Sermons

Summary: The spiritual birth of a new believer is the greatest miracle that can ever happen in anyone’s life! -- So marvel at the miracle: 1. of God’s interest (vs. 26-28). 2. of God’s intricacy (vs. 27-33). 3. of our involvement (vs. 29-37).

The Birth of a New Believer

Acts 8:26-37

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 5, 2014

*Our God is a miracle working God! He can part the Red Sea. He can walk on water. He can calm any storm with a word. A tiny glimpse of His infinite power is enough to boggle our minds. But in these verses, we see the greatest miracle that can ever happen in anyone’s life: The salvation of a soul, the spiritual birth of a new believer.

1. So tonight, let’s marvel at the miracle of God’s interest.

*The God of the whole universe is personally interested in each of our lives. We can see this truth in vs. 26-28, where the Scripture says:

26. Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.'' This is desert.

27. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,

28. was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.

*These verses remind us that God has a passion for individual people, and not just the crowd. God has a keen interest in every single person. There was a great revival going on in Samaria, and we probably would have told Philip to stay right where he was. After all, that's where the action was. But again in vs. 26: "An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, 'Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.'"

*Of course God knew that the Ethiopian would be on that road. And God cared for that man with a passion, just like He cares for us.

[1] God is interested in us, because He knows our desperation.

*God knows how desperate people are without Jesus. This rich and powerful leader from Ethiopia proves how desperate we are without the Lord. He had almost everything the world can offer. But his money was not enough, his position was not enough, his power was not enough, his prestige was not enough, and his religion was not enough. People need the Lord! Everybody needs Jesus!

[2] God is interested in us, because He knows our desperation, and He wants us to know His dedication.

*The same passion that sent Philip down to Gaza is the same passion that sent Jesus down to earth! And it's the same passion that led Jesus to the cross to die for our sins! Jesus Christ was willing to go the distance for us. He was willing to pay the full price for our sins, because He cares for us.

*As I was got ready to preach this message, I thought of a story that reminds me how much God cares for each of us. It happened on a mission trip to Ukraine in 1997. One of the highlights of that trip was getting off the ship in a town called New Kahovka. We walked about a half mile along the river bank to a place where 45 people would be baptized that morning.

*In that crowd of worshipers, I met a little old grandmother named "Vala," short for "Valentina." She must have been 80, but Vala was surprisingly strong. She had a grip of steel!

*Vala told me how she had been saved only four years before. At the time, the church was meeting downtown in a rented movie theater. One day Vala was walking down the street, and she felt someone touch her on the back. Naturally, she turned around to see who it was, and when she did, no one was there.

*But when Vala turned around she was facing that theater. And as she looked at it across the street, she felt strangely compelled to go inside. At that very time, they were having a church service. Vala stayed. And she went back. After 3 services, she received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior!

*God supernaturally worked together with the people in that church to save that dear old grandmother. And why? -- Because God has a passion for people!

2. So we should marvel at the miracle of God’s interest. -- And marvel at the miracle of God’s intricacy.

*Our God is so awesome! He sees all, and knows all. His abilities are infinite, and His plans are perfect. Philip probably didn’t have had a clue. But God knew exactly what He was doing when He sent Philip down to Gaza.

*And God made sure that Philip got there at just the right time. Please listen to it again in vs. 27-33:

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