The Simplicity of the Gospel (Acts 8:26ff)

I love the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8. There is so much we can learn about God’s willingness to prepare people for the gospel of Christ. Philip follows the direction of the angel. The Ethiopian had been worshiping in Jerusalem and is now reading from Isaiah 53 when Philip walks up to his chariot. Isaiah 53’s allusions to Jesus that raise questions for the Ethiopian. Notice particularly the concluding verse he reads, “Who can speak of his descendants” For his life was taken from the earth…” (Acts 8:33/Isa 53:8). That is something a eunuch could certainly relate to. He was left with the question, “Who is the prophet talking about?” Philip’s response? He “began with that very passage of scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”

He didn’t get into a discussion about fine tuned doctrines. He didn’t feel a profound need to discuss transubstantiation or the omniscience of God. He didn’t even talk about predestination vs. foreknowledge. He just told him about Jesus. We may not have the answers to all the questions but it really isn’t that hard to talk about Jesus. The Gospel is a very simple message. The discussions among the insiders often get complicated and overwhelming and are often confused with the Gospel itself. We may not all agree on every doctrine but I hope we can all get the Jesus part right.

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