Audio now available for April 14, 2013 - Acts 8:26-40 "Philip: Hearing, Doing, and Observing God's Amazing Grace in Action"
This is a story of grace from beginning to end! Philip, by means of hearing the voice of God and doing what He says is given the gracious gift of participating in a life-changing event in the life of his new friend - the important official from Ethiopia. This official has 2 strikes against him - he is a foreigner and a eunuch. In both instances he is seen to be an outsider according to the ceremonial Jewish law. He, however, is transformed by the love of Jesus as he listens to Philip explain the story of Jesus beginning from Isaiah 53 where he had been reading. We see God's grace in multiple ways through this story. First we see God specifically pursuing the Ethiopian by taking Philip away from the very successful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:1-25) and sending him to meet with this man. Then we imagine them reading through the prophet Isaiah and coming to Isaiah 56:3-7 where there are very specific words of promise and hope given to those who are eunuchs. Finally we observe that in the supernatural disappearance of Philip following the baptism an opportunity is given to this Ethiopian to observe firsthand that the Jesus through whom he as just been transformed is indeed the One who has ALL authority over heaven and earth. The other response we draw from this story is the challenge to follow the example of Philip in truly listening for the voice of God in our lives and doing what He tells us!