Key Principle #10 : incarnational evangelism
In the Old and New Testament, the Jews were guilty of limiting God to the confines of the holy temple. The early church was guilty of keeping the good news of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. As a result, God used the persecution of the church to allow the gospel to be evangelized to Judea and Samaria. God in His sovereignty can use evil to result in good.
Read the passage below and list the three locations where Philip went telling of the good news in the blanks that follow.
Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did…26Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert…39Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
In the previous key principle, we discussed the benefits of conversational evangelism over confrontational evangelism, although there are times when we must be confrontational. This key principle pictures incarnational evangelism, that is evangelism that is lived out in the flesh before people. It is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi the quote, "Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary, use words." That's the point of incarnational evangelism.
The Jews were extremely prejudiced against the Samaritans. What do verses 4-8 say about racial prejudices?
Luke also points out several times that both men and women were evangelized and baptized (verse 12, Acts 5:14) and also persecuted (Acts 8:3, 9:12, 22:4)
Read 8:14-24. Evangelism is everyone’s responsibility, not just the apostles then and not just for the clergy today. However, in this passage, God showed unity and order. At this time, not a single book of the New Testament was yet written. The Holy Spirit did not fall on the Samaritans so that they would recognize the need of leadership from the Apostles. We now know that the Holy Spirit comes to the believers at the moment of salvation and receiving of Christ by faith (See Acts 19:2, Romans 8:9-11).
In order to evangelize more effectively, ask God to make you sensitive to his promptings and that you will obey His leadership like the missionary Philip did (verses 26-40).
Read verse 35. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.” How important is it for you to be prepared in the Bible?
Very important___Moderately important___Mildly important___Not very important ___
In verse 39, we see that the eunuch never saw Philip again. As you think about all of God’s characteristics and qualities, list at least five more attributes about God in addition to the first one below that give us assurance that He can use the small seeds that we plant, even if we don’t see them grow to fruition.