Scripture Reference: Acts 8: 1-8
Introduction: Luke gives an interesting and informative account of the work of Philip, the evangelist. He makes two statements about Philip that will serve as a beginning for this lesson (Acts 8:5, 35).
I. WHAT DID PHILIP DO WHEN HE PREACHED CHRIST?
A. Many of the details are not given in Acts 8.
- He did not preach his opinions. Nothing has damaged the cause of Christ more than man’s opinions. Likewise, he did not preach any modern denominational dogmas or doctrines.
- He did not preach human wisdom or philosophy (I Cor. 2:12, 13).
B. Guided by the Spirit, he preached the same as the apostles.
- What he preached was true (John 16:13). All-Spirit guided men taught the same things. They could not preach conflicting doctrines and be from God. They warned against anything else (Gal. 1:6-9).
- We can and must follow the Spirit-guided men of the N.T. We will know what it means to preach Him. We will know how to recognize true preaching (I John 4:1).
II. APOSTOLIC PREACHING INCLUDED THE LIFE OF JESUS.
A. His life was one that was approved of God.
- This was the opening argument of Peter (Acts 2:22). God declared His approval by miracles and words (Mt. 17:5). Christ’s life was approved because it was obedient (Phil 2:8; Heb 5:8-9).
- If we follow Christ, we obey (I Pet. 2:2).
B. Christ’s life ended in His sacrificial death upon the cross (Acts 2:23).
- His atoning death played a conspicuous part in N.T. preaching (I Peter 2:23; 1:18, 19).
- Philip preached Christ’s death “from this scripture” (Acts 8:32-35).
C. The burial of Jesus is prominently discussed in N.T. writing and preaching. While His burial may have seemed like the end, it was not (Acts 2:27).
- Thus to preach Christ is to preach His resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:32; Rom 1:4).
- Today the resurrection is denied, rejected, and ridiculed; even in some pulpits. If one does not preach the resurrection, he does not preach the gospel (I Cor. 15; 1-4).
- If the resurrection is not preached and believed, Christianity is a waste of time (I Cor 15:13, 14).
- After His resurrection and appearances, Jesus ascended to His Father (Acts 2:33).
III. LET US NOW CONSIDER THE COMMANDS OF JESUS.
A. We must preach His commands.
- He tells us to believe in Him (John 8:24). Spirit-guided men preached this (Acts 2:36). He requires us to repent (Luke 13:3). Men guided by the spirit taught this (Acts 2:38).
- He requires that we confess Him (Mt. 10:32, 33). Spirit- guided men taught this (Rom 10:9, 10). He commands baptism (Mk 16:16). This was preached (Acts 2:38; 10:48).
- Let us see what Philip did (Acts 8:35-39). Anyone who suggests you can be saved without obedience is not preaching Christ (Luke 6:46).
IV. STILL OUR SERMON IS NOT COMPLETE. WE MUST MENTION THE PROMISES OF JESUS.
A. It is on His promises that we stand (II Pet 1:4).
- The first is the remission of sins. The only thing to cause us to be lost is sin (Rom 6:23).
- Christ came to make forgiveness possible, and he forgives when we are baptized (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38).
B. Another promise is eternal life with Him (I John 3:2, 3). This follows a life of godly service (Rev. :10).
Conclusion: This is the divine pattern for preaching Jesus (I Pet. 4:11). What the hearers did then is what they should do now (Acts 8:35-39; 2:41, 47).