salvation from Scripture to man and from man into humanity.
GOD DIRECTS ETERNAL SALVATION
Acts 8:26-40 - April 28, 2002
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth."
34The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?" 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39When 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. 40Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Dearest Fellow-Redeemed & Saints in the Lord:
As we heard these words of God, we realized the strength and power of God that He has to change men’s lives. Yet, as we live and walk about in this world, many do not believe in that same strength and power of God to change men’s lives or even direct men’s lives. So mankind from time to time rejects that God has any power or strength. When they do that, they even reject the fact that God has any wisdom or knowledge. Yet, today as our text shows us, it is by the wisdom and knowledge of God who has that power and strength that anyone would be saved at all. When Adam and Eve sinned, the thinking of man would have been to destroy them and take revenge; but God’s wisdom was to save them, to provide a Savior for their eternal salvation. Paul wrote to Timothy and he reminded the believers there that they should pray for all the people all the time. He told them why, "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth" (TIMOTHY 2:3,4).
That is God’s wisdom. That is God’s power and strength that He would save any of us. He wanted all to share eternity with Him. With that in mind, we look at the words of our text and realize that:
GOD DIRECTS ETERNAL SALVATION. As our text points out to us, He directs eternal salvation I. from Scripture to man and II. from man into humanity.
We find God directing this salvation at the very beginning of our text as Phillip is given direction in his life. "Now an angel of the Lord said to Phillip, go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." He was to leave from where he was. He had been in the area of Samaria preaching and teaching and had great success. Great crowds had come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Lord says he should leave, and now he does. "Phillip started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians." Even though Phillip had great success in Samaria, the Lord says there is one more soul to be saved. So He sends Phillip on his way. There was so much going on where Phillip had been that he had Peter and John come up and help him. Peter and John and Phillip were preaching the Gospel to hundreds and hundreds believed. But God’s plan was for Phillip to meet one person, no longer working among the hundreds but with this one person. Phillip listens and the Lord directs eternal salvation.