A boy was looking at a plaque a congregation had placed on the building. When preacher came by the boy asked what it was for. He explained the list was of those who died in service. The boy looked puzzled and said, "which service, the 10:00 service or the 6:00 service?" Sometimes we indeed get the right words but miss the message!
Philip preached the gospel message to the Ethiopian as recorded in Acts 8:26-40. His text was the text that the Ethiopian was reading from as he was riding in his chariot. The passage quoted is taken from Isaiah 53. The Bible says that beginning from this scripture Philip preached Jesus to him.
In preaching Jesus to him he told him of the great suffering of Christ for his sins. This is the message of Isaiah 53 in which such words as "smitten", "afflicted", "pierced" and "scourging" are to be found. All these things were suffered by our Lord for our sins. This was a message that the Ethiopian needed to hear. It's the message that we all must hear.
In preaching Jesus to him he could tell him that even the cross was the plan of God. Since the prophecy was made about 700 years before Jesus was born we can see that in the cross God was fulfilling what He had already set in motion centuries before. When Jesus spoke on the cross, one of the things He said was, "It is finished". The Ethiopian needed to understand that the things that had happened concerning Jesus were not accidental or things arranged by men. God had a plan for the Ethiopian and He has one for us.
In preaching Jesus to him he could tell him of a wonderful love. On the cross Jesus prayed for His enemies saying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." These same people heard the gospel message after the resurrection of Christ on the day of Pentecost and about 3,000 obeyed the gospel, repenting and being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. This Ethiopian would do the same. Having been moved by this sermon he said, "What prevents me from being baptized?" Both Philip and the Ethiopian went down into the water and he baptized him. We all need to hear of God's love and respond by submitting to the gospel of Christ.
Like the 3,000 or the Ethiopian we can be just Christians.
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Church New: Sunday morning Bible Study -10:00 a.m. - The Gospel of John. Wednesday evening Bible Study- 7:00 p.m. - Old Testament Survey (Wednesday 28th we will have congregational singing). Every Sunday Morning at 10:00 - Bible classes for all ages, cradle row through adult classes.