NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the YOU curriculum.
Bible Passage: Acts 8:26-37
Discussion Questions: What makes it difficult to be obedient to God? Who are the people in your life that you have missed sharing Jesus with because you didn’t want to?
Food for Thought:
Just about everyone has heard the phrase, “Opportunity Knocks.” However, does anyone ever answer the door? Sometimes God grants each of us an opportunity at the doors of life. Our response will detail how we continue to write the untold stories of God working in our lives. What story is God using you to write? Are you willing to write it at any time? Opportunity is given for the taking. In this lesson we look at Philip’s obedience to the Spirit and how he seized the opportunity to share the Gospel message with someone unlike him.
Philip was a successful evangelist, bringing hundreds of people to Christ through the Gospel message. In Acts 8, an angel specifically directed Philip southward to the desert road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza. This took Philip away from the successful evangelistic work in Samaria. This event highlights that a single individual can engage in fruitful witnessing apart from assistance or approval of church leaders.
On the road, Philip encountered an Ethiopian eunuch. Eunuch normally indicates a person who has been castrated. Male servants of a queen, especially keepers of the treasury, often were eunuchs. Note that God was intentional in including Gentiles such as eunuchs to share an inclusive message. Philip approached the man’s chariot and heard him reading aloud. He recognized the words from Isaiah 53:7-8. God led him to the right person at the right time, for the man was reading one of the great prophetic passages about the Suffering Servant, which at that time had only recently found fulfillment in the sacrificial death of Jesus.
Using the words from Isaiah as a starting point, Philip explained to the eunuch the good news about Jesus. Jesus had come in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, had suffered humiliation in silence, and willingly had borne the consequences of humankind’s sins. Philip later baptized the man.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit leads us to people we have never met who need someone to witness to them. Opportunity to witness is all around us: in our homes, schools and communities, on our jobs, and even in our churches. Despite the abundance of opportunity, many of us still lack the courage or obedience to seize it. It is important to be obedient to what God has called us to, especially when it comes to witnessing. Knowing that the voice of God can be heard in anything, we must be vigilant, sensitive and obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU’s short, topical studies are culturally relevant with clear life-application components that challenge learners to live missionally as they connect, grow, serve, and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated 3-in-1 quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals, and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.