The Road to Gaza

The Road to GazaText: Acts 8:26-40

In this lesson, we’re going to visit one who was traveling the road to Gaza. As we travel down the road to Gaza, we will learn about preaching Jesus.

Where We May Find Prospects

  • Philip had been in Samaria – many people were responding to the gospel (v. 12-13); after that, he was directed to go to the road leading to Gaza and found the Ethiopian eunuch (v. 26-27); not a place that would be expected and probably did not seem like the best use of his efforts
  • Prospects to hear the gospel can potentially be found anywhere – because all need the gospel (Romans 3:23; 1:16); reception is based upon one’s heart (Luke 8:11-15), we often cannot discern this (1 Corinthians 2:11)
  • Therefore, we need to be planting the seed wherever we can (1 Corinthians 3:6) – even if WE are not the ones to see the fruit (John 4:35-38); keep trying until it’s time to shake the dust off of our feet and move on (Matthew 10:14)

People (Often) Need Help Understanding

  • The eunuch was reading from Isaiah (v. 28; cf. Isaiah 53:7-8) – he was interested in spiritual things (v. 27); yet he needed help understanding what he was reading (v. 30-31)
  • God revealed His word in a way that it can be understood (Ephesians 3:4) – yet people often need help understanding; misunderstandings abound due to opinion (Proverbs 14:12), false teaching (2 Peter 3:16-17), and sin in general (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
  • This is why God expects His word to be taught (Romans 10:14) – this is not just for preachers to do (cf. Acts 8:4); we must teach the truth AND refute error (Titus 1:9; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Jeremiah 1:10)

Start Where They Are

  • When Philip taught, he didn’t begin where Peter did on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21; cf. Joel 2:28-32) – he started with the passage the eunuch was reading (v. 32-35); from there, he led him to Jesus; this was the standard practice of those who preached the gospel (Acts 17:2-3, 22-23)
  • What happens if we don’t start where they are? – no common ground to build upon, so the discussion goes nowhere (Amos 3:3); without common ground, we’re just talking past one another; if we persuade them to affirm/do anything, it will not be from faith, which will do no good (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • We plant the seed of the gospel in their hearts (Luke 8:11-15; James 1:21) – it must take root and grow; they must understand for themselves (Nehemiah 8:8); they must be personally motivated to follow it (Joshua 24:15); the only way this happens is if we start where they are and lead them to accept this for themselves

What Hinders One from Being Baptized

  • After Philip taught him, the eunuch asked, “What prevents me from being baptized?” (v. 36) – the only thing that could stand in the way was a lack of belief (v. 37); he believed, so he was baptized
  • Notice what he did not say would prevent him – past sins, limited knowledge, busy time of life, etc.
  • If one believes, he can be baptized (Mark 16:16) – if we truly believe Christ, we will follow Him (Luke 6:46); we make this commitment in baptism (Romans 6:3-6)

Conclusion

  • As disciples, we should recognize the importance of preaching Jesus
  • Therefore, we need to be looking for those who we might teach and do so in the right way
  • Lead them to the point at which there is nothing that hinders them from being baptized

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