Acts 8: 26-36
In Acts chapter 8, we find a familiar story that gives us some great biblical instruction on Soul-Winning. In this passage, Philip the Evangelist is called to a secluded desert area to encounter a proselyte of Judaism who was making his way back to Africa. The Ethiopian Eunuch, of whom we are not given his name, is a man of great authority and happens (by God’s providence) to be reading out of Isaiah chapter 53. What unfolds is God’s hand of providence. But notice the events leading up to this passage; first there was the obedience to go.
The Obedience to Go
While this may seem elementary to most this is the stumbling block that trips up most Christians from being Soul-Winners. Please don’t ever take for granite the power and blessings of being obedient to the Lord. Two times in this passage we are told that Philip was obedient to the Lord. In verse 26 the Bible declares, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go” and notice the response in verse 27, “And he arose and went.” In verse 29 we find, “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” and in verse 30 the response of Philip is recorded: “And Philip ran thither to him…” Interestingly enough though in verses 4 and 5 of this same chapter, even before Philip went to the desert, he was found faithful preaching in Samaria even amid persecution! Further, before this in chapter 6 we are told that out of the thousands that were part of the church at Jerusalem, Philip was selected along with six others because they were men of ‘honest report,’ ‘full of the Holy Ghost,’ and full of ‘wisdom.’ (Acts 6:3) I wonder how many of us would be selected in the face of thousands because we were full of the Holy Ghost, of honest report, and full of wisdom? It is obvious that Philip was obedient to the Lord long before he was called to the desert to witness to the Ethiopian Eunuch. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2) So we see that Philip was obedient to go, but notice also the ordering of Philip’s steps.
The Ordering of Steps
Many times, in our Christian service we are tempted to feel as if we have spun our wheels and wasted our time. But grab a hold of this truth; if the Lord is ordering your steps, you are certainly not wasting your time! Whether you are preaching a revival to a city (Samaria) or whether you preaching the Gospel to one person in the middle of nowhere if God direct, you have not wasted your time! In the book of Acts one of the greatest church planters in the New Testament, Paul the Apostle gives us a great example of this. In Acts chapter 24:22-25 we find him preaching the Gospel to Felix the governor; Felix trembled but did not get saved. Did Paul waste his time? In Acts 26: 19-28, Paul again preached the Gospel to King Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus; none of which to our knowledge accepted Jesus Christ. Did Paul waste his time? I don’t believe so! In Proverbs 3: 5-6 we are given a promise concerning the Lord directing our steps. This promise though has conditions, notice what it says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The epilogue, if you will, is stated in verse 7 with some ‘warning labels.’ It states, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” The components or conditions are as follows: – (1) Trust in the Lord with our whole heart [there is a fullness of trust required] (2) Not going in your own understanding, (3) Acknowledging God in all things = [the result] He shall direct Thy paths (Steps). The epilogue is this – (1) Be not wise in your own eyes, (2) Fear the Lord, (3) and Depart from Evil [This epilogue is almost a reverse of the steps mentioned in the previous verses). You see, if we are following God’s formula for direction, we will never be found wasting our time. We see Philip’s obedience to go, the ordering of his steps and then finally the crux of the whole matter, the opening of the mouth.
The Opening of the Mouth
Our purpose here upon this earth after salvation is bound up in the command that God gave us to ‘preach the Gospel to every creature’ and our goal is to preach Jesus. We find at the end of this lengthy narrative Philip simply preached Jesus. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” (Acts 8:35) All throughout the book of Acts this same theme can be found, preaching Jesus. In Acts 8:4 we see, “… they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” In verse 5, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” In Acts chapter 7, at the end of his lengthy sermon Stephen was preaching Jesus to those who stoned him. You see we need a fresh revival of Christians simply preaching Jesus. Let me encourage you to be bold in your witness and preach Jesus Christ! I will leave you with this quote from Charles Spurgeon in his 1859 sermon (of which he apparently was quoting someone else but agreed with the statement), “I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it.”
Pastor James Grandinetti - Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
Showing People the Way to God
- Personal Evangelism
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