Shelby G. Floyd
In the early history of the growth and development of the New Testament church we find that after the death of Stephen, there was a great persecution that arose against the church that was at Jerusalem.
The Church Was Scattered
All the members were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria except apostles: “And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 8: 1). The apostles lost their congregation since the members were all scattered abroad.
They Preached the Word Everywhere
But the members did not lose an audience because the Bible declares “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them (Acts 8: 5). Observe that “preaching the word” and “preaching Christ” is the same.
What does it mean To Preach Christ?
1. Preaching Christ includes faith, “when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” (Acts 8:12). When they “believed” Philip that was tantamount to believing what Philip taught!
2. Second, preaching Christ involves the kingdom of God or the church (Matt. 16: 18-19). One cannot believe in Christ without believing in “the church.”
3. In the third place, preaching Christ involves preaching the name of Jesus Christ. There is no other name by which man can be saved (Acts 4: 12).
4. And in the fourth place one cannot preach Christ without telling people about baptism. The people of Samaria were baptized both men and women (Acts 8:12). These slick, silvery tongued preachers today, who leave out baptism in order to please their audience, are not preaching the word but their own agenda.
Shortly before Jesus left the earth he said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16: 16 NKJV). That is exactly what the people of Samaria did. They believed and were baptized and therefore received the promise of salvation.
Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd