Summary: Philip was a faithful witness because he was a pioneer.
HEROES OF THE FAITH 5C-- PHILIP, ?A DEDICATED PARTNER IN THE WORK? SUB-SERIES ?A FAITHFUL WITNESS.? ACTS 21:1-9
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.
Now friends Philip made his mark as a Christian and a leader in his simple obedience to God. Wherever the Holy Spirit led, he followed; whatever the Spirit stirred him to say, he said; however bold Philip needed to be to accomplish the task at hand, Philip just stepped out by grace through faith.
Now there is no doubt that Philip was an inspiration to all of the missionaries to follow after him. But notoriety is not what makes faithful witnesses. Philip is a faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for one simple fact: he was a pioneer. We need to examine Philip?s faithful witness so we also can be pioneers for Jesus.
I. AS A FAITHFUL WITNESS, PHILIP BOLDLY WENT WHERE NO MAN HAD GONE BEFORE
ILLUSTRATION--- Star Trek was one of my favorite TV shows growing up, because it was about a bunch of pioneers heading out into the great unknown of space.
What is it that takes an ordinary person and makes a pioneer out of em??
How many of you know of a man named Alan Shepard? That?s right, during his career, Shepard was the first American to ?light up the candle? and ride a Mercury rocket called Freedom 7 into orbit on May 5, 1961. Unfortunately, I was not alive to see that amazing sight.