Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, October 05, 2003, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
THE SEEKER, THE SAINT, AND THE SUBSTITUTE -or- THREE CHARACTERS IN A CLASSIC CONVERSION
By Michael D. O’Neal (Prov. 11:30), Pastor
Gospel Light Baptist Church, P.O. Box 3071 (237 Lockett Station Road),
Albany, GA 31706
(229) 432-0039 (church) / (229) 698-2127 (parsonage)
Scripture Reading: Acts 8:25-40
Text: Acts 8:35
Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Introduction: What a wonderful story of a soul-winning experience! This is a classic conversion, with three characters involved. I first had these pointed out to me in the early 1970s, in a message, and I hope they will be a blessing to you this morning.
The three characters are three men in the passage. I’ll point them out to you, then make comments as God allows:
- “a” man – Acts 8:27
- “some” man – Acts 8:31
- “some other” man – Acts 8:34
I’m going to refer to the three as
- THE SEEKER – “a man”
- THE SAINT – “some man”
- THE SUBSTITUTE – “some other man”
You’ll also find all three in our text, verse 35:
- “Philip” – THE SAINT
- “him” – THE SEEKER
- “Jesus” – THE SUBSTITUTE
I. THE SEEKER – “A” MAN
Acts 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
A. He was a responsible man
- “an eunuch of great authority”
- He obviously had people driving him, for he later commanded the chariot to be still.
B. He was a religious man
- “had come to Jerusalem for to worship”
- He was confused – reading the Bible while riding down the road but not understanding what he was reading
- He was unsaved
C. He was a receptive man
- We will see this from our next point and verse.
- The problem is with the WILL. If a sinner is WILLING, God will show Him the truth.
- John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
II. THE SAINT – “SOME” MAN
Acts 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
God almost ALWAYS uses a tool, a man, to get the gospel to as lost man.
What kind of man does God use to win souls?
A. He was submissive to the Lord
B. He was studied in the word of God
C. He was a “second-mile” believer
- Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
- He was not only willing to go to the desert to witness to an African Gentile, but he also was willing to RUN to do it!
- Acts 8:29-30 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
III. THE SUBSTITUTE – “SOME OTHER” MAN
Acts 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
There are two main ways in which the word “substitute” is used:
1. An inferior replacement when the real thing is not available or chosen (salt substitute, sugar substitute)
2. A person who takes your place, doing for you what you cannot do for yourself.
Jesus is our substitute in the latter way.
Of the “some other man” …
A. This man was the SAVIOR
- Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
- John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
B. This man was sinless
- 1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
C. This man shed His blood
D. This man stepped out of the grave after three days and nights!
Conclusion: The seeker was religious but lost. Once he saw the way of salvation, he took it, was saved, and was immediately willing to be identified as a believer in water baptism, showing his identification with his new Lord’s sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection.
Are you saved? Or are you just religious?