Summary: The story of the Ethiopian Eunuch affords us a picture of how God weaves His providential working, His Word, and human witnesses to bring sinners to faith in Christ.
Providence and Evangelism
July 11, 2015
TEXT: Acts 8:26-39 – “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. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
When I finished this sermon, I titled it: “The Holy Hitchhiker’s Great Chariot Adventure,” which is an AWESOME title, but…well, it actually didn’t have much to do with the sermon. I download my PowerPoints templates from a web site for church workers called GraceWayMedia.com, and I couldn’t find a template with a guy in a chariot, nor somebody hitchhiking…both of which would have worked, so it ruined my whole title. Then I saw the template you see here, which perfectly captures the essence of today’s text.
When we read the story of this Ethiopian man, what we see is the conversion of every believer. As with the Ethiopian, there is always this splendid concert between God and man when someone comes to faith in Christ, and it happens every time someone is saved
As we look at the the salvation of the Ethiopian Eunuch, I want you to notice four universal elements present every time anyone comes to faith in Jesus Christ.
I. FIRST THERE IS ALWAYS A HUMAN INSTRUMENT TO REACH THE SINNER.
No matter who you are, where you were saved, how you came to faith, there was SOMEONE or perhaps many someones, God used to help bring you to faith. This is where the word “evangelism” fits into our sermon title.
Paul said in Romans 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
I’d like you to notice something in our text you may not have caught: Verse 27 says, “And [Philip] arose and went: and, behold, a man [take note of the two words, “a man”] of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority…”, etc.
In verse 31 we read, “And [the eunuch] said, How can I [that is, understand this scripture], except some man [note those two words] should guide me?…”
Verse 34 – “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?” [what MAN was the prophet referring to?]
Do you see a progression in these verses?— God used A MAN to tell ANOTHER MAN about THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT MAN (who was also God), the Lord Jesus Christ. Folks, God uses PEOPLE to tell OTHER PEOPLE about Jesus Christ.
Telling the Gospel to the lost is a job apparently only humans can do. As far as I can tell, angels aren’t directly involved in the task of proclaiming the Gospel.