Summary: Philip is sent on a mission - for 1 man.
Philip and the Ethiopian
Acts 8:26 – 8:40
Jeff Hughes – June 8, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. We all have people in our lives that influence us. Some may be good, and some may be bad. But it’s these experiences, these influences that mold us and shape us into who we are.
b. I look back on my life as a Christian, and besides Jesus Christ, the person who has had the most influence on me spiritually has been my bride, Stacie. Two weeks ago, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.
c. As I looked back over those ten years, I see just how far God has brought us. He took us from a life completely focused on ourselves and our own ends, and changed the focus much more towards Him.
d. I want each of you, in the back of your mind during our message today, to think about the people that really encouraged you and pointed you in the right direction in your life.
e. God puts people, places, and events together to serve His purposes, His glory. That is what we are going to look at today in our study. But first, let’s ask the Lord to come and bless our study this morning.
f. Let’s pray.
a. In 1912, 39 year old, Rev. John Harper a Scottish preacher was making a transatlantic trip to preach at the Moody Church in Chicago. As fate would have it the vessel he chose was the Titanic. We all know the story about the disaster but do you know the story of John Harper? Harper like many others ended up in the water, and as people desperately tried to survive in the chilled waters, Harper swam to them.
b. The minister asked people in the water if they knew Jesus. Eventually, Harper approached a passenger clinging to a jagged piece of wood and he pleaded for the man to trust Christ. The minister was completely exhausted at this point. As he succumbed to the conditions and went under the water to his death, Harper said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."
c. A few years later at a meeting of survivors of the Titanic, the final man who encountered John Harper told the group that he had been saved twice that night. First, he had accepted Christ as his personal Savior because of Harper’s efforts. And, of course, he had been rescued from the deep Atlantic seas. He said “Alone in the night with two miles of water under me I believed, I am John Harpers’ last convert.”
d. John Harper’s goal, his focus was not on himself. Even in his dying moments, all he thought about was the people around him and their spiritual condition.
e. In another account I read about this incident, when the lifeboats were being loaded on the Titanic, John was there directing, saying “Women, children, and the unsaved first.”
f. The man we are going to look at today, Philip was a man very much like John Harper. He was fixated, he was focused on doing God’s will, God’s work, and we will see that in our study today.
g. Our study is found in Acts chapter 8, and we’re going to start in verse 26, and finish up the chapter today. Follow along with me as we read.
i. 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" 31 And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." 34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" 37 Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.