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Where is YOUR FAITH? - To the ends of the earth

Text: Acts 8:2-40

The Church Scattered

Christians must get out of their

comfort zone to reach the lost

Footnotes:

After Stephen’s martyrdom a great persecution

began against the church. They were scattered

throughout Judea and Samarian fearing for their

lives. Fear creates opportunities for change,

and opportunities to reevaluate our priorities. In a crisis we tend to reconsider which things that

are most important. What changes have you made

recently? How has our current crisis caused you

to reevaluate the importance of matters in your life?

God used the persecution of the early church to get

the gospel message beyond Jerusalem. What would

God have to do to get you to move beyond your

comfort bubble?

Proclaiming Christ

Those who had been scattered

went about preaching the word

Footnotes:

The early church was so enthusiastic about what Jesus had done in their lives that they shared about Jesus regardless of where they found themselves. This was not just some key persons. It was all of them! The Bible says that “those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” What keeps you from sharing with others about Jesus? How has being a follower of Jesus changed your perspectives and goals?

How has the presence of the Spirit in you changed who

you are and what you do? Are you excited about what

Jesus has done and is doing? Has your life been enriched by your experience with Jesus? Who have you told about it?

Unsaving Faith

Exercising the forms of faith is inadequate for salvation

Footnotes:

Here we find a man named Simon who was a magician. He saw the signs and wonders that Phillip was doing, and the crowd that Phillip was attracting, and he was amazed. When the crowds responded to the preaching of the gospel Simon believed and was baptized as well. When the news

reached the church in Jerusalem that Samaritans were being

saved, Peter and John were dispatched to them. When they came, they prayed that the Samaritans would receive the Holy Spirit and they did. Simon saw the Spirit coming upon the

believers through the prayers and the laying on of hands by

Peter and John. So he offered Peter and John money to be

given this power as well. Peter rebuked him for wanting to

obtain the gift of God with money, and called for him to repent, and pray for forgiveness. Simon answered Peter saying, “Pray for me yourselves so that nothing of what you have said will come upon me.” Simon showed a lack of understanding and a lack of transformation that showed he also had a lack of faith and salvation as well.

Faith that does not transform a life, does not save a soul either! Going through religious forms and rituals does not save. We are only saved by having forgiveness of our sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and by experiencing the regeneration of the Spirit.

Are you a new creature in Christ today? Do you know that you have been born again of the Spirit? Do you know that you are

in right standing with God today? Having the right forms of faith and practicing the right religious rituals, does not and never did

please God or save anyone!

Surrendered Faith

The definitive evidence of saving faith is

obedience to the direction of God

Footnotes:

Philip, Peter, and John begin to make their way back to Jerusalem, preaching in the towns of Samaria along the way. Phillip receives the call of God to head to the south of Jerusalem to the desert road that leads to Gaza. That’s it! That’s all the

information he was given. Not where along the road, not what

will happen, not even why he should go there. He is told to go,

and he got up and went. This is the life of faith! Radical,

immediate, and complete obedience to the commands of God.

The result was that he encountered an Ethiopian court official

who was heading home from Jerusalem where he had come to

worship. As the Ethiopian rode by in his chariot, God told Phillip

to join him. So Phillip ran alongside the chariot and overheard

the Ethiopian reading from Isaiah, and Philip asked him if he

understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian did not

understand and asked Philip to join him. Philip began from

this scripture in Isaiah and preached Jesus to him.

God told Phillip where to go and he went. God told Philip what to do and he did it. God put Philip into a circumstance

where Philip had the opportunity to share Jesus and he shared

Jesus. The Ethiopian was saved and baptize there, along the desert road leading to Gaza.

Constant Faith

Proclaiming Christ is not optional or occasional for the truly saved

Footnotes:

Philip finds himself in Azotus (also know as Ashdod) just north of Gaza along the Mediterranean coast. As he passed

through the area he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea in northern Israel along the coast.

Jesus left a command to his church, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” In Philip we see a man who traveled through

Samaria and shared Jesus with the people there. Then we find

him on a desert road in obedience to God, and he shares Jesus

with an Ethiopian he encounters along the road. Then Philip passes through Azotus, and shares Jesus there. He travels further up the coast passing through the city of Joppa and

eventually reaching Caesarea, all the while sharing Jesus with those he meets.

What is the greatest thing you’ve ever experienced? Do you relish telling people about it?

Where is your Faith? Faith is not in the practices of organized church

Faith needs to share Jesus with others

Faith is obedient to go and make disciples

Faith goes where where it is sent

Faith tells what needs to be told