In my opinion, one of the easiest three point outlines to teach is found in Acts 8:35. The Bible reads, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.” In sharing the Gospel, Philip did three things that are examples for us today.
First, he opened his mouth. The Gospel will never be spread if Christians don’t open their mouths to share their faith. Now I know the importance of our life matching up with our faith, but many people use that as a cop out . . . It goes like this, “I don’t have to tell them about Jesus, they should see Him in my lifestyle.” Philip opened his mouth. And the early church didn’t rely simply on the evangelist spreading the good news! In fact, Acts 8:4 says, “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” Church, if we want to see souls won to Jesus, we will have to open our mouths.
Secondly, he begin with this Scripture. That part of Acts 8:35 lets me know that Philip had to know his Scripture. Today that involves studying on any occasion you can. Whether that is opportunities the church provides, like Sunday school, Wednesday evenings, and other times to study together as a body, or personal Bible study. We need to return back to the concept that the restoration movement was once known for: and that is being a people of the Book! One other aspect this verse teaches is that Philip discerned the knowledge base of the Ethiopian. He perceived what the Ethiopian knew about Jesus, and that is where he began teaching. We may have family and friends who know Jesus, who love God, but have never obeyed the Gospel—begin where they are at, and tell them about Jesus.
And that is the third thing that the text says about Philip: he preached Jesus! He preached Jesus! As an evangelist, I would love to have his sermon outline, but the text simply says, he preached Jesus! If you do a study of the sermons recorded in the book of Acts, you will quickly see a pattern. Preaching Jesus included the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. And as Ed Bousman taught me—an evangelist has to ALWAYS preach how to apply it! And here in Acts 8:36, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is applied to the Ethiopian when he looks and sees water and says, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” Preaching Jesus has ALWAYS included immersion for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
Preaching Jesus with you!
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