acts 8 26-40 If not me who
If not me who?
Who will share Christ with those around me?
Acts 8 26-40
One of the most powerful examples of witnessing in the NT. What if Philip had said, “Not me.”?
I. If not me who? Plenty of excuses not to witness
A. Possible persecution
(NKJV) Acts 8 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
B. Too busy
(NKJV) Acts 8 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
(NKJV) Acts 8 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.
D. Unlikely persons
(NKJV) Acts 8 27 … And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning.
1. Different culture - Ethiopia
2. Different social class – great authority
3. Different financial status – treasurer
4. In a hurry
E. But Philip gave no excuse
27 So he arose and went.
II. If not me who? God’s already at work in people
Ex. Person in Garland – door to door – abrupt / come back later – driving could not get him out of my mind – turn around – knocked on door – “I have been waiting on you” – Would you like me to share with you how to go to heaven “yes”
A. Placed there by God
(NKJV) Acts 8 28 … had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning.
B. Had a historical understanding
(NKJV) Acts 8 27 … And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians,
C. Made a personal choice to seek true religion
(NKJV) Acts 8 27 … had come to Jerusalem to worship,
D. Demonstrated a desire to know God
(NKJV) Acts 8 28 … And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
E. Recognized something was missing
(NKJV) Acts 8 30 … and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”
F. Open to allow someone to help him
(NKJV) Acts 8 31 … And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
III. If not me who? The key is listening and responding
A. Go where God sends
(NKJV) Acts 8 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went.
1. Unknown situations
2. Unconditional response
B. Speak when God prompts
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said
1. Sensitive to condition of others
2. Bold to engage with the truth
C. Share Christ
1. Began where he was
30 … “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
2. Communicated the gospel
a) Knew that interest does not equal salvation
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. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” 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?”
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
IV. If not me who? Taking them all the way
A. Brought him to a place of decision
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?”
B. Stayed focused on salvation truth
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
C. Led him to trust Christ
37 … And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
D. Followed through to get him to identify with Christ
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
V. If not me who? What an impact on lives!
A. On others
39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
1. Connection to Jesus in his life
a) Note: Goal is to connect people to Christ Himself
2. Changed lives
a) Joy – sins forgiven – purpose – security
B. On self
40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.