Reach the world through Bible study

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Ted N. C. Wilson

Greetings, brothers and sisters! Today we are going to look at a very interesting story found in the book of Acts, chapter 8, beginning at verses 26-28:

“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, ‘Arise and go south along the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ It is a wilderness. So he arose and went. And behold, a man from Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, returned.. And seated in his chariot, he read Isaiah the prophet.

Let’s pause for a moment and consider several interesting points in this passage. First, it says that “an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip”. Who was Philip? He was not one of the twelve disciples, but we know he was a faithful follower of Jesus who served as one of the first deacons in the early church.

And who was the Ethiopian? Although we don’t know his name, we do know several things about him. He was a high official in the court of Queen Candace of Ethiopia. In fact, the Bible tells us that he “had charge of all his treasure” – in other words, he was the treasurer – a very reliable and intelligent individual.

Interestingly, this man had “come to Jerusalem to worship”, and now, on his way home, he was reading the scroll of Isaiah. In fact, Acts 8:32-33 tells us which passage from Isaiah the man was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb is silent before his shearer, he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation his righteousness was taken away, and who will declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.”

As the Ethiopian gazed at this passage, trying to understand it, the Holy Spirit spoke to Philip: “Come near and catch up with this chariot. So Philip ran up to him and…said, ‘Do you understand what you’re reading?'”

Now, it’s important to note that this is not something Philip could do in his own strength – it would be impossible for a human being to run faster than horses pulling a chariot! Nevertheless, as we are told in Christ’s Object Lessons: “When the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes almighty. Anything that must be done by His command can be done by His might. p. 333).

So Philip ran to the moving chariot and asked the Ethiopian, “Do you understand what you are reading? And the man replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” and invited Philip to join him in the chariot where they had a wonderful Bible study. I imagine the Bible study could have been very similar to the study Jesus gave to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, where he started with

“Moses and all the prophets and explained to them in all the scriptures what concerned him” (Luke 24:27).

We don’t know how long this chariot Bible study lasted, but we do know that at the end the Ethiopian official said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). and was baptized.

My friends, today there are thousands of people like the Ethiopian leader who are searching for the truth. They may have heard of the Bible, or they may be trying to read it, but don’t understand. We are told, “Many precious souls grope in the darkness, but yearn, cry, and pray for the light” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 65).

Are you ready to go and bring them light, helping them to understand the truth that is found in the scriptures, as Philip did? Just as the Lord provided everything Philip needed to reach the Ethiopian, He will provide everything you need to help people understand the scriptures.

The global church’s emphasis for this coming Sabbath is: “Reach the world through Bible study. Led by the General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department, this is a wonderful opportunity to use the many excellent resources available to enhance our own understanding of Scripture, especially through Sabbath School. , where we study the Bible weekly, and by offering Bible studies through correspondence Bible schools, online Bible studies, as well as individual and small group study. For more information, I encourage you to visit: sabbathschoolpersonalministries.org

May God bless you as you partner with Him to reach the world through Bible study!

Let’s pray together. Father, thank you for the beautiful example of Philippe. Thank you for the way Philip responded in a very powerful way and thank you for the open heart of the Ethiopian treasury. Lord, help us find those people whose hearts are open to your word. Use us to be able to share with people the mighty and mighty word of God that will bring people to a better understanding of the times in which we live, and that the three angels’ messages are to be spoken in power. Lord, we ask for the latter rain to fall so that each of us will be filled with heavenly power to proclaim the message of salvation, just as Philip did. God bless our Sabbath Schools. Bless evangelism and personal ministries. Be with our Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department at all levels, and especially in the local church. Thank you for having God’s Word to study/Help us share it with others as we draw closer to Christ’s soon return. We ask all this in the mighty name of Him who has provided us with the written Word. We ask all this in the name of the living word, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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