In this passage we meet an Ethiopian eunuch who had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was reading from the Prophet Isaiah and seeking to understand what it meant. As a eunuch, he would not have been accepted by the Jews, but God saw his heart and sent Philip to share the gospel with him:
Verse 35 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.”
Philip started where he was and explained how it all pointed to Jesus.
Jesus Christ and God’s salvation through Him is the ultimate theme of both the Old and the New Testaments. It’s one continuing story—His-story.
The Importance of Believer’s Baptism
Acts 8.37, also, reminds us of the importance of “believer’s baptism.” When the eunuch asked if he could be baptized, Philip said, “‘…If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'” Notice Philip said, “if you believe.”
If you have not been baptized since you came to saving faith in Christ, I would encourage you to take that step of obedience. While baptism doesn’t save us (Eph. 2.8-9), we are commanded to be baptized once we have come to saving faith (Acts 2.38).
Infant baptism is not the same. When a baby is baptized, it’s a decision his or her parents make. We are not saved by being born into a Christian family or baptized as a infant. Each of us must come to that point of decision for ourselves. Believer’s baptism is a public declaration of our personal decision to put our faith and trust in the gospel and should be one of our first steps of obedience. Continue reading →
Verse 28:2, “You shall make a holy garment for Aaron your brother; for glory and for beauty.”
A friend shared the following about this verse, “This is a short but fantastic description of how God does things; in a way that reflects His glory and in a way that is simply beautiful. As you read about all these materials, just imagine the pure gold; the sparkling gems that had the names of Israel’s tribes engraved in them; the magnificent fabrics and the rich wood used. God could’ve made the tabernacle utilitarian – getting the job done but no shine to the place. Instead, He chose the extravagance of beauty and in doing so, gave us a lesson on His character and how He would like for us to live – in a way that ascribes glory to Him and in a way that dazzles those around us!”
Are you living in such a way that even unbelievers see the dazzling light of Christ shining through you? Continue reading →
Do you believe Jesus is coming back soon? Does your life reflect that belief? How should you live in light of that truth?
The alternative is to live like the people in Jeremiah’s time who needed God’s rod of judgment, as we will see in our Old Testament reading. As we dig deeper into Psalm 119, we will see how knowing and contemplating God’s Word can help us steer clear of sin and grow in our understanding of God and His will.
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
Jesus is coming back both for His church and to judge the whole earth. He is coming “like a thief in the night,” but as believers, who know His Word, we shouldn’t be caught off guard. Instead, we should live every day like we believe Jesus is coming back soon:
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
The remainder of the chapter spells out some ways we are to do that:
1. By respecting our pastors and elders and submitting to their authority (v. 12).
Hebrews 13.17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Incidentally, October is “Pastor’s Appreciation Month.” Is there some way you could show appreciation to your Pastor? A meal? A card? A word of encouragement?
2. By being faithful in our relationships to our brothers and sisters in Christ (v.14).
“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.”
Sometimes we need to encourage one another. Other times we need to gently rebuke one another.
3. By not returning evil for evil, but by giving a blessing instead (v. 15). Romans 12:
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VengeanceisMine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord.20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
4. By rejoicing in the blessings of God and being thankful (vvs. 16, 18).
Some time has passed and the Jews have failed to heed God’s warnings through Jeremiah, but now the invaders are approaching. Skirmishes are already being fought outside the city, and the people will soon be driven back into the city itself.
Now that things are desperate, the King sends a messenger to Jeremiah asking him to intercede for them. God answers by telling them that they are not just fighting the Babylonians, but they have made themselves enemies of God Himself!
Many of us go through times in our lives, too, where we reject God’s truth, then when we get into trouble we cry out, “Oh God, help me! If You get me out of this mess, I’ll never do it again!” Continue reading →
This week’s question: “What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24.3).
Wouldn’t it be nice if the next time you thought God wanted you to make a certain decision, He would just speak to you from a burning bush? Or how about a voice from heaven? Signs … we are so prone to want signs.
And wouldn’t you like to know for sure when Jesus is coming back? That way we could make sure we get all our ducks in a row!
Or maybe life is hard right now. Maybe you are suffering persecution or some other trial and find yourself wondering, “How long, Lord?”
The Disciples were feeling the same way when they asked, “What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Clearly, just like the disciples who asked this question of our Lord two thousand years ago, we are fascinated by signs of His coming. But you may not know that the Bible actually speaks of three major comings. First, the coming of Christ, born of a virgin in an obscure village named Bethlehem, was foretold centuries before the Baby was born. Next, the prophet Joel foretold the coming of the Holy Spirit, and that prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to indwell the believers, never to leave us and to empower us for service. The third and only major coming yet to be fulfilled is the return of the Lord Jesus to Planet Earth, His Second Coming. Just as surely as He came the first time, He has promised to come again for His bride, the church.
There are thousands of promises in the Bible, but this Second Coming will be the climax of human history and the fulfillment of the last promise of the Bible: “Surely I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22: 20). According to Scripture, several events will herald Christ’s return, no longer as a Suffering Servant, but as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
What are those events?
What the author calls “a polluted pulpit.”
Jesus said “many false prophets shall rise up and deceive many” (Matt. 24.11). Continue reading →