Sermon on October 9 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Acts 8:26-40
The baptisms we have witnessed today would make no sense if Jesus was not alive and at work. What does the story of Philip and the eunuch teach us about faith and confessing faith?
Baptism is a call to:
1. EXALT THE GREATNESS AND CLOSENESS OF GOD! (v26 – 30)
At just the right time and in the right place, God puts the right man across a seeker’s path.
God is big enough to move peoples around the world for His purpose – yet close enough to answer one man’s questions.
Are we willing like Philip to be the channel for God’s work in people’s lives?
‘Through the social network I met a friend who started to help me with the Bible and God. I met another friend that kept on telling me that Jesus loves me. I realised that he used those people to get me closer to Him.’
(Faustina – baptized today)
2. EMBRACE THE JUSTICE AND GRACE IN JESUS! (v31 – 35)
Before baptism you need to have a heart that has understood and accepted ‘the good news about Jesus’ (v35)
- Acknowledge sin –
it is not a lover’s quarrel and then saying sorry. It is rejecting the Creator and King of all.
- Accept God’s solution –
Jesus has taken what He didn’t deserve: our sin, so that we may get what we don’t deserve: His righteousness.
Baptism says ‘I am no longer hanging on to my sin and self-righteousness, but I am hanging on the righteousness of Jesus.’
3. EXPECT THE GLADNESS AND COSTLINESS OF NEW LIFE! (v36 – 40)
The eunuch went on his way rejoicing.
Baptism is a celebration of God’s goodness and grace.
He went on his way to most likely suffer as the first convert in Africa.
Baptism is also a declaration of daily death to make much of Jesus.
‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.’
(Luke 9: 23)
- Do you truly believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour?
- If you do, have you confessed this in baptism?
If the answer to the first question is ‘Yes’; and the answer to the second ‘No’ – then you are a walking contradiction.
Baptism is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple.
Don’t stop with believing but confess this in baptism.
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/Philip Mason