At a synagogue service, Paul and Barnabas were asked to share a word of encouragement with those in attendance. In his sermon, Paul tells his hearers and us today to know our history and how God is at the center of it, to know Jesus and what He has done, and to know forgiveness by repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus. The question is: Will we believe this message of salvation, or will we scoff at it?
The story of Acts is about all that the risen Lord Jesus continued to do, through the witness of His people, in the power of the Holy Spirit. In this passage, we look at how the church is to be a community that not only believes the gospel of Jesus Christ but is committed to seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed to all nations. As you can expect, this is going to come with both success and opposition. But the good news is that God has equipped us with everything we need to accomplish His mission.
In this passage, we see a church that believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, that was motivated by God’s grace and not by works, that visibly displayed the power of God, that taught the Word of God, and that gave generously and trusted God to meet their needs. While many churches are interested only in their own ministry, we are encouraged to look beyond ourselves to the one church of Jesus Christ and to praise God for what we see Him doing.
By the grace of God, Saul – who was a violent opponent of the Church – came to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. In this passage, we see that conversion not only results in God awakening our spiritually dead hearts to believe in Jesus, but that all those who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus are enabled to preach about Jesus and to endure suffering for His name.
Under the Old Covenant, eunuchs were separated from God and from God’s people, not because eunuchs were evil, but because God is holy. In this passage of Scripture, Philip had the opportunity to share the good news that Jesus came to reconcile sinners to God. And we discover that sometimes God puts us in places we do not plan to further His work.