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"How can I unless some man should guide me?"

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Radio transcript for November 9, 2008

Harold Bigham preaches on "How can I unless some man should guide me?" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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"How can I unless some man should guide me" was a question asked by a citizen of Ethiopia, a Eunuch and the Treasurer of Candace, the queen of Ethiopia at that time. The account does not give us the name of this man. His name is unimportant. He is an example for all of us today. What is of tremendous importance is the account of this man's conversion. Let's read Acts 8:26-39 and then notice some things about the Eunuch's conversion to Christ.

"And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 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,Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 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. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."

First, How does "How can I unless some man should guide me?" apply to you and I?
Can you place yourself in the place of the Eunuch? As you read the conversion account of the Eunuch in Acts 8 and all of the conversion accounts in Acts think about yourself. We can put ourselves in the place of those people that we can read about and see if we are saved. Have we obeyed the same commands as they did?

A person might be religious yet the possibility of being religiously wrong exists. Some who will be wrong on Judgement day. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23).Wouldn't that be a terrible thing to be wrong religiously on the day of Judgement thinking that all of the time that you were right? How can I know if I am right with God? How can I know if I am a christian? How can I know if I am worshipping God in spirit and truth? How can I know if I am a member of the one church that I can read of in the New Testament? My friend, how can I know? Can we know? The answer is that we can know! Jesus said that we can know the Truth in John 8:32 and the apostle John wrote HOW we can know the Truth in I John 4:1 when he said that we are to test those who teach to see if what they are teaching is from God's Word. In other words, I must take the Bible and turn to the scriptures when I am being taught the Bible from a teacher or preacher. I hope that you are doing this today. I encourage you and welcome you to take your Bible and turn to the verses that I refer to in this radio lesson. By this method you can know either of two things: (1) The preacher or teacher is telling you the Truth or (2) the preacher or teacher is not teaching you the Truth. We cannot be saved by obeying false doctrine but we are saved by obeying the Truth. Please write to me if you don't agree with what I teach. My friend, we love you and we want you to know that while we might disagree we do so because of our love and concern for the Truth and for your soul. We must be right doctrinally in what we teach and practice in order to be pleasing to God. Colossians 3:17 states, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.". This means by the authority of Christ.

Secondly, this statement teaches that man must be taught.
The Eunuch wanted Philip to guide or lead him in a study of what the prophet Isaiah wrote. The Eunuch was desiring to know about the Saviour. He wanted to know more about Jesus. He wanted to be taught. Remember the account when he asked Philip, "I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?" (Acts 8:34). He was wanting to know if the writer Isaiah was speaking of himself or someone else. Philip began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus.

None of us can be saved by our moral goodness or works of merit. Paul said, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation from our sins is a gift from God. We must accept the gift in order to be saved. How do we accept the gift of salvation? Remember when Paul said, "For by grace are ye saved through faith". Obedient faith is the key that unlocks the door of grace. Obedient faith is obeying the commands of God. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Obedient faith involves love. We must have a love for the Truth that leads to obeying the Truth. Study the book of Acts and see the loving obedient faith of accountable souls who obeyed the gospel. People, just like you and I heard the gospel being taught and believed the gospel. They repented of their sins and confessed the good name of Christ as the only begotten Son of God. They were baptized to wash away their sins. They no longer served sin and Satan but now served the Suffering Saviour. No matter how good they were morally and how many good acts of kindness they performed, they could not have invented a plan to save themselves. They had to be taught God's plan. Loving obedient people will obey God after being taught the gospel.

Finally, this statement teaches that when we are taught God's Word correctly, we can know God's will.
Philip began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus (Acts 8:35). The Eunuch was being taught God's Word. Philip preached unto him Jesus. What is involved in preaching Jesus?

The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus is taught. The Eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53. Isaiah the prophet wrote about the horrific pain and ultimate death Jesus would experience centuries later. Isaiah wrote by inspiration about Jesus being the perfect sinless willing sacrifice for the sins of man. Jesus is described as a sheep without retaliation and resistance. Isaiah pictured Jesus as the one who was not worthy of death but willingly died on our behalf. The Eunuch learned about the life of Jesus.

The plan of salvation is taught. The Eunuch was hearing the gospel. My friend, do you remember when Paul wrote "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Can you not imagine the interest of the Eunuch as Philip was teaching him about Jesus and what to do to be saved! Do we have the same desire of wanting to know more about the gospel so that we might know the Truth? The Eunuch believed and made the good confession of Christ's name before Philip. In fact, he stated "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God"(Acts 8:37). Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). The Eunuch was baptized. "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:38-39).

Now, I want to stress this point about baptism. The Eunuch wanted to know if he could be baptized. "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). Isn't that great! Why would he ask such a question? The Eunuch was taught about the necessity of baptism by Philip and he knew that if he did not obey this term of salvation that he could not be saved. The Bible states that when we are baptized we are in Christ where all spiritual blessing flow. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26-28). The Eunuch went on his way rejoicing but did so ONLY after being baptized (Acts 8:39). Many today teach that baptism is not necessary for salvation. The Eunuch was honest in his reaction to the teaching by Philip after being taught God's Word and God's plan of salvation. You might ask, "well, I don't read about the Eunuch repenting and I thought that you said that we must also repent of our sins". That's a valid question. We don't read directly in Acts 8 of the Eunuch repenting. The reason is because Luke the writer of the book of Acts dealt with the current events at hand. Many in the book of Acts were at different steps in their life toward their obedience to God. We do know that by inference that the Eunuch repented because earlier in Acts 8:13 we read of a man named Simon the Sorcerer who deceived people with sorcery. He obeyed the gospel which involved repentance of the sorcery. So by necessary inference which is one of the ways that we are authorized by the Scriptures we can understand that the Eunuch repented. We are taught and authorized by direct command, necessary inference and approved examples. As we look at all of the terms of salvation that people obeyed in the book of Acts we can understand that we today must obey the same commands to be saved. God commands every person to obey the exact same commands.

The Lord's church is taught. "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,both men and women" (Acts 8:12). Acts 8:12 speaks of "things concerning the kingdom of Christ". The Kingdom and the church are the same "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:18-19). No doubt, Philip would preach about the work, mission and worship of the church since these things are concerning the Kingdom of Christ. Philip would teach about the necessity and importance of being a member of the Lord's church.

In Closing, how can I unless some man should guide me?
We can know the Truth. Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

You might be like the man that we have studied about today. You may have a desire to know more about God's will for you today. We invite you to contact us and we will be glad to study the Bible with you. We have free Bible tracts and study material that we will send you. Write us at:

Clinton church of Christ
155 Broadway St
Clinton, MS 39056, USA

or visit our website at www.clintoncoc.org or www.seekingthelost.net. We have lessons on our website available for you to read or listen to.


Hello, my name is Harold Bigham. I, along with Ricky Berger, am a speaker on the â??Seeking the Lost International Radio Broadcast.â? We thank for your time and interest in Seeking the Lost. It is our desire to bring you Bible based lessons both in audio and transcript form. We encourage you to look at our website www.seekingthelostradio.net. On it, you can listen to and/or read any of the lessons presented. Here, you can also find a schedule that lists radio coverage area, times, and frequencies. In addition to weekly radio programs, we offer free Bible correspondence courses and â??Seeking the Lost, Ready Bible Answers.â? Ready Bible Answers allows you to submit any Bible question(s) you may have through our "Contact Us" link, or by writing to the Clinton church of Christ address given below. We will answer your question(s) according to your request, either on a radio program (your name does not have to be given if we answer on the radio), or by personal correspondence with you.

"Seeking the Lost" is under the oversight of the Clinton church of Christ eldership in Clinton, Mississippi, www.clintoncoc.org. Brother Ken Gardner is the deacon over missions and works closely with Seeking the Lost, he can be reached through our "Contact Us" link, or by writing to:

Seeking the Lost International Radio
C/O Clinton church of Christ
155 Broadway St, Clinton, MS 39056

If you do not have internet access, any request for Bible lessons and/or correspondence courses can be made by writing to the address above.

As members of the church of Christ (Romans 16:16), it is our desire to search the scriptures (John 5:39), and do the will of God (Matthew 7:21). Part of that will is to teach the gospel (Mark 16:15). We will give you Bible references in our lessons and encourage you to check them (Acts 17:10-11).

My friend, our prayer for you today is that you will come to a knowledge of the Truth through a diligent study of God's Word and obey God's commands to become a member of the Lord's church, the church of Christ.

What does the Bible say about salvation?

  • All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
  • The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  • But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
  • Not everyone will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
  • Only those who obey God will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:21).
  • Obedience means believing that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6).
  • Repenting of sins (a change of life) (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30).
  • Confessing your faith in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10).
  • Being baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
  • Live as a faithful Christian until death (Titus 2:12; Revelation 2:10).

What does the Bible say about how we are to worship God?

  • We are to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
  • Worship is to be on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
  • The male members are to lead the worship service (1 Corinthians 14:34).
  • Godâ??s word is to be preached (Acts 20:7).
  • Prayer is to be offered to Him (Acts 2:42).
  • Christians are to give cheerfully according to how God has prospered them (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
  • The Lordâ??s Supper is to be taken (1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Acts 20:7).
  • Members are to sing one to another from the heart (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
  • We are not to change by adding to or taking from (Revelation 22:18-19).

If you should have any questions and/or comments please contact us so we may study together (2 Timothy 2:15).

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