“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).


1) Philip the Evangelist (David Watson)
2) The Resurrection — Proof that Jesus is the Son of God (Doug Roush)


Philip the Evangelist

David Watson

Philip (Acts 6:5) is easy to skip over because we usually focus on the people he dealt with—Simon the magician and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).  But there are 3 things I want us to notice about Philip and his work that will inspire us to become better Christians.

First, Philip is a great example of loving our neighbors.  Due to Saul’s persecution, Philip leaves Jerusalem and goes—of all places—to Samaria and starts proclaiming Christ to them (Acts 8:5)!  Most Jews wouldn’t be caught dead with Samaritans (John 4:7-9; 8:48; Luke 9:51-56); but there Philip is, preaching the good news and baptizing men and women (Acts 8:13).  That shows us what the gospel of Christ will do for us—it will open our eyes to the value of a soul.  It will raise us above racism and bigotry and prejudice.  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).  Let’s fix that worldview into our minds—that each person around us (friends, family members, complete strangers) has a soul!  Like Philip, I should be willing to share the gospel with anyone as an act of love.

Second, Philip shows us the power of the gospel.  He is later called “the evangelist” (Acts 21:8).  Evangelist means “one who declares the good news.”  After declaring the good news to the Samaritans, Philip preaches Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39).  Many religious people today teach that in order to understand and accept the gospel and be saved, the Holy Spirit has to miraculously affect you in some way (“irresistible grace”).  But notice that’s NOT what happened here.  Interestingly, you have an angel (v. 26) and the Holy Spirit (v. 29) directly involved in the conversion of the Ethiopian, but what did they do?  They got the preacher of God’s word connected to the person in need.  That’s what happens all through the book of Acts—preachers present the evidence and build a logical case for Christ—sometimes reasoning and explaining things over a period of weeks and months and years, and as a result of that, people believed and obeyed.  That’s what Philip did for the Samaritans (Acts 8:5, 12) and what he does now for the Ethiopian (Acts 8:35, 36).  Christianity is not based on blind faith or on a subjective feeling in my heart.  It’s based upon the inspired word of God!  No wonder Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).  May we learn to trust in the power of the gospel!

Third, Philip shows us that we can grow older without growing bitter.  Acts 8:40 mentions that he ends up in Caesarea.  He disappears from the record until a brief reference in Acts 21:8-14, where Paul and his companions stayed with him for several days.  It is here in the record where he’s identified as Philip the evangelist (one who declares the good news), about 20 years after the events of Acts 8.  Let’s appreciate that Philip is still at it years later.  It’s one thing to start with a bang, and maybe to have a zeal fueled by the events in Acts 7-8, but what about when the newness wears off?  Philip’s longevity serves as a great example to us.  Can I do that?  Can I live for Christ through the years?

But even more than his longevity, notice that Philip has not grown bitter during this time, even though he had plenty of reasons.  Remember that Stephen was one of the seven men chosen in Acts 6:5.  Thus, if Philip didn’t know Stephen already, he surely got to know him as they worked together.  Then Stephen is stoned (with Saul’s approval (Acts 7:58), and it’s very likely that Philip was one of the men who buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him (Acts 8:2).  And then Saul continues the persecution, which is the reason Philip gets run out of Jerusalem to begin with (Acts 8:3-5).  And then lo and behold, 20 some-odd years later, who knocks on the door wanting to spend a few nights at Philip’s house?  Saul, now called Paul.  Imagine that!  Imagine what feelings Philip could have harbored!  “You killed my friend, Stephen!  You threw my brothers and sisters in jail!  You ran me out of my home city!”  If Philip had been harboring hatred and planning revenge all these years, now was his chance!

But no, he’s not called “Philip, the grouchy old man who gripes all the time about how he was treated poorly and cheated out of a life in Jerusalem and all his friends were killed or thrown in prison.”  He is Philip the evangelist.  Philip, the proclaimer of good news.  In fact, he is probably included in the “local residents” trying to keep Paul safe (Acts 21:12).  Let’s follow his example.  Are you an old curmudgeon?  If somebody does you wrong, are you going to be sure that everybody and their dog is going to hear about it for the next 20 years?  Instead of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, do you spend your time developing traits like irritability, grudge-holding, gossiping, revenge, and bitterness?  Lots of bad stuff happened to Philip, too, but he didn’t spend his life in his rocking chair plotting revenge.  He became Philip the evangelist—Philip the proclaimer of good news!

May we imitate Philip, whose love for souls caused him to spread the good news about Jesus to whoever he could for as long as he could.

— Via Focus Online, May 6, 2019



The Resurrection – Proof that Jesus is the Son of God

Doug Roush

Romans 1:4 states that Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” The resurrection of Jesus, more than any other single event, is the ultimate evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, the Son of God.

Although we have the Bible record of other people being raised from the dead, it certainly was not an everyday occurrence. Jesus raised Lazarus, the widow’s son at Nain, the daughter of Jairus, and perhaps others (John 11; Luke 7:11-15, 22; 8:49-56). Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-41). In the Old Testament, both Elijah and Elisha raised people from the dead (1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:32-35; 13:20-21). However, none of these resurrected individuals were thought to be “gods.”

The case of Jesus is different. As the body of Jesus lay alone in Joseph’s new tomb, no one took Him by the hand and commanded Him to rise. The tomb is sealed and closely guarded. No one stood outside the tomb and called for Him to come forth. No one even witnessed His actual resurrection – the angel rolled away the stone and the guards “became like dead men” (Matthew 28:4). The resurrection of Jesus was accomplished by the direct power of God. The fact that “God raised up” Jesus is declared many times in the Book of Acts (2:24, 32; 3:13; 4:10; 10:40; 13:30, 37). His resurrection is the ultimate evidence that identifies the historic Jesus of Nazareth to be, in fact, the Divine Son of God!

There was physical and testimonial evidence that confirms the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Consider the following details:

  • The tomb was new. No one had been lain there before (Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:51). There was no possibility of confusing the body of Jesus with the remains of another.
  • The tomb entrance was closed with a large stone, sealed, and guarded. (Matthew 27:60- 66). No one could have taken the body away.
  • The grave clothes were left neatly in the tomb. When Peter and John went into the tomb after the resurrection, they “saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself” (John 20:6-8). No one stealing a body would take the time to unwrap it and neatly fold up the clothes! Only a person who would never have use of them again would leave the expensive grave wrappings behind!
  • The scars of Jesus’ resurrected body were examined. On the very evening of the day of His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and “showed them His hands and His side” (John 20:20). Wounds in the hands and feet could be observed on anyone who had been crucified, but the wound in the side of Jesus was unique. It offered gruesome evidence to His identity, and also to what His body had been subjected.
  • Many people saw Him alive. The number of witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus is overwhelming credible evidence. In a court of law, facts can be established on the basis of two or three reliable witnesses. In addition to the apostles, many, many more saw the resurrected Christ, including Mary Magdalene, Cleopas, James, 500 brethren at once, and finally the apostle Paul.

The detailed nature of the evidence provides overwhelming proof, validating the authenticity of the resurrection of Jesus. His resurrection is the ultimate proof that validates His claim that He is the Son of God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life; the only way to the Father (cf. John 14:6). The detailed and reliable evidence we have for the resurrection of Jesus validates our belief of it. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus is the key to our salvation. “Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14).

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, March 2024


The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith
 in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

Tebeau Street

1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service.   Congregational Song Service: 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.

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evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)