The Good News About Jesus (Acts 8:26-40)

When parents name their children, the choice often means something. Perhaps it’s a popular name, a family name, or the name of a treasured friend.

Pip, today we hear the story about your name. You are named Pip after the main character in Great Expectations and we’ll read that together when you’re bigger. It’s a story of unlikely circumstances and surprising twists.

But your real name is Philippa, and you’re also named after Philip the evangelist. And it’s because of this passage, Acts 8:26-40.

It’s also part of a story of unlikely circumstances and surprising twists. It’s the story of the Word of God spreading and God adding to the number of those who believed. That’s despite Jesus’ followers being threatened and arrested (Acts 3 & 4), despite false followers being judged (like Ananias and Sapphira in 5, and Simon the Magician in 8:5-26), and despite Stephen the Deacon being stoned to death (Acts 7) and the persecution which followed driving the believers out of Jerusalem. In all these unlikely circumstances, God is still bringing people in.

In Great Expectations, Pip teaches us that changing where you are doesn’t change who you are. In Acts 8:26-40, Philip teaches us that God’s Word goes out, and God brings people in.

If we learn, like Dicken’s Pip that love and loyalty are more important than anything else, we will do well. But if we learn to be alert to the part God wants us to play in His Word going out and His people being brought in, then we will do the best. We need to ask ourselves three questions:

  1. What Might God Be Organizing on Your Behalf? (v26-29)
  2. Do You Understand What the Scriptures Say About Jesus? (v30-35)
  3. What Prevents You From Receiving the Good News? (v36-38)
  4. Keep Rejoicing and Evangelizing (v39-40)

Sunday 28th October 2018

Review questions:

  • God’s Word goes __________, and ________ brings people in. (2:47; 4:4; 6:7; 8:4).
  • How ‘successful’ was Philip’s ministry in Samaria (v5-6)?
  • Why does God send him to the Gaza road (v28-31)?
  • I could read the Bible with:
  • Ask: ‘What does it say about ___________?’ ‘What does it say about ___________?’ and ‘What about how I should _______ ?’ (v30)
  • The official needs _________________ (v31)
  • What is he reading (v32-33)?
  • Isaiah wrote about ______________________ (v34-35, 1 Peter 3:11 & Romans 5:1-21).
  • What couldn’t stop the eunuch (v36, Isaiah 11:11 & 56:1-8)?
  • Ethiopia was the ___________________ (1:8)
  • Faith is u____________ing & a__________ing with the Gospel, and ________ing in Jesus.

Application questions:

  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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