Today’s Passage – Acts 7 – 8; Proverbs 17 (Second Milers also read – Psalms 81 – 85)
“And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. … Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” – (Acts 8:26, 29-31)
In chapter 8 of today’s passage we read about Philip and his evangelistic efforts in Samaria, and then his witness to the Ethiopian Eunuch. This account is possibly the most famous conversion story in the entire Bible, perhaps taking second place only to the salvationtory s of the Apostle Paul. By the way, I am very thankful that, although the Book of Acts tells us a lot about the multitudes that came to Christ, it also concerns itself with the individual. This individual eunuch of Ethiopia was very important to the Lord; and the Lord went to great lengths to reach him with the gospel. We will be reading about some of the other people that the Lord saved in future days: people like Lydia and the jailor at Philippi. I love to read about people getting saved.
Let’s notice some things about this divine appointment that the Lord made for Philip and this man from Ethiopia:
1 God was at work in each of these men’s lives before Acts 8. The eunuch was already reading the Book of Isaiah before Philip got there. He was thinking about the things of God. Philip was already serving the Lord. He was on of the seven deacons chosen by the Church at Jerusalem which indicated that he was filled with the Holy Ghost and wisdom. Philip was serving in Samaria, already faithful to the Lord’s will.
2 I notice that God orchestrated the events in Philip’s (and the eunuch’s) life to get him to where the eunuch was. Philip left a very successful ministry in Samaria to go and witness to this one man. He was sensitive to the will leading of God. He recognized that the circumstances in his life were in the hands of a Sovereign God.
3 I notice that Philip did not hesitate to speak to a man that was different than himself. This man was a convert to Judaism, but He was a man of Ethiopia: a Gentile. If we are going to reach this world, we are going to have to be willing to come out of our comfort zones.
4 I notice also that Philip very patiently and lovingly lead the man, step by step, to the Lord.
5 Finally, I notice in this passage the one Bible prerequisite for baptism – “if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” Baptism is for believers, not for babies. By the way, you can also see the mode of baptism here: they went down into the water. Sprinkling is not baptism.
I love reading this exciting Book of Acts. It motivates me to want to be an active participant in the Great Commission. God has made some devine appointments for me along the way, but I am looking forward to being used of Him more in the future. I want to have some of my own stories to tell.
Posted in Thoughts from Acts by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.