A Journey Thru Acts 34: Scripture’s Solar System Revolves Around The Son 2 (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.” 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,
[Oh it’s possible to go through the motions or forms or outward practices of worshiping the LORD without actually knowing Him, without actually worshiping Him! Oh how sad, oh how close to but so far from true salvation!]
28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.
[Oh the Ethiopian read Scripture AFTER the worship service had ended–thus continuing the worship service! Oh how we rush to our activities after the worship service (which we are often much more excited about and dedicated to than praising our King)–we must not miss kick-off, we must not sit down without our array of carefully chosen snacks, but oh how casually we stroll into the worship service constantly late with unprepared hands (no Bible) and unprepared hearts (no prayer the night before, no quiet the day before, no repentance and stillness and confession and Bible study before the LORD the week before). LORD help us!]
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 RAN in obedience to God’s command, didn’t get side-tracked, didn’t do other things first, didn’t have to be dragged kicking and screaming like Jonah–Philip RAN in obedience to the seemingly strange and uncomfortable (and not entirely described in all its details) command of God…Help us Lord Jesus to follow You 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.”[b]
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please,
who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
[I don’t want to just read about this person…I want to know Him! I’m drawn to Him through this Book in ways I don’t understand…Who is He? Tell me about Him!!!!]
35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture
and told him the good news about Jesus.
The LORD blessed us to begin digging into this passage last post, & we looked at Romans 3 & Ephesians 2 to ask, “What exactly IS the Good News about Jesus that Philip shared with the Ethiopian man?”
- Non-Christians must have a firm grip on this Good News about Jesus if they are to receive Him as their Savior & follow Him as their King, &
- Christians must have a firm grip on this Good News about Jesus if we are to tell it to non-Christians accurately & live it out authentically among Christians & non-Christians & enjoy it! Yes, ENJOY THE GOSPEL! Enjoy the Father, Son & Holy Spirit—you heard me correctly! As one person has said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” (John Piper)
Again, So What Is The Good News About Jesus?
Romans 5:1-2, 6-11: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God…
[Peace with God–that is what we need first and foremost! Our sin–our rebellion against the LORD Himself–has made us tractors and enemies of the State, as it were: we need to have peace with God Almighty before we worry about improving our manners/behaviors!
And in Christ we can then boast in the hope of the glory of God, we can enjoy the magnificence of His power and glory and presence and beauty and compassion and justice, where before we hid from Him like Adam & Eve in the Garden, not desiring the LORD to come near but wanting Him to stay away and leave us alone to be in charge of our little kingdom (life).
Just like when the Lord Jesus returns in power, not to die again but to judge the world: those who have not received the Lord Jesus as their Savior thru repentance and faith–that is, those who do not have peace with the Father–will see Christ returning and cry out to the mountains to cover them and provide a physical barrier between themselves and the wrath of the Lamb!
Revelation 6:15-17: Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[a] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their[g] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
But contrast that with those who are in Christ and will see His return and run toward Him, not away from Him, who will hide IN Him not FROM Him, who will celebrate His return and judgment of sin, not scorn it:
Revelation 7:9-17: please click HERE.
Oh loved one reading this now–which group are you in?
Hiding in Christ Jesus by repentance and faith,
or hiding from Him in rebellion and denial?
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath thru him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved thru his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also boast in God thru our Lord Jesus Christ, thru whom we have now received reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21: We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
You might think, “I don’t like this talk of me being an enemy of God—
Galatians 5:11: Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.
The Good News of the Gospel for us—free salvation!—
often has at first what we consider bad news for us—
showing us the depths of our sinfulness…this is utterly offensive to our pride!
The love of God is offensive to our sinfulness, just as light is offensive to darkness!
But we must not skip the “bad news”,
just as a doctor must not skip the diagnosis & talk only of the cure;
Such skipping only leads to people being generally informed of the cure,
not personally transformed by it!
Without understanding the depths of our sinfulness, people at best only accept
- exercise (good deeds!) to improve their heart condition
- instead of surrendering & submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ’s|total heart-transplant surgery (repentance & faith).
Ezekiel 11:18-20: 18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel 36:25-27: I will sprinkle clean water on you, &you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27& I will put my Spirit in you&move you to follow my decrees&be careful to keep my laws.
Oh the gospel!
Oh loved ones, one of the most healthy things you can do for your mouth, gums, teeth is to floss. One of my most embarrassing moments twice per year is when the dentist asks me if I have been flossing. They can TELL if we have or not, and so they know, but they ask anyway. 🙂 I feel like a four year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar! No, I say sheepishly…
If you haven’t flossed in a long time (or ever!), flossing can actually make your gums sore, can make your gums bleed, can cause pain…even though it is one of the healthiest & best things you can do for your health, getting out old food that has been lodged where it shouldn’t be. Though flossing hurts, to not floss and to leave those food particles stuck leads to tooth decay, gum disease, increased dental bills and increased pain!
God & His Truth are like spiritual flossing—He sometimes leaves us sore and bloody and tender…but it is the best thing for us. To not floss with the Truth of our condition apart from the Lord Jesus—to not believe & accept & agree with it—leads to much worse results!
And so we must talk about this Gospel amongst ourselves and non-Christians.
Why? Why not focus on the parts that people are most likely to like & enjoy & accept?
1 Corinthians 4:1-2: This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed [the Gospel!]. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
The LORD has entrusted the Gospel to His people: may He bless us to be
- true not trendy,
- faithful not famous,
- accurate not acclaimed,
- resolute not relevant,
- precise not popular,
- enduring not entertaining,
- clear not clever,
- firm not flimsy.
To Christians, to those who are in Christ:
Do You Realize That This Is Why You Are Still Alive On Earth?
School isnt primarily about getting good grades but proclaiming the Gospel thru your words & deeds. You meet people in your schools that other Christians never will.
Work isnt primarily about earning money so you have a house & food but proclaiming the Gospel thru words & deeds. You meet people at work other Christians never will.
The place you live isnt primarily about good schools, safe neighborhood, house with the features you want, etc. but proclaiming the Gospel thru words & deeds. You meet people in your neighborhood that other Christians never will.
Your weekends aren’t yours—they are the Lord Jesus’.
My time isn’t mine—it’s God’s.
Acts 13:36: “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.”
Psalm 71:16-20: I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
Ephesians 5:15-17: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 7Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Oh the glorious Gospel!
When the Lord Jesus erases His people’s sin & guilt—justification—
He also leaves no faint pencil marks of what was written—Oh the glorious Gospel!
Isaiah 43:25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions,
for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,”
declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 10:18: And where these have been forgiven,
sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Once we receive the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to pay for our personal sinfulness,
we can stop the ways we’ve tried to be our own sacrifice:
- denying we’re really that bad or
- trying to be good enough thru good deeds…
We can stop…because King Jesus said, “It is finished.” Paid in full.
No more debt to God, just the eternal riches of His grace & mercy!!!
Have you voluntarily turned over to Judge Jesus
the complete set of your encyclopedia of sinfulness (A to Z!)?
Have you by faith cried out for & received the free gift
of His eternal eraser thru His cross & empty tomb? Oh the glorious Gospel!
THAT’s the Gospel that Philip proclaimed to the Ethiopian, changing his eternity…
Let’s continue to worship the LORD out there
as we fill this city with the same Gospel
as He continues to change the eternities of others!!!