Upon hearing the Gospel, the Ethiopian Eunuch asked Philip the question, “What hinders me from being baptized?” This was the opening step that led to the New Birth experience for a man of position and authority, but notice that his query came before his conversion and it entailed a “What?” The answer of course was that nothing was in his way. There was no reason or thing that kept him from being baptized. For the seeker and sinner, there are many “things” that get in the way of salvation. Before we come to obey Acts 2:38, life is in the way. Time and material things cloud the path toward God and church attendance. We might even think about the things that we have to give up, but after we are saved the “What” always seems to turn into a “Who.”
Paul asked the church members of Galatia the question: Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? The Ethiopian Eunuch talked about the What before he was converted, but Paul addressed the Who to a church already saved.
There may be many things that can keep you from serving God, but I have found that after we see the revelation of the Mighty God in Christ and we are baptized in the name of Jesus, the “Who” is the most prominent hindrance to our walk. I’ll speak plain: People, sometimes church people, can hinder us from running the race more than the things that come our way. Paul opened his questions to the church in Rome the same way. Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? He went on to talk about things like tribulation and famine, but his initial question focused on the Who. For this reason I admonish you to keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t allow others to dictate your devotion. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”is the only way to stay focused.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole