Jesus, the end of the journey.
DECEMBER 7, 2021
Jesus, the end of the journey. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straight-forward, and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the eighth chapter of Acts, and we’re going to start in a new text on this broadcast, and we’re going to start at the 26th verse of the eighth chapter of Acts and the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. And, this is a record of the ministry of Philip. And Luke, the writer of the book of Acts continues with the story of Philip and at the 26th verse, he writes as follows.
But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” this is a desert road. And he arose and went. And behold an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister in Candace, the queen of Ethiopia, in charge of all her treasure had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” so Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah, the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this: “As a sheep led to this water or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth?” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. And as they went along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized? And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found in Azotus, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns that he came to in Caesarea.
My, you know, that’s a text that almost just stands by, it’s classic evangelism. God leads, the brothers and sisters are faithful, the Spirit of God moves and lives are changed forever. In this case, there’s a specific, and there’s always a specific because God doesn’t act in mass, he acts with individuals. And so, you have a very rich, very powerful Ethiopian, who’s got everything that anybody would ever want, except the one thing that is really important. And he begins to search, he hears about the Jews and he travels to Jerusalem to find out about the truth of the Old Testament and there being one sovereign God for the whole universe, but he still lacks the reality of the truth that he’s learning. And so he’s going back home and I suspect that he’s going back on kind of sad. He was in hopes that Jerusalem would be the place where he would find answers to all of his questions. He would find meaning to his meaninglessness. He would be filled and no longer empty, but he didn’t, he didn’t find that in Jerusalem, he found truth. He found true truth in Jerusalem, but that’s not enough, to know the propositions and to know they’re true, that’s not enough. I can say about this chair that I’m sitting on, that it is true truth, that it will hold me. But until I sit in the chair, nothing’s going to happen in terms of my relaxation In the power of the chair to hold me up. And it’s the same thing with Jesus. There are a lot of people around who get the truth, right. You would be surprised and they think it’s enough. Or at least they say, they think it’s enough, but it’s not. In the middle of the night, they know that something is missing, something isn’t right, something has not come together. You can’t eat doctrine. Doctrine won’t keep you warm at night. Doctrine won’t forgive you. Doctrine won’t give you meaning. It’s truth and it points to something else. And that’s Jesus. And as we read this particular text, that’s what Philip does. Philip comes along where the Ethiopian is exactly at that place in his life. He’s reading the book of Isaiah. He knows it’s true. It’s a prophecy of the coming Messiah. He doesn’t understand it. He’s just gotten truth, but it hasn’t given him meaning. He isn’t in a relationship, he’s on his way, but he’s not there yet. And then Philip shows because the Spirit said, go talk to that man. And Philip explains the Scripture, points to Jesus, baptizes the man. Then Philip leaves. My job is done, he said, I was here for one reason. And you’re that reason, I’m finished and I’m gone. And the text says the Ethiopian rejoiced. That means that he was giggling and dancing and laughing because finally the truth had landed in his heart. Finally, the doctrines had come together in a reality that changed his life. Finally, all of his search had come to an end and it came to the place where all good searches come to an end. It came to Jesus. That’s what evangelism is all about. And it’s all good. It’s all good news. That’s why it’s called the gospel and religious people take the good news of forgiveness and redemption and acceptance, without reservation from a God who is holy because of the death of Jesus Christ. And we turn it into a bunch of rules, a bunch of admonishments, a bunch of places of guilt. The church should be known for forgiveness. Yeah. But what about, what if somebody really, the church should be known for forgiveness. But don’t forget about discipline. I’m not, the church should be known for forgiveness and redemption. You know, what’s wrong in our culture? We have a culture where we no longer believe in the real God. And the real God is a God who forgives, who shows mercy and grace. And once you’ve set that aside, you don’t have an option. You become a canceled culture. You become a judgmental culture. You become a condemning culture. You become a divided culture. You become an angry culture. You become a culture that destroys people. And the only hope for our culture in this present situation is the Ethiopian eunuch and what happened to him. Listen, you need to be forgiven. You need to be redeemed. You need to be loved. And the message of the church in evangelism and the message of every Christian is this, anybody here want to live forever? Anybody here feel guilty and want to be forgiven? Anybody here feel empty and are looking for meaning? Boy, do I have some good news for you. It’s not in the text, but that’s what Philip said to the Ethiopian. Ethiopian said, do you understand this? And Phillip said, yup, I do. And the Ethiopian said, would you explain it to me? And Philip said, yeah. And boy, do I have good news for you. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Wow. Such an exciting story that we covered today. And not just a story, but history. And not just history, but good news. And just in case you missed it earlier, our text today was Acts 8:26-40. Here’s a name for you, Horatio Spafford. Do you know him? He wrote the hymn, It is Well With My Soul, after his four daughters died in a shipwreck, and then later he suffered a mental breakdown and yet Spafford still affirmed it as well with my soul. What does this have to do with Christmas? Well, Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ. It means that your soul, the real you is secure in Jesus, treasured, shepherded and preserved. Steve spoke about all of this in a sermon called It is Well With My Soul. And I know that you are going to be blessed by it. So, let us send it to you, for free on a CD. Get it right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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