Sermon Notes 1/23/22: “Start Where They Are”


The Book of Acts Series #20 1/23/22
The Birth and Expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ “…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NASB)
Introduction – The transitional nature of the Book of Acts 1:1-5 I. Christian witness in Jerusalem 1:6-8:3
A. The Risen Lord – The 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection & ascension 1:6-26 B. Pentecost – Outpouring of the Holy Spirit – The birthday of the Church 2:1-47 C. Healing the lame man in the Temple, Peter’s 2nd Sermon 3:1-26
D. The beginning of persecution 4:1-37
E. Purging from within, more persecution from without 5:1-41 F. Choosing co-laborers – The first deacons 6:1-7
G. Stephen – a deacon and the first Christian martyr 6:8-8:3
II. Christian witness in Palestine and Syria 8:4-12:25
A. The Church Scattered due to increased persecution in Jerusalem 8:4-40

  1. The preaching in Samaria—Philip the Evangelist 8:4-25 Introduction – The early Church “scattered” by persecution 8:4
  2. Old Testament missions – Philip and the Ethiopian proselyte 8:25-40 a. Philip’s ministry to the Samaritans redirected by AN angel 8:25-28 b. The Gospel message extended to the Ethiopians in Africa 8:29-31 c. The Ethiopian seeker’s desire to understand Isaiah 8:32-34
    d. Start where they are – Then take them where they need to be! 8:35-36
    e. The Ethiopian O.T. proselyte is Baptized as a believer in Christ 8:38-39 Conclusion – Philip went on preaching Jesus wherever he went 8:40
    B. The Conversion of Paul 9:1-31
    C. The Conversion of Gentiles 9:32-11:30
    D. The Christians Persecuted by Herod 12:1-25
    III. Christian witness to the uttermost part of the earth 13:1-28:31 A. The First Missionary Journey 13:1-14:28
    B. The Council at Jerusalem 15:1-35
    C. The Second Missionary Journey 15:36-18:22
    D. The Third Missionary Journey 18:23-21:26
    E. The Journey to Rome 21:27-28:27 Conclusion 28:28-31
    Key Verse(s) – Old Testament missions in the New Testament age
    Acts 8:26-28 (excerpts NASB) *Story of the Ethiopian eunuch, proselyte and “seeker” “But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, ‘Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza’…So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopi- an eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians…he had come to Jerusalem to worship, and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.” *Note: Specifically Isaiah 53:7-8 possibly the most evangelistic O.T. text!
    “…the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 (NASB)
    Acts 8:25-40 “Start Where They Are…”
    “…‘what must I do to be saved?’ They said,
    ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” Acts 16:30-31 (NASB)
    Key Verses – Our “journey by stages” (Ex. 17:1) to a saving faith in Jesus Christ
    Acts 8:32-34 (NASB) *Why was this Ethiopian reading Isaiah 53? (~A.D. 61)
    “Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: ‘HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH. 33 IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH.’
    34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, ‘Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?’”
    Key x-References – Start where they are, then take them where they need to be! Isaiah 53:7-8 (NASB) *O.T. reference quoted (Hebrew ~700 B.C. / LXX ~200 B.C.?)
    “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?”
    1 Kings 10:1-9 (excerpts NASB) *Why was this Ethiopian in Jerusalem in the first place? “Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions…When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her… 6 Then she said to the king, ‘It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. 8 How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom.
    9 Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” *She had apparently believed in the God of Israel (cf. Dan. 2:47)
    Psalm 68:31 (NASB) *God was working long before He sent Philip to him! (~900 B.C.) “Envoys will come out of Egypt; Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God.”
    Matthew 12:42 (NASB) *Another New Testament reference to 1 Kings10:1-9
    “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
    Acts 18:8 (NASB) *Baptism not consistent in transitional Book of Acts- but faith first! “Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.”
    Key Terms (most words have a ‘field of meaning’ —> various translations) “snatched” (v.39) Greek #726 (21x), NASB harpazô: to seize, catch up, snatch away:–
    carry off (1), caught (4), snatch (2), snatched…away (1), snatches (3) force (2)
    “So then, those who had received his word were baptized…”
    Acts 2:41

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