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.