Acts 8.4 – 8:40
This week for our Going Deeper, we’re going to spend a little bit of time outside of the book of Acts to show how the entire Bible is connected as one large narrative continuously pointing to the redemption found in Jesus.
But, let’s start with Acts 8:26-40. You may have read this a few times already but look over it again for a refresher. Historically, in Near Eastern governments, it was not uncommon for high-ranking officials to be castrated in order to prevent them from impregnating a royal woman and making claims to the throne. However, according to Jewish law, castrated men were not allowed to participate fully in Israel’s worship or be converted to Judaism (Duet 23:1). And, yet, here in Acts 8, we meet an Ethiopian Gentile eunuch, reading from one of Israel’s own prophets (Isaiah 53) and desiring to understand it. In God’s providence, Phillip is led to the Ethiopian and uses Isaiah’s prophecy to explain the gospel to him.
Flip in your Bibles to Isaiah 53 and read it in its entirety. In this section of Scripture, Isaiah is prophesying of the coming of the Messiah. Highlight any allusions to Jesus you observe. Underline the line “And was numbered with the transgressors” in Isaiah 53:12.
Now, flip over to Luke 22:37. Here we find Jesus and His disciples at the last supper and Jesus is letting them know what is to come. What is Jesus referencing in this verse?
Phillip connects these verses for the Ethiopian and immediately invites him to convert. Suddenly, there is no longer anything separating him from God! All that is required of him is belief in Christ. His ethnicity, his past, his social status – none of these disqualify him from the Gospel. And, as a result, his acceptance, baptism, and joy are immediate.
Finally, turn to Isaiah 56:3-5. I know we’ve been all over the Bible today, but hang with us – this is too beautiful to miss. Imagine. Phillip disappears, and this new Ethiopian convert continues on his journey. As he travels, he turns back to the book of Isaiah with fresh eyes. Perhaps he reads a couple more chapters and makes it to this section. What do you think he would feel?
All the barriers have been broken! Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. And the gospel goes forth! With this one new believer, the story of Christ begins to make its way to the ends of the earth!
This week we read of both men and women accepting Christ and then immediately being baptized (Acts 8:12) as an outward expression of the grace of God in their lives. They don’t wait until their lives appear perfect or until they know everything. Instead, they instantly respond by publicly declaring their faith in Jesus through baptism. If you profess faith in Jesus but have never been baptized, perhaps now is the time to consider what has been preventing you (Acts. 8:36). Baptisms are happening at all campuses on November 1. To get more information or to talk to a staff member, register through the link above. We’d love to walk alongside of you as you consider this next step in your faith.
North Way Christian Community
12121 Perry Highway
Wexford, PA 15090
Pittsburgh Streaming Church Services
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