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The Good News and Our Part in Sharing It (Sermon)

The Good News and Our Part in Sharing It (Sermon)

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Published by tsupasat
This expository sermon draws lessons from Acts 8:26-40, where Philip shares the good news about Jesus with an Ethiopian who is seeking to know the true God.
This expository sermon draws lessons from Acts 8:26-40, where Philip shares the good news about Jesus with an Ethiopian who is seeking to know the true God.

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Published by: tsupasat on Mar 04, 2013
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The Good News and Our Part in Sharing It, or Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
 – 
 Acts 8:26-40
Today, I want to share with you a very touching story that shows how God loves peopleof all nations. If you are here today from another nation, or if you want to know the true
God but aren’t sure how to do so, please pay close attention.
 
26 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
(NLT)
The Holy Spirit instructed Philip in his ministry. Philip had been chosen by the apostlesto help distribute food to the widows in Jerusalem. He was one of seven deacons, full of faith and the Holy Spirit (see Acts 6:5). When the disciples were scattered because of  persecution, Philip traveled to a city in Samaria where he healed many people, drove outdemons, preached the Good News, and baptized people. He was fulfilling the GreatCommission that Jesus had given to the disciples. Now, the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip, telling him to take the desert road that runs fromJerusalem to Gaza. Sometimes, God speaks to us a specific instruction. It may soundstrange and push us outside our comfort zone, but we must be ready to obey. Other times,we do not have a special instruction, but we simply follow the teachings of Jesus that arealready laid out for us in the Bible as best we know how. These are our standing orders.
 No matter what, our desire is to do God’s will. We should say, “Lord, no matter thecircumstance, help me to be your hands and feet.” Philip had n
ot planned for the
 persecution in Jerusalem, nor had any other of the disciples. Acts 8:3 reads “
But Saul wasgoing everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out bothmen and women to throw them into prison.
” But this did not
deter the disciples. Acts11:19-
20 says “
Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution
after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They
 preached the word of God, but only to Jews. However, some of the believers who went toAntioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus.
 Sometimes, God will give us a specific, clear message about what we should do next. We
need to learn how to hear God’s voice! We must liste
n and obey! But, other times, wehave only the instructions of our Lord laid out in the Bible. Circumstances may not be
favorable and it seems that everything is against us. We may wonder, “Well, God did notspeak a specific word to me. Maybe it’s just best that I hold back for a while.” What wecan learn from the example of the early church in Acts is that they pursued God’s will
relentlessly. If they received specific instructions from the Holy Spirit, they followedthose. If, however, they had no updates, they followed their standing orders from theLord. We can see how God turned around the plans of the enemy, using the persecutionin Jerusalem to spread the gospel faster and further. The key is that we have willinghearts that are fervent to do His will!
 
John Wesley wrote,
“Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire
nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will
shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.”
 
27 So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authorityunder the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship,28 and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
This man was from Ethiopia in Africa, more than 1,000 miles away! He was an officialwho controlled the royal treasury in that kingdom, a powerful and important man. But, hehad traveled up to Jerusalem to worship God at the temple.The religion of the Jewish people was unique. It was an ancient religion, even at that
time. The Jews worshiped the One God, the “I am who I am,” beside whom there was no
other god. This one true God had chosen the nation of Israel, not because they wereworthy, but because of His favor on and promise to their ancestor, Abraham, whose name
means “father of many nations.” The His relationship with Israel, God intended to bless
all nations.This religion was unique in the Roman world, where every local people worshipped their own pantheon of gods who often were as capricious and petty as humans. Everywhere theRomans went, they identified local gods with their own pantheon: Jupiter, Juno, Mars,Venus, Mecury, Minerva, Vulcan, and others. In this syncretistic world, the Jewish
 people stuck out. They did not carve images of their God. They didn’t even speak Hisname aloud. They knew they were made in God’s image, and that God was not made in
their image.This Ethiopian believed in the one true God and wanted to know more about Him. InJerusalem, this man obtained a scroll of the book of Isaiah the prophet and was reading italoud as he traveled home. He wanted to know about the one true God, the Creator, thesource of goodness, light, and truth. His worldly position, his wealth and power, the philosophers in Alexandra in Egypt, none of this filled the God-shaped hole in his heart.How God loved this man!
Maybe you don’t come from a Christian family. Maybe you come from a far 
-awaycountry and are here because you want to know about God like the Ethiopian eunuch.God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you! Hebrews 11:6 says
And it isimpossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believethat God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
” Do you know why
God chose Abraham? Not because Abraham was circumcised or followed the Law of Moses
 — 
all that came later! God chose Abraham because Abraham believed God. He
didn’t just believe that God existed, but tha
t everything God said was trustworthy andgood, and worth risking everything for. You may not know much about God, but youknow that there is a God, that there is such a thing as goodness and truth that is not just a
 
social construct or chemical reaction in our brains. This God whom you seek loves youand wants to have a relationship with you!
29 The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
 
31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with
him.
God loved this man and so sent Philip to him. Brothers and sisters, what an honor to be
used as God’s ambassadors! God uses people like you and me to do His work. We havethe Holy Spirit to guide and empower us. We don’t have to be specially skilled or 
knowledgeable, only let us be willing. God can use anyone who is willing. In fact, God
often uses the weak, the foolish, and the despised things of the world. Don’t worry toomuch about what people think or say about you. If we are truly following God’s way, people will say, “Don’t be so naïve” or they may laugh because God’s work does not
seem impressive to them.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to theGreeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ wascrucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say
it’s all nonsense.
 24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than
the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest 
of human strength.32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
  And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,he did not open his mouth.33 He was humiliated and received no justice.Who can speak of his descendants?
 For his life was taken from the earth.”
 
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someoneelse?” 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about 
 Jesus.
The eunuch was reading from the book of Isaiah the prophet. Jesus Himself read fromthis book when speaking about Himself. Amazingly, in 1947, sheep herders in the desertdiscovered a complete scroll of Isaiah. This was one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It isamazing that this scroll, which was from 100 years before Jesus, is the same text thatJesus read, the Ethiopian eunuch read, and that we read today!

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