Acts 8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. 31 "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth." 34 The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
There was once a little girl who wanted to give her grandmother a very special gift. She bought a beautiful Bible, but decided that she needed to write something special in it. She looked through some of her father's books, and in one of his favourite books she found an inscription she liked that she copied into the Bible. When the grandmother opened the Bible, she opened the front cover and there read, "To Granny, with the compliments of the Author."
Look at today's reading form Acts using three headings;
The Words of Scripture
The Bible speaks of Jesus. These words from the prophet Isaiah who lived about 700 years before the birth of Jesus, looked forward to His coming. If we want to find out about Jesus we should start with the Bible.
If we want to find out about ourselves we should read the Bible. To see if we obey God's law. To compare ourselves to Jesus. Then we will see that we needed Jesus to die for us and that we need to respond by trusting Him.
This will happen because of...
The Work of the Spirit
God the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and enables us to respond by trusting in Jesus.
We see the work of the Spirit in today's passage.
The Spirit led Philip to go to the chariot and stay close to it so he could converse with the man. The Spirit enabled Philip to explain the good news of Jesus and enabled the man to respond. The Spirit them suddenly took Philip away and enabled the man to rejoice.
The Holy Spirit is at work today. Bringing people to trust in Jesus. Helping believers to share their faith, giving the opportunities.
If this is not happening to us, perhaps we should be praying that it would!
This leads to my third point...
The Witness of the Servant
Philip, a servant of God, witnessed to this man, bringing him to faith in the power of the Spirit.
The Christian faith grows stronger when we spread it!
In his book "Living Faith," former President Jimmy Carter recounts a humbling experience. He says that when he was preparing to run for governor a second time, he was invited to speak to a Christian men's group about his activities as a Christian witness.
In preparation for that talk, he took account of the witnessing he had done. He added up the times when he had shared the faith with other people, one on one, and they had made commitments to Christ. The total number came to 140. But then, said Carter, "The Lord must have been looking over my shoulder because immediately I remembered my 1966 political campaign when Rosalynn and I had travelled the state and had shaken hands with 300,000 Georgians, extolling my good points, and asking them to vote for me. I had asked 300,000 to support me, but only 140 to affirm Jesus. The terrible difference in those numbers brought me to my knees."