A Journey Thru Acts 33: Scripture’s Solar System Revolves Around The Son 1 (8:26-40)

philip and the eunuch (9-25-17)

By the grace of God, we continue to dig into the book of Acts to understand the Lord Jesus’ mission for His Church–what He wants us to do (and not to do) and how He wants us to do it (and how not to)…Shovels ready–let’s dig! 🙂

Acts 8:26-40

26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip,“Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 

[Oh, without knowing all the details, Philip obeyed the Lord’s angel! And oh how God blessed Philip to not only hear the command but also to be listening, actively listening for it! Father, please help Your people to be so attentive to You today, to turn down the volume of culture so we can hear the voice of Christ…]

27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28& on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet.

[Philip actively & enthusiastically ran to obey the Holy Spirit’s command, strange as it must have been to Philip, shockingly devoid of all the details we say that we want (demand?!) from the LORD…Again, Father please transform Your people today to follow Your Spirit like this!]

“Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?”

So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”[

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please,
who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 

35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture
& told him the good news about Jesus.

[Philip didn’t give his own opinions, Philip didn’t share his views or personal perspective, Philip didn’t try to be relevant to the eunuch…Philip started with Scripture–that very passage!–and by the grace of God told the eunuch the good news about the Lord Jesus according to the Bible, one passage at a time! Father transform us!]

36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [c]38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

[Even after this remarkable scene/event, even after the Holy Spirit literally and miraculously transported Philip to another geographical place, Philip continued his (and ours as well!) mission–to preach & proclaim the good news about the Lord Jesus as Philip travelled on his way to Caesarea. Father change us!]

So What Is The Good News About Jesus?

My dear friends, of all the gold that we could mine from this passage, we will focus on verse 35–the good news of Jesus that Philip explained to the eunuch.

Do we know the good news? Could we explain it to a non-Christian who asked us to? Could we explain it clearly, simply, Biblically, Truthfully, not telling the version most appealing to the non-Christian but the Truth as God has revealed it in His Word?

I don’t know what Bible passages Philip explained to the eunuch, I don’t know what steps Philip took the Ethiopian through to help him understand not only that the Messiah had died & rose again but WHY He died and rose again. I have to think at some point Philip explained the condition of all humanity in sin…

Our condition: Romans 3:9-20, Ephesians 2:1-4

Romans 3:9-20: What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”[b]
[Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
[Psalm 5:9]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
[Psalm 140:3]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
[Psalm 10:7—Septuagint]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
[Isaiah 59:7-8]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]
[Psalm 36:1]

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, thru the law we become conscious of our sin.

Now you may say, “Come on. I know I’m not perfect, but I’m not THAT bad.”

My dear friends, don’t trust how you feel about yourself; trust what God declares about you.

  • We rarely think we watch as much t.v. as we do,
  • we rarely think we eat as many calories/junk food as we do,
  • we rarely accurately guess how much time we spend (waste!) on social media,

we cannot realize—without the Holy Spirit’s help—how filthy our hearts are. Some people with advanced cancer actually feel ok, can feel pretty healthy. And yet the doctor diagnoses their true condition & where they are heading without a cure…I am not fit to be the judge of my own spiritual health—I am biased. I need an outside, objective Judge to examine & diagnose.

In order to understand the amazingness of the cross, we must understand the awfulness of our spiritual condition, we need to “become conscious of our sin…”

Here is another important Bible passage where God diagnoses the spiritual condition of all humans apart from repentant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…

Ephesians 2:1-3: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Oh loved ones, following the sinful ways of pop culture is the same as following the sinful ways of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the devil! Going with the flow is much more serious than we realize…

“We only see the evil of our sin
when we stop comparing ourselves to others,
and start seeing ourselves next to God” (www.desiringgod.org).

Why does God make sure to show us just how bad/sinful we all are? Why does God put passages like these in the Bible when some hear them and immediately stop listening?

Because it does no good to describe the wonders of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to someone who doesn’t think they have cancer. The cross can only become really true FOR us when we see & realize & agree with what is really true ABOUT us.

Explaining the nature of sin
without the contrasting holiness of God
is like explaining a shadow
without talking about the lightCaleb Suko

When your spouse sins against you, don’t take their actions too personal.
Remember, you’re not the most offended person in the room. Hans Molegraaf

THIS is what we must realize when looking at our own sinfulness & our need for a Savior—our sin, not matter how “small” or “big,” is directly against God Himself…boldly move toward a judge in a courtroom and try to give them a “little” paper cut…watch how the police in the courtroom respond. How much more with God and all our sins…

We have never committed a small sin
because we have never offended a small God. John Downey

Thus King David could declare in Psalm 51:

“Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.”

though of course David sinfully harmed both Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, David’s primary and main crime was against the LORD Himself. We must understand this to truly grasp our spiritual condition in sin…and so the Good News in many ways starts out as bad news…


God’s cure for our condition: Romans 3:21-28, Isaiah 53, 2 Corinthians 5, Ephesians 2:4-10, etc…

Romans 3:21-28: 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faithin[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

Ephesians 2:4-10:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Communion/Lord’s Supper

As we move into a time of remembering & celebrating the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, there is another question for us all:

Are You Amazed By The Love & Justice Of God Through The Cross?

There is no sequel more exciting,
there is no encore more amazing,
there is no peak that is higher,
there is nothing better,
nothing NEXT,
no 2.0 or Salvation2-S that improves upon this,
there is no jackpot more valuable,
no experience more thrilling/worth pursuing.

This is it, loved ones—the answer to all the riddles and all the questions and all the searching, the only beverage for our thirst and only food for our hunger and only satisfaction to our longing.

Stop searching—you haven’t found Him, He has found you.

Drop to your knees and be amazed, cry out to the Lord Jesus for faith to see Him & His awesome gift of salvation, cry out to Him to make your blind eyes see for the first time or your cataract-afflicted eyes see once again…repent, receive, believe, become & rejoice (John 1)…

What has the world done for you,
that you love it so much?

Robert Murray McCheyne—mid 1800s

What has sin done for you that you cling to it?

What has your lifestyle done for you that you would die (eternally!) for it?

What has your self-identification done for you
that you would value it
over the way the Lord Jesus sees you:

  • made in His image,
  • utterly sinful & wretched,
  • but dearly loved & died for?

Don’t self-identify, Jesus-identify: throw off what you THINK is your identity and take on the Lord Jesus, His death on the cross & empty tomb, as your new identity…

Faith is like an empty, open hand
stretched out towards God,
with nothing to offer
and everything to receive. John Calvin

Adam launched a ‘meet you at the top’ philosophy of life.
Jesus Christ says to the world,
‘I’ll meet you at the bottom.’ Michael Horton

Please reflect on all this now…

1 Corinthians 11 NIV

“23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,
24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,
“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

“25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood;
do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Closing Challenge

Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”
All of self, and none of Thee,
All of self, and none of Thee,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”
Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on th’ accursed tree,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”
Some of self, and some of Thee,
Some of self, and some of Thee,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”
Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”
Less of self, and more of Thee,
Less of self, and more or Thee,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”
Higher than the highest heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
“None of self, and all of Thee.”
None of self, and all of Thee,
None of self, and all of Thee,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
“None of self, and all of Thee.”
Theodore Monod-1875

Philip and the Ethiopian (9-25-17)