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August 12, 2022 6:00 am
Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts
Seems to accept his position in life without bitterness.
Romans chapter 8 for the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin, condemned sin in the flesh. So there we we have with the law could not do the law could not really bring this eunuch into the temple, the grace of God brings them all away into a relationship with Christ. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio.
Specifically, you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of acts chapter 8 as he begins his message placed to preach beginning at verse 26 known angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, arise, and go to the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.
This is desert, so he arose and went, behold, a man of Ethiopia, eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury had come to Jerusalem to worship was returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading Isaiah the prophet, then the Spirit said to Philip, go near and overtake his chariot. So Philip ran to him and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said do you understand what you're reading.
And he said how can I unless someone guides me and he asked Philip to come up and sit with him a place in the Scripture which he read was this, he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before it's Shira is silent, so he opened not his mouth. In his humiliation, his justice was taken away. Who will declare his generation for his life is taken from your eunuch answered Philip and said I ask you whom does this, does the prophet say this of himself or of some other man in Philip opened his mouth, beginning at the Scripture preached Jesus to him now as they went down the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, see, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized, and Philip said, if you believe with all your heart, you may and he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, he commanded the chariot to stand still in both Philip and the unit went down into the water and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water. The spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.
Philip was found in his Otis passing through he preached in all the cities really came to Caesarea placed to preach.
While we been going through this eighth chapter and one of the dominant thoughts that came out at least for me and the message was entitled, persecuted, to preach the last session in this eighth chapter. It was power to preach and now he is place to preach this particular servant of God Philip and just kind of flows as I have Christian I want to reach lost souls. I don't want to be persecuted, to preach, but if I am persecuted still going to preach and there is a mild persecution taking place now in this country. And so we are still persecuted, to preach. Nonetheless, don't let it shut you up this book of acts centers on doing for the kingdom of God and the salvation of souls that's that's what it's going to focus on throughout is not a patch me up kind of a book.
It is a use me up kind of a book.
It is about living life while serving God. That has to do with preaching the gospel in this book we come across Christians and non-Christians alike who have people problems is like me but the Christians are still working for Christ.
Nonetheless, in spite of the problems look now at the 26 verse again.
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip Singh, arise, go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is desert. We hear that it is an angel speaking to this servant Philip Angels are created beings in Ezekiel 28 God, the prophet God speaking to the prophet about angels since you were the anointed cherub who created you were created, so let's not suppose that they are self existent. They are created being Satan being one of them. Satan is not the opposite of God. Satan is a created being used by God and his and is sealed. He is doomed. But until the day of execution of his sentence he makes havoc of everything. So here again in verse 26 of the seven leaders appointed in chapter 7, two have an outstanding fame attached to them.
Stephen and Philip Stephen's death because of Christians to scatter and in so doing, they spread Christianity's death caused Christianity to scatter, and in so doing Christianity spread throughout the region fill up his life, not his death, his life caused unbelievers to hear the gospel and then further spread the gospel of Jesus Christ read this book as a believer and you want this you you want this action you want this power to preach. You want to see souls coming to Christ is very difficult to impossible to find out who God is been working on to lead them to do salvation until God reveals them and that is a lesson were getting out of this section. Philip incidentally preached amongst people who otherwise were avoided by his fellow Christian Jews nonintentional interest amount of the culture. No, none other than feel the Jews, but to go to Samaria.
Few of them would have been picked and called to go to an Ethiopian unit.
They stayed within their communities. That will come out later as we go through the book of acts, and that's an interesting feature that in this man was what God needed to send him anywhere that he wanted to send him. Stephen is a type of the church at Smyrna.
There, in Revelation chapter 2 faithful unto death. Jesus said to that church and that was Stephen Philip the type of the church in Philadelphia that church. Jesus says I have set before you an open door, but sometimes we Christians today fall into the category of Stephen and we become martyrs we suffer or die for the gospel. Or we can be like Philip where the Lord sets before us an open door. We are faithful to the word of God. These interesting comparisons and parallels the allegory that belongs to these lessons they are to make us better, we have the Christian language you know it for the edification of the body of Christ limits to make it better to make the body of Christ better doing work for Christ's Stephen was a full man were told in the Scriptures, but Philip is a busy man, not a busybody, and we will see him preaching his way all the way up to Caesarea over 70 miles of just preaching wherever he went. Because when you lead somebody to Christ you know is like I want another hell have another Lord send me to another lives excitement that goes with this. I don't know how many years you been in Christianity, but you may come to a point where you're not excited, not as you used to be.
Maybe a little disillusioned need to fight that need to take it back.
Don't stand for your flesh shoving you around without resistance without standing up to it and getting stale and needing to be refreshed. A part of the Christian experience. Don't be surprised. Don't think God is walked away from you just deal with and if you do deal with it. You will reap the rewards. Stephen did not get to live long enough to act out his Christianity in his older years, but Philip did. Will catch up with him again and in the latter chapters of acts, and there he is still being an influence for the Lord says in verse 26 think this is what this angel said to Philip, arise, go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. Remember the Ethiopian and that he had gone to the temple to worship is going back home now to Ethiopia and this is a main road.
He reminds us of Eliza being repeatedly sent to Ahab, and as IRU. No go to Ahab and tell him and what were seeing some of that here with Philip this angel who was a messenger of God.
He cannot give the gospel but Philip can of all the men in Israel. Philip gets to call to minister to the Samarian's to the Ethiopians. As I mentioned a few minutes ago and at this point this is all he knew arise and go down to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.
That's all the information he got he had to trust God and go by faith before he got step two Moses when Farrell was telling Moses. The conditions will Pharaoh sing what you going to go to the will is you leave your livestock, behind, and Moses said I livestock also shall go with us. Not a whole shall be left behind.
Your love Moses is just so articulate. There is a not metal hook shall be left behind. You parents me tickle your kids in the car you can say that all of you in the car, not a whole shall be left behind for we must take something so I hope the somebody real sensitive. Too bad you are like no anyhow. For we must take some of them to serve Yahweh our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve Yahweh until we arrive there.
So there is another indication of God's faithful servant, being instructed what to do, but not getting all the information just stepping out in faith based on his initial leading and I think a lot of churches.
A lot of Christians avoid the book of acts because they don't like the concept of being led, they feel like a smart enough to figure everything out on their own. I don't know I don't what's going on with Abbott. I know this in the book of acts as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the children of God sent Paul to the Roman church.
Again, I can't find muscles on my own. I'm I am supposed to be ready when the Lord brings me in front of one. God must send me that lessons flying off the page and it comes in steps in this case is leading of the Holy Spirit and his permission. This reoccurring theme in the book of acts Peter was told by an angel to go stand in the porch of the temple and preach the word. The words of life.
Philip here is told to go to Gaza Peter later will be told by the Spirit to go to the house of Cornelius. There will be others involved in getting Peter there.
Those men from job anyway. The leaders of the church in Antioch will be told by the Holy Spirit to separate Paul and Barnabas work of ministry, and then Paul and Silas, they will be forbidden to go to Asia and Bithynia with the gospel. You imagine telling a Christian today you can go there to preach the gospel you are going to prison or a guy who you tell me.
So there is Paul and Silas. They wanted to go into Asian Holy Spirit made it clear that is not what they were to do no okay will go to buy thinning no can go there either.
Well, what does that leave Manhattan restaurant so there anyway. Psalm 37 verse 20 through the steps of a good man are ordered by Yahweh, and he delights in his way. So as a Christian get used get used to being led and not moving into you are me there. Sometimes it's obvious that Ms. is clear, but there are other times assisted. I have no leading to do this and I want to remind you when you begin to live that way you will offend fellow Christians. What could be wrong.
Why want you to pass we want to do the side leading to do that or could be wrong with this I mean that it's a it's a beetle feeding ministry.
Gotta feed the Beatles and just such a godly thing anyway. This is desert told right out.
Philip would've known that no boundaries on preaching the gospel. However, there are barriers there is timing and restrictions of the spirit is just mentioned and there is preparation. What good would it have done if Philip got there we didn't know what to say.
Couldn't answer the questions. Who does this man speak about himself or somebody else.
One of his mama mama.
I don't know Philip was in the great this great movement there in Samaria and is redirected elsewhere.
What a flexible spirit that is so desert.
The desert where life is both scarce and struggling. He is to go to this Gentile caravan and be ready for instructions. Human reason, would've walked with us to wait, what was happening in Samaria people getting safety of the Samaritans must be go to the desert to leave the 99 for the one that principle is employed here. Not always, but it is here, God will send us to places where we would otherwise not go but he can only do that if he finds a willing heart. Verse 27 so he arose and went.
There's that willing heart and behold a man of Ethiopia, a unit great authority under Candace queen of Ethiopians who had charge over her treasury and had come to Jerusalem to worship where remember earlier in this chapter in Samaria. Simon the sorcerer or magician really sought to have God work for him out of ignorance.
Philip is here seeking to work for God so he arose and he went, and behold, a man of Ethiopia.
Another Gentile is being brought to Christ not there were other Gentiles in Nicholas we read about him in chapter 6 proselyte of Antioch, likely from that region will from Antioch. It's in Syria, but here this is an African this Ethiopian man that is being pursued by the servant of God at this time in history. Ethiopia's northern border touched the southern border of Egypt today. The Sudan is there need. Gotta go further south to get the Ethiopia.
The Candace is a title like Farrell or Caesar.
That's not her name probably are coming from the region of cartoon which is not cartoon with second that would be all folks. But the this is this is in the Sudan today about 300 miles away in a hard drive to this is not a legal resident of rest stops on the way things like that. This is some a large caravan, soldiers and servants, those who are hitchhiking along could be 100 people in the skin. This chariot is in is large enough to have seats. Not all chariots just you know to real some of them were four wheelers, some of them are large tubulars but anyway it's a sizable chariot and this Ethiopian is a convert to Judaism Place looking for God. That's why he was in Jerusalem like like Nicholas, although as a unit of great authority that he's a big shot is not a literal position as a Gentile and is a unit that's really not going to go well for him is going to look down upon when he gets to Jerusalem, that nice, returning but UNIX would denied full access to the Jewish Temple but they were never denied full access into the kingdom of heaven and Isaiah makes that clear.
And he seems to accepted his position in life without bitterness. Romans chapter 8 for the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin, condemned sin in the flesh. So there we we have with the law could not do the law could not really bring this eunuch into the temple of the grace of God brings them all away into a relationship with Christ. This one preacher said one very good preacher said, not me. I know when I say very good preacher, you immediately think of me because of my humility.
But anyway God does not love populations, but people not masses, but men I agree with that. I mean, he loves the individuals not the groups. Although groups are made of individuals he can love a good group of them at one time but God singled us out this Ethiopian is singled out.
So when you are leading someone to Christ you know that God singled them out long before you got there, even from the foundations of the earth.
Romans 323 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This was a trustworthy man. His position in a pagan government did not stop God from reaching him. God knew he was ready, because the spirit was working in him and that's the only way people come to Christ.
Verse 28. He was returning and sitting in his chariot he was reading Isaiah the prophet verse 29 then the Spirit said to Philip, go near and overtake his chariot.
While no one stumbles into salvation even if they think they do, they do not. God is the author and the finisher of our faith. He not only designs it buddy.
He follows it through to the to the kingdom of heaven to when we are in heaven.
Philip is told to share Jesus and Christ is already at work in the man's heart. Jesus said this, my father has been working on till now and I have been working that is true to this day. God wants all people say, but they're not all going to get saved. And yet this is what the Lord wants all can get saved you want to first Timothy who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. First Timothy 24. Here in verse 29 then the Spirit said to Philip, go near and overtake in verse 26. Remember it was the angel now it's the Holy Spirit that's how this is unfolding for us. Go near and overtake his chariot mentioned that this is a sizable chariot, probably a four wheeler is specific and clear instructions catch up and join up with this person in the chariot. I think Philip knew when he saw the caravan who these folks were. I think he knew that these were Ethiopians headed to Ethiopia. The nonfactor for him. Verse 30 so Philip ran to him and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said do you understand what you are reading, you got a look at that seal these excited exacting authority orders. He knows where he belongs like Elisha knew he belonged with Elijah is excited so Philip ran to him when those things are in the Scripture like this in your eye catches them. It's intentional.
The author and finisher of your faith is working in your life saying something to you to get you to be better to get me to be better at what we do as Christians. And so here Philip not only had he made a Pledge of Allegiance to God, he is acting on his pledge and you know that's a big thing later.
Paul to the right of the Corinthians, you know, you pledge to help. Don't embarrass me.
Don't do this.
This is your opportunity to act upon what you said you would do and they did well. This Bible of hours ago. As we read here in verse 30, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah on the Bible is the road of knowledge to God.
Of course, that road is loaded with robbers. Gotta be careful of that you know you you you go to send out Christian children off to universities in the here the professors begin to coin phrases as though they created light, and if the child was not ready for this going to get sucked in. If this is just going along with the story of you got up on nonbelieving a professor and he's saying will this is called so-and-so when people do this and the child was like wow, that's interesting. There's a name for this job. So what does a name for this solution for it and so we were just one of these phrases. Look this one up if you like a seal goofy it is that they've come up with micro-aggression. What is that this is so teeny. The aggression that is you can't see it so that is nonaggression visit is like, you can win is my commute, you agree with me was you really don't. So they come up with this phrase, a coin these things and and and people supposedly impressed.
Wow there pretty deep. They put a name on a behavior, I should listen to everything aspersions and they forget all about their Christianity and he started drinking the Kool-Aid and the next thing you know their atheists or doubting the faith. So the standing up and saying things like, what would you get that which is made you and you place just made this up.
I know you can't do that, we 1780 like that but at my age, you certainly can any way I feel myself getting in the flesh at our office shows, but inside anyway. Coming back to these things Jesus said you search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life and these are they which testify of me who you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast. Today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit cross reference radio.com that's cross reference radio.com would also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference radio podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick you could subscribe cross reference radio.com or simply search for cross reference radio in your favorite podcast to the next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of acts right here on cross reference radio