Unless you have lived under a rock over the last several weeks, then you have noticed how many things have changed. Education, shopping for the essentials, cleanliness, communication, and commuting to work (some of you are probably working in your pajamas right now) all have changed. Even preaching has changed. Matthew, Shawn, and I have been preaching and teaching sermons and bible classes to you via a camera and the internet. Most lessons have been pre-recorded and edited to create an aid for you in your worship at home and Bible class experience. I appreciate Matthew’s classes on Wednesday night, covering Hebrews and James. I have been encouraged to hear how our NHYG has joined Shawn on ZOOM Bible studies (it’s hard to believe I am using those words to talk about how we teach the Bible). Personally, I have upped my game on Facebook LIVE videos. Even on Sunday mornings, I am going LIVE and presenting a Bible class titled, JESUS IS: Characteristics of Christ. This week we will spend our time in John 1-4 so have your bibles ready. I plan on going LIVE at 8:45 am, and I encourage your comments and questions during the class).
The fact is, preaching has changed, for the time being, but the message is the same. In Acts 8, we can read about the conversion of the Ethiopian who was returning from worshipping in Jerusalem. By the working of the Holy Spirit, he met Philip the evangelist (the word evangelist literally means bringer of good things). The Ethiopian invited the evangelist into his chariot, and Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading out of the book of Isaiah. The Ethiopian asked, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” Verse 35 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.” We should often ask ourselves what Philip preached. In the text, I am convinced we can see a few distinct points of Philip’s bible study with the Ethiopian. Here are those points:
- Jesus died for our sins – Isaiah reveals the reason for the suffering of the Christ – Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-11
- Jesus has been lifted up – The text in Isaiah begins and ends with the glorification of the Christ – Isaiah 52:13, 53:12
- Baptism is necessary – This point is implied because when they come to water, the Ethiopian is compelled to ask what is stopping him from being baptized. – Acts 8:36
- Baptism is urgent – This is implied because Philip orders the chariot to immediately stop and they both go down in the water, and Philip baptizes him. – Acts 8:38
The style, mode, and medium of preaching has and probably will continue to change and evolve over time. And of course, we are in a time now that the medium is temporary. But we are to preach the word in season and out of season. Today, it seems like the season is out…but the message from your preachers, and the urgency of your response to obey is the same.
Jesus saves you by the washing of your sins in His blood!
Now is the time to have your sins washed away in His blood by being baptized!
Don’t put it off one more minute! Call or text me to obey today! (501) 314-9457
I love you,