By Dick Ward
Did you know when Philip PREACHED CHRIST he preached MORE than just the idea Jesus is a personal Saviour? When the Jerusalem church suffered a severe persecution, Phillip went to Samaria and preached Christ (Acts 8:5). What did he preach? What is really involved when one preaches Christ?
THINGS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM
We learn in Acts 8:12 to preach Christ is to preach "things concerning the kingdom". Before His death, Jesus foretold of the building of His church and used the words, kingdom and church interchangeably (Matthew 16:18,19). People in the first century were in the kingdom (Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9). To preach Christ is to encourage people to be in the kingdom. No, the kingdom is not some future event - it is here and now!
THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST
We learn from the scriptures (Acts 8:12) to preach Christ is to preach "the name of Jesus Christ". The preaching of the NAME is not just "repeating" His precious name or making "casual reference" to the name of the Son of God. To preach the name of Jesus is to preach His authority. For example, Acts 4:7 shows it is the "power" or authority under consideration. Matthew 28:18 shows Jesus Christ as having ALL "power" (King James Version) or ALL "authority" (American Standard Version). Philip taught the lost in Samaria about the headship of Jesus Christ over His spiritual body, the church (Ephesians 1:20-22; Colossians 1:16).
To preach Christ is to preach BAPTISM. Yes, the context clearly shows Philip preached baptism when he preached Christ. Acts 8:12 says, "when they believed"... they were BAPTIZED, both men and women". Not only do we see baptism as an essential part of preaching Jesus from Philip's work in Samaria, but the same evidence is gleaned from the evangelist's work with the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip began at Isaiah 53 and preached unto him Jesus". (Acts 8:35). Obviously, Philip preached to the traveling treasurer, baptism: the eunuch wanted to be baptized and he was. Baptism is part of preaching Christ. Jesus, Himself, said, "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Saul was told, "Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). Peter wrote baptism saves (I Peter 3:21). To preach Jesus is to teach baptism is essential to remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
[Editors Note: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! This article was published in a newspaper column titled, "Did You Know?" in the Carrier Newspaper in Madison, Florida. He may be reached at: Dick Ward, 18 Eldorado East, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405, (205) 556-2407.]
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