The Open Door of the Church
Acts 8:36-39
And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water…

As you read this story you get the impression that the way into the kingdom of heaven, in the days of our Lord and His apostles, was a very obvious and straightforward way to any willing to enter it. It might cost one an inward struggle to consent, but to one consenting, the way of entrance was plain, even if it was not easy. Such an one might find difficulties in himself; but he would have no hindrances put upon him in the name of the Lord — nothing but helps and encouragements. How wide open "the happy gates of gospel grace" did seem to stand in those days! And what a simple business they seemed to make of it! Not a word about a judicious deliberation and delay in the case of new converts. Not a word about preparing them by catechism, or taking them awhile on probation, or about examining them on their religious experience. "Here is water; what hinders me from being baptized'?" says this eunuch; as if to one who had learned about Jesus Christ and wished to be His disciple and follower, it was the most natural thing in the world. And at once the evangelist seems to answer, "Of course; why not?" And right then and there he baptized him.

I. RITES. Our Lord, providing for the need which His believing followers would have of some way of declaring their discipleship in visible form, named two ordinances. The commonest acts of daily life — the daily bath and the daily meal. The bath, by which one coming to Him signified his putting away, from that time forth, of the sinful, defiling service of the world, and his new, clean life of consecration to the:Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and the supper, in which he remembers his Master and Friend, declares his dependence and allegiance, and shows his Lord's death until He comes.

II. EXPERIENCES. Needless, it should seem, to declare that the experience of other disciples was meant to be a help and encouragement to each one of us in one way into the heavenly kingdom. Looked at in any large and reasonable way, the lesson from the vast diversity in the spiritual history of true and holy Christians is a lesson of unbounded encouragement. He who is the Way, and the Door to the way, does not care by what path we come up to Him, if only we do come.

III. DOCTRINES. God's truth is very plain; very easy; and oh, how helpful! What confidence it gives you toward Him! As He declares to us the great fact of the reconciliation of the world to Himself in Christ, how it wins us to trust in His plain, faithful promise, and to rest in the perfect peace of Him whose mind is stayed on God!

(L. W. Bacon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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?

WEB: As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?"

The Joy of the First Christian Experiences
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