Our continued search into the message and guiding principles of the earliest followers of Jesus is a reminder that the church evolved for centuries before it began setting clear doctrines and practices in place. The question I've been asking is, what were those basic understandings from Jesus' teachings that the earliest followers upheld and valued? We'll nail down a couple of things this week.
1 John 4 is focused on how God is love and what that means in the light of Jesus. As last week's lesson understood, it means more than mere affection or kindness. Previous weeks also revealed that such love also has no boundaries. These points are emphasized again here as the expectation is made very clear that God's love is to be shared and reflected in every believer and their witness.
This gets real when we turn to the selection from Acts 8. Most of this chapter focuses on Philip's ministering (and we never hear about Philip again).
The first of the two Philip stories breaks across boundaries by reaching out to the despised (by Jews, at least) Samaritans. Considered sinful and outside the covenant with God, they're deemed loathsome and unclean by Jews, but Philip goes right ahead in sharing the good news of God's love and the new life in Jesus.
Then, in our selection, Philip goes even further reaching out to an Ethiopian eunuch, and then baptizing him! Find out why this is so appalling, and get all the insights that we're finding in the sermon video below, noting the downloads below the video panel.