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Summary: Phillip in Acts is a good example of early church evangelism.

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Sharing God’s News with Others

Series: BREAKOUT – God on the Move through the Book of Acts

Brad Bailey – May 6, 2012

Intro

Wherever you are on your process of knowing God…there have been some significant people who helped you along the way. God was doing a work within you… and used others to impart and interpret.

Today God calls us to embrace that essential influence for others.

We are continuing our series “Breakout”… Last week… persecution led to being scattered… embracing the opportunities wherever we are. One leader, Phillip….went to Samaria…and we pick up with a rather dynamic encounter.

Acts 8:26-38 (NIV)

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. 31 "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth." 34 The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 37 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

Prayer – God…thank you for what you did in leading this beautiful sharing of good news…life-giving news. As we consider your love for this man from Ethiopia… and your leading of Phillip… may we open our hearts to that love and that leading.

As we saw last week…persecution began to break out and the followers of Christ were scattered to the neighboring regions. Philip went north about 35 miles to the region of Samaria and promptly began to share his faith with the people in a city there. [1]

Phillip had no formal Bible college or seminary… he had learned the Scriptures just as many of you have…through the means provided by his local community.

What becomes clear is that Phillip doesn’t have special designation or ability …but rather he was open to being used by God.

He has already been responding to God… in contrast to our tendency to presume that if God called me to a great task… we would certainly do it. The truth is that responsiveness is something we develop. As we focus in on Philip we see a man that finds nothing more exciting than participating in what God is doing in redeeming the world.

Now Philip leads a spiritually thirsty man to life-giving water…. And we can learn a lot from this process.

He is engaged in some way by an angelic messenger.

And the word…is “Go…” - “Get up and go South” (8:26)

“Get up and go” is a word that God seems to often begin with.

It is a word we hear God speak to those who will join Him…

“…the Lord said to Abram Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land I will show you.”

Jesus said:

Matt 28.19 “Go and make disciples of all nations”

Mark 16.15 “Go into all the world and preach”

What we must recognize here is that…

1. God Is Leading If We Will Listen

God is always at work.

John 5:17 (NLT)

Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”

The Father is always at work around us.

Our challenge lies in what we are focusing on. What are we listening for? What is my heart drawn to….tuned into?

A very telling story describes how…

A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening.

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