Summary: The sermon stresses the significance of the Bible.
The Bible Is…
Opening words: The end has come. This is my thirteenth and final message in my sermon series, Church Planting. This summer we are looking at the first eight chapters of the Book of Acts. So much has happened to this point. It is impossible to summarize the whole story. It was have to suffice to say the Holy Spirit was unleashed on the world and the church was created. Lives were being changed. The disciples were transformed into apostles, who began to flex their spiritual muscle. Under their leadership individuals were healed and thousands were experiencing the power of the resurrected Jesus. The church was growing and Gentiles were being welcomed into the fold. Through the eyes of God, everything is perfect. However, perfection does not last long because the church is comprised of human beings.
This morning we are in the eighth chapter of Acts, verses twenty-six through thirty-nine. The featured Apostle in this chapter is Philip. Persecution forced the church out of Jerusalem and into the world. Each one of the disciples went in a different direction. Philip went to Samaria. His preaching and healing led many people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. One of those individuals was Simon the Sorcerer, who we looked at last week. This week we find Philip being led by the Spirit to a place on the desert road, where he baptizes an Ethiopian. May God give you ear to hear his sacred story. Let me call this message The Bible is…
Acts 8:26-39 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 the Kandake (which means “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 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its 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. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
I love this story. Famed scientist Albert Einstein had one of the brightest minds in the history of the world. However, history tells us this genius struggled with some of life’s most basic functions. For example, one day he was taking the train home from work. He took the same train home every day. On one particular day he lost his ticket. As the porter approached to collect it, Einstein rummaged around in his coat, through his pockets, in his shirt, and everywhere else on his person. The porter saw him struggling and said, "That's okay, Dr. Einstein. I know you ride this train every day. I can collect your ticket tomorrow." "That's fine for you, young man," Einstein replied, "However, the problem is my lost ticket. The problem is without my ticket I don’t know where to get off the train.”
That story reminds me of the present day church. We look like we know where we are going but we really don’t have a clue. Many believe the mainline protestant church is filled with lost people. They are not lost because they are not nice people. They are not lost because they are not hard working people. They are not lost because they are not devoted to their local church. They are lost for one reason. They are lost because so many people in the mainline protestant church are spiritual weaklings. They are more interested in their opinions and beliefs then they are Biblical truth. How interested are you in Biblical truth? Actor Denzel Washington once said, “I read my Bible every day.”Do you read your Bible every day? How often do you read the Bible? Could it be you are spiritual weakling? Could it be we are nothing more than a collection of spiritual weaklings? I like to think the answer is no. If that makes you think say, “Amen!”