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Power to Preach (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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August 16, 2022 6:00 am

Power to Preach (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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August 16, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Admit that you are a sinner before God, that you have broke His law, that you are doomed in your sin because you have violated God's Word. If you refuse to repent, to admit that, then baptism is not for you. If you reject that Jesus died for your sins, for all sinners, and that He alone is the Savior of souls, no man goes to the Father except through Him. That you can't be baptized. Imagine someone, I believe in Jesus. I believe He's my Lord and Savior.

Then you say, do you believe there are any other savers? Now here's Pastor Rick with the conclusion of his study called Placed to Preach in Acts chapter 8. We come to verse 20. Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people just as Mordecai had charged her for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him. So she's a young woman now and she doesn't think, I got it.

I don't need you anymore Mordecai. And these things stand out about her character. Her beauty was more than skin deep.

It was in her personality. No one else on earth has caught this but me and that's because I am humble and when you're humble like me, God gives you special things. I know. It's stupid and it's meant to be to draw attention to anyone who just thinks that there's safety and arrogance.

There's not. I don't know why arrogant people are arrogant except to say that sin is doing its thing on them. We don't have to be that way. So here this Ethiopian man, he has a willing spirit, a teachable spirit. Psalm 69 verse 2, the humble shall see this and be glad and you who seek God your hearts shall live. So the Ethiopian doesn't say to Philip, have you been to seminary? He just wants to know have you been in the word of God? That's good enough for him. He doesn't make this complicated as we tend to do. There's nothing wrong with digging deep and going deeper.

There's something wrong when you begin to make that the normal for everybody else and you go so deep that you've lost your way. Verse 32, the place in the scripture which he read was this, he was led as a sheep to the slaughter and as a lamb before its shearer is silent. So he opened not his mouth. This, the word of God, along with the servant of God equals salvation.

That's the formula. And here the scripture, faith comes by hearing, hearing with the word of God, here is the word of God. But Jesus didn't go to the cross dragged as a victim. He engineered the whole thing, the author and finisher of our faith. He went in submission and he was eager. How I wish it was here, he said to his disciples before he was arrested.

He goes without protest. What if he opened his mouth in protest? Revelation, 1921, speaking of Jesus. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of him who sat on the horse and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

That's what could have happened. This is to antichrist and his armies, that's what this is speaking about, the forces of antichrist. Yeah, he could have called 12 legions of angels or he could just did it himself. Verse 33, in his humiliation, still reading from Isaiah, his justice was taken away and who will declare his generation for his life is taken from the earth? Well, in his humiliation and the Son of God, if he can give us, so Christ says, I want you to do what I'm doing. I'm washing the feet, your feet.

I want you to do this to each other. We have no problem washing the feet of Jesus. It's a peter though. I don't know if I want to wash his feet. The person in the pew next to me, don't look.

I don't know if I'm ready to do this. Well, this is the thing that Christ calls us to do and when you start disobeying those kind of commandments, you start disobeying other kind of commandments a lot faster than what you should and you shouldn't disobey any but then it becomes easier is my point. So here, the Lord Jesus in his humiliation, there was no justice. It says his justice was taken away, meaning there was no justice at his trial.

It was a kangaroo court. His life was taken away because he was the substitutionary sacrifice. He died in my place as me on my cross. That is the substitution like the lamb out of Egypt, the blood of the lamb was put on the doorpost of the house and who will declare his generation? Well, he had no children. He was cut off and we would have not have because his ministry was not in that direction but this is clearly a reference that there was no generation.

They killed him. So Isaiah adds in this section, which is not here, for he was cut off from the land of the living. For the transgressions of my people, he was stricken and we are his people incidentally. Verse 34, in other words, the Jews, yes, and then beyond as we're seeing in the book of Acts. Verse 34, so the eunuch answered Philip and said, I ask you of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man? Again, no attempt to cover his ignorance like, oh, I knew that or I should know that.

No, he's learning. I don't know. Well, who's this guy talking about? Now, the Ethiopian more than likely heard the rabbis debate this verse because it was a verse that they did debate. Some believe that the slaughtered sheep here, the lamb, represented Israel but that really is a stretch.

It does not fit. There's too much personification that belongs to the character in Isaiah 53. Others thought Isaiah spoke of himself and that certainly he couldn't come close to what Isaiah 53 talks about. Others knew this to be Messiah, that Isaiah was talking about the Messiah, the Christ. The Hebrew word Messiah in the Greek is Christ and this is, of course, what Philip is going to tell him. We're not getting everything Philip told him.

We know that just by the events that take place. Verse 35, then Philip opened his mouth. The Lord did not open his mouth on the way to the sacrifice but Philip's going to open his mouth to preach because the door is open. And beginning at this scripture preached Jesus to him. Remember Christ on the road to Emmaus. He opened the scriptures that all about himself. He gave them the scripture and where he was and here we see Philip beginning at this verse.

Ephesians chapter 3, Paul said that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. You know when you're struggling in life all the time, you don't see those riches of Christ as so wonderful. You just want relief and God is saying I need you to do both at the same time. I need you to suffer and serve at the same time.

That's what it takes. If you're not suffering, good, serve. If you are suffering, serve.

In season, out of season, all the time. Colossians 1.28. We just read this one but I like it a lot. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ. How many churches out there are not preaching Christ but call themselves churches still? We're prohibited from slapping them and things like that because the flesh says ooh ooh I know what to do and the spirit says no you don't. We don't do that.

We focus on the field. You know a liberating thing for an individual Christian is to focus on the field you've been given, to plow the field you have, to take the lot that you have been assigned. Remember the tribes of Israel?

Each tribe was assigned a lot. Not a bunch but a lot. So you've heard me say this before, you see signs that say a lot for sale and there's nothing there and they're lying to you.

There's another one that's kind of irritating because who wants to hear something, tell me something I don't know. Fireworks. I know that. Every July they go around saying this. Alright, that's a laughter moment.

Back to work. Included in what Philip told us Ethiopian is water baptism which is unique to Christianity. The Jews had their mikvahs, the baths, but they were for cleansing. They didn't bear the symbolism of the water baptism. Go into all the world Jesus said and make disciples, make students of the word because it's more than just, you don't just convert them, they need more of all nations. Philip is engaged in this and Jesus said baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Well they were commanded to do this and therefore we are commanded to have this done to us. And since the next verse tells us that the eunuch sought baptism, verse 36, 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? Well he didn't just pick that out of a rabbit's hat, Philip had to tell him about this. Obviously Philip made it clear that a public confession was part of Christianity.

Remember this is a large caravan, could be a hundred people in this caravan. And he says, what hinders me from being baptized? Well I'll tell you, impenitence, refusal to admit that you are a sinner before God, that you broke his law, that you are doomed in your sin because you have violated God's word. If you refuse to repent, to admit that, then baptism's not for you. If you reject that Jesus died for your sins, for all sinners, and that he alone is the savior of souls, no man goes to the Father except through him, then you can't be baptized. Imagine someone, I believe in Jesus, I believe he's my Lord and Savior.

Then you say, do you believe there are any other savers? Yeah, well I think there's some other ways, well you're not getting baptized. Refusing to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Well I believe I'm a sinner and Jesus died for me.

Do you believe he died and rose again as the scripture says? If you say no, then you don't get baptized. Romans 10, 9 and 10. Now this verse, if you are leading someone to Christ, you don't know what else to say. Open your Bible and read this verse out loud to them.

It's legal and even if it isn't, it's necessary. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

There's our template. Refusing the deity and lordship of Christ over your life, that will be just a reason to not grant water baptism. That salvation must be earned or can be earned and not as opposed to received. That would be, no we're not baptizing you on that. If you don't understand that, you don't earn salvation, you receive it.

The price has been paid by the blood of Christ. Incidentally, the word translated here baptized in the Greek, which is the language of the New Testament, means immersed. It doesn't mean sprinkled. Now there are times where sprinkling is acceptable. A deathbed confession. You know, the person can't get up, oh we got to get you to do some water. No, you can symbolically do it there.

That would be fair. Someone too sick to do it. Or some other legitimate reason not, but ideally that it is to be, it requires immersion in the water. And that's why they're going to go down, down into the water is deep enough. Verse 37, now they had canteens.

If it was sprinkling, you're just going to say, hey, I got this water jug here and pour it on my head. Well, verse 30. Yeah, I'm offended by people who think that they can get away with just making up things about the Bible and then teaching it as though the Bible approves of these things that are actually spoken against. You know, infant baptism.

What is that? You have to believe. If you believe. Verse 37, 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. Now at that time, when he makes this statement, at that time in history, that meant that Christ was equal with the Father in his understanding. This is why they called Christ the blasphemer. You make yourself, you being a man, make yourself equal with God, said the Pharisees. And Christ was like, because I am. And they just, they would not have that. So a condition was placed upon the one who wants to be baptized. If you believe with all your heart, Mark 12 30, you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Infants can't do that.

Infants cannot say, I believe that he is the Son of God. And so this kind of behavior, I don't want to spend any more time why they do it, and the bottom line is it's wrong. That's all I need. This condition, it is restrictive. It's conditional. But it's gloriously inviting. These are the terms. You take it or you leave it.

It's so simple. If you believe otherwise, no. Acts chapter 16, the Philippian jailer, after the earthquake and the apostles, the apostle Paul and his assistant Silas, they did not flee the jail. And the jailer called out and he bought them out and said, sir, what must I do to be saved? So they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

You and your household. Yeah, if they believe. That doesn't mean if you believe, your household will be saved.

You and your household under these terms. It would be silly. It would just be silly to suppose that it meant something otherwise. If you said, jump out of the burning, run out of the burning building and you will be saved, you and your family, it would be silly to say, well, the family, they're going to be saved even if they don't come out because they're not going to be saved. I think that made that sense, right?

Did you like it? Well, thumbs up me later. They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in the house. The word goes with it. There's no getting away from it. Now, can we just have a Christian concert with music?

No, you can't. The word of God, living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the divisions of the soul, the spirit, the joints, the word of God is going to mess with your flesh. That's what God wants it to do. Otherwise, who else? Who else is going to do it? Anyway, after you come to the Lord, well, your next step in this age is to find some feel-good podcasts to listen to, some deep thinking books that are by really smart people so you can really learn what the Bible says and find a church that believes in some of the Bible, if any of it. Sarcasm, sarcasm, sarcasm. Whatever you do as a Christian, don't lose the simplicity of the word. Don't lose it. Keep the faith simple.

It does not need improvement and it is powerful just as it is. When you came to Christ, having begun in the spirit and now being made in the flesh, when you came to Christ, was it not the simplicity of the message? Was it not, you are dirty before God. He will make you clean. You will be his. Go tell somebody else.

Well, I mean, can you improve on that? And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Amazing answer. He's saying to Philip, let me be very clear about what I believe and he's saying it. He says he is the Son of God, not was the Son of God. Now, there are those corrupted manuscripts out there that some of you have, and talking about the New Testament only, if you have the NIV, the NASB, the ESV, the NYPD, if you have one of these translations of the New Testament, there's two sources primarily we get our New Testament from. The Alexandrian text from Alexandria, not Virginia, but Egypt. There was a large Gnostic influence there. And then from Antioch, Syria. We get the majority text and of course through Textus Receptus.

The one from Syria is the trustworthy one. So, the Brainiacs come along and they say, well, we know everything and this is what we want you to understand. That the older manuscripts are better and that's why the NIV and these other ones use it.

And that's not true. So what, they were older. There's a few of them.

A couple of hundred. Because they weren't worth circulating. That's why the other one has thousands of manuscripts and parts of manuscripts where we get the King James, the New King James and some of the majority text Bibles from. I hope I didn't lose you on this. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because they'll say, oh, this verse is not in the original. Somebody added this. They bring nothing but doubt to the word.

They did, huh? Well, let's take that verse out and let's go up to verse 36. Acts chapter 8 verse 36. Then Philip opened his mouth. 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? Now skip 37 because, oh, that's not there. Verse 38. So he commanded the chariot to stand still. Wait a minute. He says, here is water.

What hinders me from being baptized? When does Philip say to answer that question? Because verse 38 is the eunuch commanding the chariot to stop.

Philip has no authority to do that. So it doesn't even make sense. There's a part missing. So on the grounds of logic, on the grounds of the corrupted manuscripts from the Alexandrian source materials, I say this verse is very much a part of it.

You can trust it. And all those newer manuscripts that put the little star next to the verse, not in the older manuscripts. Thumb your nose at them. They deserve that.

Because they do nothing but meddle. They're Johnny-come-latelys and they bring nothing but doubt. Now they don't withhold the message of salvation, but they inject doubt and they do this with other verses too. And then the next thing you know, you've got some Christian that has departed from the simplicity of the faith and wants to argue each verse.

Well, the Johanian calmer. And they got all these names for this stuff. And somebody needs to think it through. And when they're done, leave us alone. All right.

No. I've heard their arguments. Some of these scholars are sharp guys, but they could still be wrong.

That's why I don't want to be a sharp guy. So I won't be wrong. Anyway, the amazing answer. I don't think you guys are catching the humor.

I think you're like a beat behind, but you're forgiven. Anyway, verse 38. So he commanded the chariot to stand still and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him. Now again, notice they went into the water. Remember that it was the Ethiopian that initiated the request to be baptized.

Immersion. It is symbolized in Romans 3. We don't have time to read Romans chapter 6 verses 3 and 4 where Paul says the water baptism symbolizes your death in the flesh and your life in the spirit. Well, what do you do with a dead body? You bury it. And when you come out of the water, immersing it symbolizes the burial of the old nature and coming out of the water symbolizes the new life in Christ.

That doesn't mean the fight is not on. It just means this preaches to us the work of Jesus Christ in the life of a sinner and our response to that work and we're making it known this is where I stand. Verse 39. And when they came out of the water, the spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so the eunuch saw him no more and he went on his way rejoicing. So the eunuch goes down the road, yee-haw, I am saved, I have the answers, I am a happy eunuch.

Not that I trade places, but just saying the gospel did what it's supposed to do. The Greek word translated here, caught, is harpazo. In the Latin, it is raptus. So when Jerome takes the New Testament and translates it into Latin from the Greek, that word, that harpazo, he uses the Latin word raptus where we get our word rapture. So when the Jehovah's Witnesses come along and rapture is not in the Bible, they are wrong.

They don't understand the movement of language and the fact that is taught. It means to abruptly snatch away. When in 1 Thessalonians 4.17, we will be raptured, we will be caught up, it is just like that, taken. When Jude writes to the church, he says you see somebody tripped up in sin, snatched him out of it. It is again abrupt. Was Philip raptured or a lateral rapture instead of a vertical? It seems like that's exactly what happened. He ends up in a zotus.

It's like, what just happened? Luke kind of just brushes over it, but you can't escape the language and how that word is used. Verse 40, but Philip was found in a zotus. And see, that's the kind of, he was just found there? Did he walk there? How did he get there? He was raptured, I believe that. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.

Ashdod is a zotus. The Greeks did change the name to that. The language again moves. Just like the apostles, when they came up to Samaria, the people were rejoicing.

The eunuch is rejoicing. Philip is preaching the word. The apostles, when they left Samaria, they preached their way back to Jerusalem.

And Philip is going to that beautiful section of Israel, Caesarea by the Mediterranean Sea. This is just a beautiful story. Well, we're out of time. Even though I have more things to say, I do want to mention that a mere good example, a mere good witness is not enough to save a soul. You've got to at some point preach the word. No one's going to look at the stars and come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ dying for them. It takes the word of God.

And if they do, they're going to have bullet holes in their beliefs that shouldn't be there. And that's where we come in. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of 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 That's We'd 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 can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the Book of Acts right here on Cross Reference Radio. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-10 07:36:00 / 2023-03-10 07:45:38 / 10

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