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Rev. Paul J. Miller – Sermon Outline – October 10, 2021

Series Title: Acts Part 3: The Church is Persecuted & Scattered

Today’s Title: “…all except the apostles scattered throughout Judea and Samaria”

Today’s Text: Acts 8:1-40 (reading v1-8)

 

Acts 1:8 - “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 Acts 8:1 - “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”

PHILIP GOES TO SAMARIA – Acts 8:1-25

  • SAMARIA: Great animosity toward Jews, especially those in Jerusalem
  • Philip proclaims the message, performs miracles, joy in the city (v4-8)
  • Simon the “sorcerer” is intrigued by the power of the Holy Spirit (v9-13)
  • The apostles (still in Jerusalem) hear what’s going on in Samaria (v14)
  • Peter & John go there, and the Spirit comes on the Samaritans who believe (v15-17)
  • Simon wants the power to bestow the Spirit on others for selfish motives (v18-25)
    • NOTE: Peter & John “returned to Jerusalem” (v25)

PHILIP & THE ETHIOPIAN – Acts 8:26-40

  • God works through an angel (first time in Acts an angel intervenes to a non-apostle) (v26)
  • Ethiopian “eunich” (not uncommon for someone who works for a queen) (v27)
  • Traveled to Jerusalem to worship, had a copy of Isaiah – this man has “means” (v28)
  • Philip obeys the prompting of the Spirit (v29-30)
  • Philip is able to help the man understand Isaiah’s prophecy (v31-34)
  • All scripture can lead someone to Jesus (v35)
  • Philip baptizes the man (v36-39)
  • A man with influence to the queen of a nation takes the gospel to Africa (v39)
  • Having obeyed God, the Spirit whisks Philip away to take the gospel to other places (v40)

HOW DID THE STONING OF STEPHEN CHANGE THE CHURCH?

BEFORE                                                                                   AFTER

THE CHURCH GREW RAPIDLY (2:41 & 47, 4:6, 5:14, 6:1 & 7)           THE CHURCH IS SCATTERED (8:1)

“ALL THE PEOPLE” WERE ON THEIR SIDE (2:47, 3:9-10, 5:26)          THE PEOPLE WERE STIRRED UP AGAINST THE CHURCH (6:11-12)

THE APOSTLES WERE PERSECUTED (4:3, 5:18, 5:40)                           THE WHOLE CHURCH IS PERSECUTED (8:1-3)

THE CHURCH WAS PRIMARILY IN JERUSALEM (6:7)                            THE CHURCH SPREADS OUT (8:4)

 

DID GOD WANT THE APOSTLES REMAIN IN JERUSALEM? (8:1)

THE PLAN JESUS GAVE THEM

“you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

DO THESE WORDS REFLECT JESUS?

“It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.”          - Acts 6:2       

  • Matthew 20:28 – “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Look at the context (20:20-28)

GOD USES STEPHEN’S DEATH AS A CATALYST (HAD THE PLAN STALLED?)

 “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.” – Acts 8:1

WHO DID GOD USE TO KEEP THE CHURCH MOVING?

  • Stephen - Acts 6:5 – His martyr was the catalyst for the church to get moving (8:1 & 4)
  • Philip – Acts 6:5 – took the gospel the Samaria & Ethiopia (8:5)
  • Barnabas – Acts 4:36 – He convinced the apostles to trust Saul
  • Saul – Acts 7:58 – took the gospel Gentiles (18:6)
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