April 8, 2001
Witnessing Beyond Jerusalem
KEY VERSE: They that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the
-- Acts 8:4
Fortunately for us who are Gentiles, the good news of the gospel was proclaimed
everywhere by the early believers. What they had experienced was too good to keep to
themselves; they had to tell others!
Philip was one of those who left Jerusalem to share Christ with others. Three
lessons we may learn from Philip are these:
- Philip was obedient. He did not witness to every person he met on his journey.
He waited until the Spirit prompted him to engage another person. Even then, he kept his
mouth shut as he approached the chariot of the eunuch. First he sized up the situation, then waited until he had an opportunity to ask the man a question. Many of us would be
more effective in witnessing for Christ if we were willing to keep quiet until the Spirit
gives us an opening to speak.
- Philip began with the man where he was, helping him to understand the scripture which he was reading. His approach was warm and winsome. We know this
because the eunuch was not offended, but quickly invited Philip to ride in the chariot with
him. Philip established a friendly relationship so that the eunuch not only accepted him
but wanted to know what he had to say. Until people want to know what we think, we
are hardly ready to witness effectively to them. The eunuch felt no condemnation from
Philip; indeed he welcomed his help.
- Philip shared Christ with the eunuch. When the time was right, Philip did not
hesitate to tell the man about Jesus. He did not pussyfoot around. He shared the essential
truth of the gospel with the man. Soon the eunuch asked to be baptized. Notice that this
was not Philipís idea, but the eunuchís.
We may learn from this. Often the Spirit will guide another personís mind and heart if we will but give Him a chance. Sometimes all that is required is for us to listen and quietly pray while the Spirit does His work in anotherís heart. When we are so wise, the
result is that people may "go on their way rejoicing" because they met Christ through our
Philipís example in witnessing for Christ is worth imitating!