Summary: the characteristics of a true disciple.
Taking the Lead
Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church 29 May 23, 2011
A milestone was reached when Philip goes and presents the Gospel to a Gentile.
Through this man, a high official in the court of the Ethiopian Queen, the Gospel would first penetrate the souls of the great African continent.
There are three elements represented in the faith of this man.
Believing, obeying, and continuing.
Phillip was given the opportunity of extending the Gospel beyond the Jewish boundaries of Jerusalem.
This is the first time that He (HS) came in power upon any believers outside of Jerusalem and Judea.
The HS moves among the Samaratians… the hybrid race, the mongrel stock.
Moving of the HS in individuals, and see Him in His individual dealings and leading…Now here, HE guides one believer and Leads one inquirer.
This is a principle that we must remember…,
• Christians have been given an overwhelming task to accomplish.
• Remember? In Matthew 28 Jesus commanded us to "...go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS."
• This should be familiar to you/past couple months/studying
• First church began to accomplish this colossal task.
• Early Christians right attitude because they did a phenomenal job!
• in just 27 years/good news/Gospel all the way to Rome!
But the fact is, WE'VE still got a LONG way to go before this task will be done.
There are still millions of people who have not heard of Jesus' love-and it's our job to tell them!
Okay-you'll remember that last week we looked at the first part of Acts 8 and we saw there how Philip had gone to Samaria and shared the Gospel.
We learned that when he arrived and began to preach and minister, a great revival broke out.
God richly blessed this part of Philip's ministry. Thousands came to faith in Christ through his preaching.
Think of him as "the Billy Graham of the 1st century." I mean, the work in Samaria couldn't have been going better-and that's where this morning's text picks up.
Open your Bibles to Acts 8:36-40
There is a point often overlooked.
1. Genuine saving faith demands the proper preparation.
2. In the Seed of the sower.
a. Only the good, properly prepared soil brought forth fruits of salvation.
1. Text begins unusual time of blessing on the early church.
a. Revival in Samaria was growing and spreading.
b. Philip/chief evangelist/important part of all this.
c. Peter and John sent to inspect/gone back to Jerusalem.
d. Philip was alone now—the front man in this revival.
e. The “Billy Graham” of his day.
f. Phillip seemed to be indispensible.
But at that moment God called him away.
So how did Philip take the lead?
1. ...the attitude of SENSITIVITY.
a. Submissive will of Philip.
b. God told Philip to take off for the desert. Whistle! Train
* No reason was given.
* No arrangements were made for someone to take his place in Samaria.
* There was just a command to go.
How easy it would have been for Philip to be so caught up in the excitement and electricity of that Samaritan revival-where God was obviously at work-that he wasn't sensitive to a new direction.
But, not this guy! No, he was alert and ready.
He was sensitive to God's leading.
He had walked with God long enough to know that He has the right to throw a surprise curve-and in fact often does.
I mean, Philip could have said:
"All right, Lord, I'll go-but NOT NOW. We'll get to that region but later in the proper time. Things are going great here now. It's not the time to leave."
Or he could have said,:
"NOT ME, Lord. I'm needed here. What about the 12 apostles sitting up in Jerusalem? You gave them the Great Commission too. Send one of them."
Or he could have said,
"NOT THERE Lord. Not that desert area. Nobody even lives down there, plus at noon it's 135 in the shade. No one ever travels that road-especially at this time of day God. I need to stay here because this is where the action is."
Philip didn't say anything like this.
1. He was mature enough to trust God's leading.
2. He knew that God knows more than we know, that as God says in Isaiah 55:8 says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."
3. And if we are to complete this great task of evangelizing the world then we too must embrace this attitude of trusting God's perspective-
a. being wise enough to be sensitive to His leading.