Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Leading of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism

On Sunday I am preaching in Bullock, NC from Acts 8:26-40 on the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. This story is a perfect example of an ordinary guy, a lay person, in the church that is in tune to hearing and listening to the Holy Spirit. If you read the story and look at the context the Ethiopian Eunuch is an unlikely candidate for salvation. Given where he is from, where is traveling, and all of the other religions located in Ethiopia at the time.

But what one sees in this story is how when an ordinary follower of Jesus is listening to the Holy Spirit and obeys that unlikely candidates for salvation become the perfect candidates in God's sovereignty. The story reveals the the eunuch is reading the prophet of Isaiah 53:7-8, which prophesies the Messiah Jesus coming like a lamb to be slain and standing in our place.

An interesting point to note is that even though the eunuch had a passage from Isaiah that described the salvation of Jesus, he still lacked an explanation. He still needed someone to fit the pieces of the puzzle together for him. This is where Philip comes in tells him the good news about Jesus.

The Ethiopian eunuch gives his life to Jesus and immediately requests to be baptized because Philip had obviously told him that it is an immediate and first step of obedience once giving your life to Christ. By the way, this is what I would call a biblical form of a spontaneous baptism and it also says that "they came up out of water," meaning that he was baptized like Jesus through immersion. In other words there is no sprinkling being described here.

My question for you is when is the last time that you heard the Holy Spirit speaking to you? Are you listening? We all have objections on why God cannot use us, but Philip is a prime example of how the Holy Spirit leads an ordinary guy in evangelism and missions to bring salvation that eventually leads to the start of the church in Ethiopia.

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