Summary: IF WE HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR, WE SHOULD BE BAPTIZED!
WHY SHOULDN’T I BE BAPTIZED?
ACTS 8: 26-40
OCTOBER 26, 2003 (BENNETTE’S BAPTISM!)
INTRODUCTION: PROVIDENCE OF GOD
John Wesley’s father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of the rector’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbors rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbor stood on the other’s shoulders and pulled young John through the window. Samuel Wesley said, "Come, neighbors, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough." John Wesley often referred to himself as a "brand plucked out of the fire" (Zech 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years, he often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy. Samuel Wesley labored for 40 years at Epworth and saw very little fruit; but consider what his family accomplished!
TRANSITION THOUGHT: I share this little Wesleyan truth/ history with you for a couple of reasons. One is the reality of a child saved from the fire! As I was thinking about Baptizing three of our younger ones this day, I was overwhelmed with the imagery of a child about to be consumed by a raging fire and of someone coming to the rescue to make sure that these children did not perish. David Bradshaw was one such rescuer with many others stepping in at just the right time. As I always say, it takes us all doing our part.
Another thought I had was the significance of John Wesley’s adult life. What would England have been like if John had not been saved from the fire? We will never know, but we do know that our Lord had major plans for John Wesley. We do not know yet what God will do with each of these being baptized today. Nevertheless, just as those men came to the rescue of young John Wesley, not knowing how our Lord would use him, so we anticipate with great expectation what our Lord can do with each of these being baptized today!
One last thought: Samuel called the neighbors together to give thanks for God saving all of his children! Is not this our Prayer?!?
Our text today tells a similar story of an adult finding Jesus as Lord and Savior and celebrating this great and matchless salvation through baptism.
THESIS SENTENCE: IF WE HAVE ACCEPTED JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR, WE SHOULD BE BAPTIZED!
SO, WHAT IS BAPTISM ALL ABOUT?
I. BAPTISM BEGINS WITH THE SPIRIT LEADING/DRAWING US
A. THE SPIRIT LEADS/ DRAWS US TO THE RIGHT PLACE
1. Our story is a tale of two men. Both of these men were very important to the Lord.
2. Philip was a man chosen to wait on tables, and God blessed all that he did. It ended up getting “Scattered” as seen in chapter 8 verses 1 and 4.
3. The point here is that the Spirit of God lead Philip into the desert and the same Spirit of the Lord lead the Ethiopian Eunuch to Jerusalem to Worship. 4. Did you catch that word worship? What is so interesting is that this man does not even understand why he is worshipping; he just knows he is supposed to.
B. THE SPIRIT LEADS/ DRAWS US TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE
1. On his way home, the Ethiopian Eunuch and Philip are lead to the same place at the same time.
2. Do you think this is a coincidence?
3. Philip is a major case study. In chapter 6, he is brought to the Apostles and chosen by the church to wait on table (verse 2). When the church is scattered in chapter 8 he heads over to Samaria and does some powerful preaching. In our text, he is lead to this desert road and to this man, an Ethiopian Eunuch.
4. This is a good start on Philip, but let us look at who this Eunuch is. Is he just anyone, or is he a someone?
5. He is “an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians (verse 27).”
C. THE SPIRIT LEADS/ DRAWS US TO THE RIGHT INFORMATION
1. PHILIP heard the Eunuch reading God’s word.
2. THE SCRIPTURES were the focus of this entire encounter.
3. The word of God is our focus, not the opinions of man, but the very word of God. What are you focused on? If it is God’s word, He will guide you into all truth!
TRUTH: Until the Spirit leads us and draws us through the word we will not know the truth.