Summary: Philip was a faithful witness because he was a pioneer.
JOKE--- A little boy was in a relative’s wedding. As he was coming down the aisle he would take two steps, stop, and turn to the crowd alternating between the bride’s side and the groom’s side. While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar...so it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle.
As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit. The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from all the laughing, and was also near tears by the time he reached the pulpit.
When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,
"I was being the Ring Bear!"
INTRO--- A witness is someone who ?bears? the burden of having observed something. If you take a Bible Concordance and look up the word, witness, or witnessing or witnessed, you will find they are mentioned 33 times in the book of Acts. Every time the word witness is mentioned, it is conjunction with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The early Church had no Church building, no Sunday school literature, no radio or TV, no vans or buses, yet had a powerful Church. The reason being, 33 times in the 28 chapters of Acts, we are told that they were a witnessing Church. Scholars tell us for the first 12 months, they added to the Church over 30,000.
In our modern churches, we have many people who are workers, but few are witnesses. We have many people who are leaders, but few who are witnesses. Many people are Christians but few are real or true witnesses for Jesus.
The Marks of a Witness
1. A witness must have a first-hand experience of Christ. Hearsay is not acceptable in a court of law, nor in the court of this world?s opinion. People will listen only to what we have personally seen and heard.
2. A witness must be able to express himself verbally. We may witness effectively through our lives, our work, our relationships, our attitudes, our suffering and even our death, yet we must still ?be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you.? We must do so ?with gentleness and respect,? and with the integrity of our lives demonstrating the truth of our words.
3. A witness will have confidence in the power of God. He relies on the power of the message of Christ and him crucified, and the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows that God can break through any defenses, and change any heart. This confidence will not be brash, but humble and sensitive, marked by much prayer. He knows that without God he can do nothing, but that with God all things are possible.
4. A witness will have compassion for the spiritually lost. He will care for them as individuals who matter deeply to God: made in his image, redeemed by his Son, and to be indwelt by his Spirit.
David Watson, Called & Committed: World-Changing Discipleship, (Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton, IL; 1982), pp. 142-143
TRANS--- Philip?s story in Acts begins with his election as a food distributor in the Jerusalem church (6:5) and closes with his entertaining Paul in his Caesarea home. (21:8) In between, we learn of Philip?s committed ministry across the regions of Samaria and Palestine.