Summary: From the ministry of Jesus and His followers we see the importance of knowing and applying the Word of God to our lives. This sermon gives three word pictures of the Authority of God’s Word.
God’s Word is Like ….
During the months of May and June I’m preaching on the Authority of God’s Word. I have spoken on the “Power of God’s Word” and the importance of “Fathers’ Passing on God’s Word to their Children.” This morning I’m focusing on what “God’s Word is Like…”
Most Americans refer to our country as being a Christian Nation, but a small minority of people actually read and study and Bible. According to the Barna Research Group 70% of Americans don’t know what John 3:16 says. 38% don’t know that the book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament and 32% don’t know that Jesus had 12 disciples. Yet 9 out of 10 American adults own at least one Bible. 75% of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.”
From the ministry of the followers of Jesus and the life and teaching of Jesus we see the importance of knowing and applying the Word of God to our lives.
I. God’s Word is Like Finding Good News at the End of a Journey
(Acts 8:26-40) God’s Word is the answer to a person who is on a journey searching for truth. The person finds truth in God’s Word. A Ethiopian Eunuch was searching for truth. He was the treasurer for the Queen of Abyssinia in Ethiopia. He was a wealthy man. He had his own scroll. Biblical scrolls were hand written and were expenses and could not be afforded by non wealthy people. The Eunuch was religious but was searching for truth. He journeyed from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship. He was probably there on the day of Pentecost. He may have even heard Peter preach, but he continued to search for truth.
God used a lay evangelist and preacher to give the truth to the Eunuch. Philip was one of the seven lay ministers appointed to assist the Apostles in compassion and outreach ministries. Philip traveled to Samaria and was the key person to lead the people of Samaria in a revival and seeking the Lord. There was such a response that the Jerusalem church sent Peter and John to assist in follow and training the new converts.
While Philip is seeing great results the Lord has another mission for him. When God has a special mission he doesn’t go to someone waiting for God’s call and something to do. He goes to busy people actively serving the Lord.
Philip is sent 60 miles to southern Palestine near the border of Egypt in a dessert area. Acts 8:27, Philip didn’t waste any time he immediately started on his journey. If he would have waited he may have missed the opportunity to witness t the Eunuch.
When Philip arrived in Gaza he met a man sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah. The Holy Spirit directed Philip to stop near the chariot. He heard the man reading aloud from Isaiah 53.
He began his witness by asking a simple question: “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Eunuch responded: “How can I know unless someone explains it to me?” Philip climbed up into the chariot with the Eunuch and explained to him the good news about Jesus starting with the scripture in Isaiah 53. (Prophecy of the coming Messiah and his suffering on the cross for our sins) Jesus is the answer to Jew or Gentile searching for truth.
You may search for truth in many places and many religions and many experiences, but Eternal Truth is found only in one person, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “To the Jews who believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
David Rostad pastors a church in southern Wisconsin where migrant workers come from Mexico every summer to toil long hours in the fields. They live in rough barracks and the work is exhausting, but the money is attractive. David and the congregation reach out to these people by holding Sunday afternoon services and Wednesday night Bible studies.
One Wednesday a man named Roghelio stopped by at starting time, asking quietly for a Bible. “Sure, we’ll be glad to give you one,” the leader said. “In fact, we’re just about to start our study. Why don’t you join us?” Too shy to stay, Roghelio grabbed the Bible, and darted out the door.
Surprisingly, the next week he returned—in a starkly different mood. He smiled, talked freely, and before the evening was over told the following story.
“I looked down the list of contents in the front of the Bible you gave me,” he said, “and I didn’t recognize a lot of the names. But then I saw the section about ‘job.’ I thought to myself that since I came up north here for a job, maybe this part of the Bible could help me. So I started reading there.”