Summary: To establish God is always in search of men through us to be saved, and to accomplish his will. This lesson presents a clear example of the New Testament’s pattern of conversion.
1. God Sought for a Man - Found Philip:
2. Philip Sought for a Man - Found the Eunuch:
3. Eunuch Sought for a Man - Found Jesus:
1. In our scripture lesson a call went out. The angel of the Lord directed Philip: “go south into the desert.” He quickly made haste and went, “south unto Gaza.” After arriving there, the Holy Spirit directed him to: “go join thyself to this chariot.” Once there, he heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked: “understand what thou readest?” He replied: “how can I except a man should guide me.” After which, the preacher was invited by a man to join him in the chariot. In this lesson we will clearly see the divine hand of God in conversion; and the power of gospel preaching, from the Old Testament scriptures.
2. First, we notice that God sought for a man; and call Philip. Our lesson is an account of a prominent man's conversion to Christ. He is a eunuch; the treasurer of Candace Queen of the Ethiopians (her chief financial officer; Secretary of the Treasury). Philip was summoned to go south in search of a resent worshipper of Jerusalem, in search of the truth. But this lesson goes far deeper than it appears on the surface. As we look closer, God sought for a man and found Philip.
3. Secondly, Philip was in search of a man, and found the treasurer. Truly, there is a great need for men to go south, into the desert. These are men who are willing to travel away from the affluence and materialism of the world. He went far away from nobility, intellectualism and pride. He had a rebirth of simple concern for doing, rather than just planning. Philip found purpose in the desert. His highways and byways were barren and dusty fields. For it was there in the desert he found a man in search of the Master. God has found, purified and prepared many sincere and dedicated men in the desert, through adversities, hardships, and trials of their faith. Men such as Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist and even Jesus, were men refined in the desert.
4. Finally, the eunuch was in search of a man, and found Jesus. He asked the evangelist Philip: "of whom speaketh the prophet this, of himself of some other man?" Brethren, here is how you win people. Notice: "Philip began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus." It should be understood that only in the scriptures can anyone find Jesus. Jehovah himself said: "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart," Jeremiah 29:13. Search where Jehovah? See John 5:39. Truly, the treasurer found the greatest treasure, when he learned of Christ, who had purchased eternal salvation for him, at Calvary, as he was taught by Philip the evangelist in his chariot in the desert. Our first thought – “God sought for a man.”
BODY OF LESSON
I. GOD SOUGHT FOR A MAN:
A. Brethren, God is always in search of a man to go for him. In our lesson, God sought for a man to go down to the desert to accomplish his will. The scripture says: "And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert," Verse 25. God is always in search of men to go for him and to accomplish his will and purpose. Philip had just concluded his tent meeting in Samaria. Acts 8:5-8, "And there was great joy in that city." God's call is one of urgency! Notice Paul's call into Macedonia. Acts 16:9-10 "Come over into Macedonia and help us..." A call to help went out from Macedonia. A call which might bring about: great hardships, trials of faith, shipwreck, imprisonment, the loss of earthly possessions, rejection from family, abandonment of friends, denial of religious freedoms, and even death.
B. Philip's response. "And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem for to worship. Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet." verse 26. Here was a man who had just finished worship; he was reading the scriptures. Probably attempting to obtain a better understanding of the Rabbi's message in the temple regarding the Messiah? Isa 53:1ff. “The steps of a good man is ordered by the Lord,” Psalms 37:23.
C. Philip the evangelist. Philip was a great evangelist. He was one of the seven deacons (full of the Holy Spirit and faith) of the church at Jerusalem, Acts 6:1-7. He had just concluded a tent meeting in Samaria, with great results for the Master. Verse 5; also in Acts 8:12 "And when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Luke says: "And there was great joy in that city," Acts 8:8. Notice, when Philip finished his preaching of the kingdom and the name of Jesus, both men and women were BAPTIZED! When preaching Christ; baptism is included in the message!