“Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:30–31 (NIV84)

Philip is told by the Lord to go to a certain road. He obeys the Lord, and once he gets there a chariot passes by. The Lord tells Philip to follow the chariot. Doing so, He hears that the man is reading from the book of Isaiah. The Ethiopian is reading a prophetic section about the Messiah suffering for the sake of His people. He cannot naturally see past the words as they were written. But Philip is able to take those very same words and explain how Jesus fulfilled them as the Savior of the world. The Ethiopian is converted to Christianity and is baptized into the faith by Philip.

My point is that without Philip the Ethiopian didn’t have a chance of understanding the words of Isaiah. The Holy Spirit not only uses the Word itself, but He also uses His people to help in the interpretation of Scripture. This is why it is so important for Christians to be in the Word of God with other Christians. I remember when I first became a Christian. It was so hard to understand what I was reading. But over the years, the Lord has worked through His Word and through other Christians to help me gain a better and deeper understanding of God’s Word. We must always keep in mind that the Word of God is the authority. Human beings have at times gone astray with their interpretations and teachings. All our beliefs must ultimately be checked by the Word of God for validity.

So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t understand portions of Scripture (there are still portions I struggle with), but turn to godly men and women and prayerfully seek help. God will provide the help you need, just as he did for the Ethiopian by using Philp.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

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