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Telling the Good News (CC)

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SERMON TEXT: ACTS 8:26-40 SERMON TEXT: ACTS 8:26-40 NOW AN ANGEL OF THE LORD SAID TO PHILIP, "GO SOUTH TO THE ROAD -- THE DESERT ROAD -- THAT GOES DOWN FROM JERUSALEM TO GAZA." 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, AND ON HIS WAY HOME WAS SITTING IN HIS CHARIOT READING THE BOOK OF ISAIAH THE PROPHET. THE SPIRIT TOLD PHILIP, "GO TO THAT CHARIOT AND STAY NEAR IT." THEN PHILIP RAN UP TO THE CHARIOT AND HEARD THE MAN READING ISAIAH THE PROPHET. "DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE READING?" PHILIP ASKED. "HOW CAN I," HE SAID, "UNLESS SOMEONE EXPLAINS IT TO ME?" SO HE INVITED PHILIP TO COME UP AND SIT WITH HIM. THE EUNUCH WAS READING THIS PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE: "HE WAS LED LIKE A [LAMB] SHEEP TO THE SLAUGHTER, AND AS A LAMB BEFORE THE SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DID NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH. IN HIS HUMILIATION HE WAS DEPRIVED OF JUSTICE. WHO CAN SPEAK OF HIS DESCENDANTS? FOR HIS LIFE WAS TAKEN FROM THE EARTH." THE EUNUCH ASKED PHILIP, "TELL ME, PLEASE, WHO IS THE PROPHET TALKING ABOUT, HIMSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE?" THEN PHILIP BEGAN WITH THAT VERY PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE AND TOLD HIM THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS. 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?" AND HE GAVE ORDERS TO STOP THE CHARIOT. THEN BOTH PHILIP AND THE EUNUCH WENT DOWN INTO THE WATER AND PHILIP BAPTIZED HIM. 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. PHILIP, HOWEVER, APPEARED AT AZOTUS AND TRAVELED ABOUT, PREACHING THE GOSPEL IN ALL THE TOWNS UNTIL HE REACHED CAESAREA. This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: I am sure that you all caught the joy of that last answer that Brandon gave this morning. You know it's that question that all the confirmands get to: What does "Amen" mean? "Yes, it shall be so." And this thing is done. And we know that. But for two weeks Brandon has been asking me questions like: How many of these can I get wrong? Do I have to know all of these? What happens if when I'm up there, I can't answer the question? I said: That's not gonna happen. Well, what if I can't answer the question? I said: That's not gonna happen. He said: No, but really, if I can't answer the question, what am I gonna do? I said: You just need to relax, because we'll ask one of the councilmen in the congregation to answer the question for you. [Laughter] And they all give this big sigh of relief like "Ah". So, all of the councilmen now realize that you could've been on the spot this morning. But I think that there is something that is very unique behind this part of confirmation. That we publicly profess what we believe. And I know that there are a lot of questions and answers that need to be gone over. That need to be memorized. But one of the things that makes that so important, even for those of you sitting here today, those parents who have poured over these questions, with your children. Those who have had these questions in class with me, begin to hear and know the answers in your head. To review what you have been taught. To review what you know. What Scripture teaches. What we, as a church, confess. What we, as a congregation, are all about and what your life is truly filled with. The Word and the teaching of God. And the purpose of that is so that you tell others. That you share with others the knowledge that you have. And you have tremendous knowledge. You have knowledge of what Scripture teaches. The power of the Holy Spirit working in you to bring that knowledge to you and causing it to continue to grow in your understanding in the depths of your knowledge. Taking this faith that Brandon shared with us this morning and helping it to grow in our lives by studying God's Word. By looking for opportunities to tell the Word. To tell the Good News that is yours. In our sermon text for this morning, we have Philip, who was telling the Good News. He reaches that Ethiopian eunuch who was going over Scripture and doesn't understand what Scripture is saying about that One who was like the lamb heading off to the slaughter. The eunuch wanted to know was the Prophet Isaiah talking about himself, or was he talking about someone else. And Philip took that opportunity, and used Scripture ... started with that very passage and explained to him that this was talking about Jesus. This was talking about God's Son. This was talking about the Savior of the world who willingly died for the sins of humanity. Who willingly allowed Himself to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. And Philip and that eunuch began a conversation that talked about the Good News of Christ. So much so, that when they saw and passed some water, the Ethiopian said: "WHY SHOULDN'T I BE BAPTIZED?" [ACTS 8:36b] There is water here. So we know that Philip beginning with who Jesus Christ was talks about the important things of faith. Faith being created through the power of God's Word connected with baptism; receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit to understand and to believe. And that man was baptized. And Philip had done His work and the Lord took him elsewhere to continue to do His work. But it reminds us is that there are some very simple truths about telling the Good News. Because sometimes, like the confirmands, we get caught up in going through and counting every question. "You can't believe what I know about this test that I just forget. Pastor, do you know that there are, I don't know, 298 questions then that there are 316 answers?" Why did you have to count that? Because it was taking away from your study time. I had one student count all the words in the questions, and all the words in the answers to see which one was going to do more work ... me, or him? [Laughter] It's not that we're afraid to do work, but sometimes we make the work that we're doing so difficult and so hard that we just don't wanna do it. We'll find any excuse to look to do something else. We learn from Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch that he told the Good News because he knew Scripture. He explained Scripture. He talked in his life about the importance of God's Word. What is the support for what we believe? Why do you believe that? When you discuss with your family? When you discuss with your neighbors or your co-workers, why you do the things you do bring it back to Scripture! Something that is so simple and so easy. I had a question; I had a discussion with one of the confirmands in the last month where we were talking about letting your light shine. Just living your life and people will be attracted to God and ask about Him. And the confirmand said: I get it! That's always a good moment for me. You know ... I get it! Because I was in gym the other day, and a bunch of people came up to me and said: How come you don't cuss and swear like all of the rest of us? And the person responded: Because I believe in God and God doesn't want that from me. Telling the Good News and why. Addressing the people that we're talking to. Talking with them about Jesus Christ and how important and how simple it is to carry out that command. Sometimes we think that we have to have a Rolodex ... okay, old-fashioned, then we have to have a list in our iPhones ... same thing, rolling the Rolodex, doing the list of every Bible passage ... every "proof passage" for every doctrine that we could possibly have that someone's gonna ask us a question about. And we miss the simple ones that our children ask us. That we ask each other as spouses. That we share with our neighbors. We just realize who the person is and talk to the person. Share with them what we believe because of what God did. It's so important because it means we're bearing fruit. Fruit ... that John said in his Gospel comes because we're the branches connected to Jesus Christ. Fruit, that John used in our Epistle Lesson, that shows that we LOVE each other; that we HAVE faith in Christ. That we understand what He has done. This knowledge that we have is not knowledge that is supposed to remain in a book. Whether that be the Bible or our catechism. It's not knowledge that is supposed to remain in us, in our heads and in our hearts. It's knowledge that is meant to be shared. So do that ... tell the Good News. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds, and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 50 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 55
Posted by: hischild on May 8, 2012

On this Fifth Sunday of the Easter season, we're reminded in this sermon that faith believes God's Word and puts that Word to work ... all by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Dave may be contacted through www.ziontorrance.info

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