Summary: To establish God is always in search of men through us to be saved; and, to accomplish his divine will. This lesson presents a clear example of the New Testament's "pattern of conversion." This pattern is replicated throughout the Book of Acts.
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: "To 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 thy self 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 guide me?" After this, the preacher was invited to join the man in the chariot. In this lesson we will 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 called upon 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 recent 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. It was there in the desert, he found a man in search of Jesus. 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 all 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 the scriptures, where Jehovah may be found, 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. With this introduction, let's consider our first point in this lesson – "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. Luke wrote: "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," Acts 8:26. God is always in search of men to go for him and to accomplish His will and purpose. He calls upon men who are already busy! Observe--
1. Philip had just concluded his tent meeting in Samaria. "And there was great joy in that city," Acts 8:5-8.
2. God's call is one of urgency! Paul's call into Macedonia: "Come over into Macedonia and help us," Acts 16:9-10. A call to help went out from Macedonia.
3. 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. Men like Philip, Paul, and Silas, willingly: “hazarded their lives for the sake of the gospel,” Acts 15:26.
B. Philip's response. Luke wrote: "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 reading the prophet Esaias," Acts 8:27.
1. Here was a man who had just finished worship; he was reading the Old Testament scriptures, from the book of Isaiah.
2. Probably attempting to obtain a better understanding; of the Rabbi's message in the temple, regarding the Messiah? Isaiah 53:1ff.