Shaken & Sent to the Nations
Philip & the Ethiopian: When the Spirit Breaks Down Barriers in Ministry, Pt.1
(Acts 8:4-8; 26-40; Is.53:7-8; 56:4)
Acts 8 tells us about the “shaken and sent” days of the early church. Persecution scattered believers away from Jerusalem. Philip and his family fled to a city in Samaria, where they began sharing the gospel. During these shaken days, where and with whom is the Lord sending you to share the gospel? What lessons on diversity and ministry can we learn from the early church for our ministry together today?
Lessons on Diversity & Ministry for the 21st Century Church
God uses people already engaging in ministry (8:4-8).
God looks for ready and available people for ministry opportunities.
Philip was “loving people and solving problems” as a table-waiter (6:5).
Philip was displaced and dispersed by persecution in J-town (8:4-5).
God uses people who flex, adapt, and keep on moving forward.
Philip was making good lemonade from the lemons dealt to him (8:6-8).
He left Jerusalem, sharing Jesus as he went to the next place (8:6).
He was mightily used as a healer, exorcist & preacher of the Gospel!
God looks for “whenever, wherever, however” people (8:26-27).
A divine messenger directs Philip. He is open & immediately obedient.
He’s doing a good work in Samaria, but is otherwise, reassigned.
Philip’s heart: “Speak Lord for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:9-10).
The Spirit empowers us to overcome barriers for the Gospel (8:27-35)
Ethnic- a Greek and Ethiopian (European/African)
Personal- Ethiopian is a eunuch; Philip, a father of 4 girls (Prophetess’)
Financial- Philip’s walking (“Mike & Ike taking a hike”); Ethiopian riding!
Linguistic- language challenges require interpretation/explanation. They
are multilingual reading Hebrew (Greek- LXX?), speaking Greek.
Vocational- Ethiopian is a Queen’s treasurer/servant; Philip’s a table
waiter/evangelist on a knight’s errand for the King!
Spiritual- Ethiopian: gentile, God-fearer, a seeker; Philip knows Jesus!
Action Steps: Check your default setting: heart/mind ready to obey/go?!
(8:31, 35, 40) Get active in ministry. Be serving someone in Jesus’ name!
- Show someone the Way- tell the good news about Jesus