How Will They Understand? – Acts 8:26-40

Apr 28, 2022 By: Damien Garofalo Topic: Sermon Devotional Scripture: Acts 8:26-40

30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.  (Acts 8:30, 35 ESV)

Many Christians today can probably agree on a few points regarding the church’s role in bringing the gospel to the world: 1) Jesus clearly commanded us to go and proclaim the gospel, 2) the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and 3) the church, especially in our day, has done a generally poor job in obeying Christ’s command. 

That last fact doesn’t mean we’re without hope; after all the gospel did land on all inhabitable continents. But clearly, we can do better. The average Christian does not evangelize nearly enough – and this is something all of us can relate to.

What are some of the reasons we don’t take the Great Commission as seriously as we ought to? There are likely many reasons, including fear of man, laziness, and a general apathy toward others. Sunday’s text will encourage us to prioritize the Lord’s leading in bringing the gospel to others by showing us Philip’s readiness to obey God wherever he leads.

One of the obstacles to evangelism might be that we do not trust God enough. We forget that it’s the gospel, not our wisdom, that saves people. We forget that it’s God that gives the increase. We forget that it’s the Holy Spirit, not us, who convicts and draws people to Christ. The examples of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch clearly demonstrates that God is at work already before we get to people, and our primary responsibility is to obey God!

Philip was called to a desert place. God’s leading may not have made much sense to Philip at the time, but he was ready. Who would have known that an Ethiopian, from a royal court, would be making his way back from Jerusalem, and just so happen to be reading Isaiah? Only God! 

God opened the door for Philip to explain that Isaiah spoke of Christ. This preaching would lead to the Ethiopian professing faith in Christ, and then getting baptized. The spread of the gospel marches on! God will send his people to find his sheep. His people need only follow his lead.

Christian, you know you need to bring people the gospel – what are you waiting for? Christ has already done the work necessary to forgive people of their sins; the Holy Spirit is already doing the work of convicting and drawing people; God the Father is doing the work of leading his people to find the lost – you and I only need to obey his leading. As Peter said, “Be ready always.”