This specific chapter deals with the event when Philip was instructed by God to go to the south down from Jerusalem to meet up with a man on a chariot.
The background to this event describes that Philip went down to Samaria to preach Christ unto them (verse 5). And Philip was not an apostle (or pastor), he was one of the seven deacons ordained to look after the daily ministration of the needs of the widows, so that the apostles could spend their time in prayer and ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4).
When Philip “proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, men and women believed and were baptized. (Act 8:12) .
A great number of people came to Christ. Signs and miracles followed his preaching. It was still in this period while Philip, Peter and John were preaching the gospel in many villages of Samaria, the angel of God spoke to Philip and called him out.
Get up and go south by the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert road.” (Act 8:26)
The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay close to it.” (Act 8:29)
This could have been a strange command for Philip – especially when he was still preaching the gospel in Samaria – where there are lots of people and quite a number of people were coming to Christ. Now, he had to go all the way – on this desert road – for only one man?
In our perspective it does not make sense but from God’s viewpoint each soul is important.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)
Sometimes the Lord takes us on new mysterious and deserted roads just in order to fulfill His plans in another person’s life. The main thing is that we need to be obedient and not to ask any questions. God has a purpose with every command that He gives. It is usually on these deserted and lonely pathways with the Lord, that He reveals his awesome power and might.
Philip did not question the command, or who the person was he was supposed to meet, or if the timing of the Lord was right or not. He immediately responded and ran to meet up with the chariot and the Ethiopian eunuch. How many of us would still be so obedient and full of our first love, that we would “ran” towards another lost soul upon the command of our Lord?
Just think about this for a while: “Stand up and go on this road up to Groblersdal and meet up with this man in a blue taxi …….” Only one excuse would equal a long list of excuses as well, because the command and purpose of God would not be fulfilled through me or you who received it.
When Philip met up with the Ethiopian eunuch, he was reading from the prophet Isaiah and Philip asked him: “Do you understand what you’re reading?” (verse 30)
And the answer of this man, is still ringing true to so many people in the church of today. They read the Word, but do not understand the meaning and full implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their eyes and ears are blinded by all the false teachings coming from modern day pulpits and other media. BUT, there are quite a number of people who desperately hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God and the full power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.( Rom 1:16 )
In the newspaper (Rapport) a few weeks ago, I read the article from Koos Kombuis how he came to repentance three times already in his life. It is quite an interesting life story, but I could also sense his desperation in seeking the truth of salvation and peace. Koos Kombuis is only one man amongst millions who are still lost but also seeking. They have never been told about a
personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that you cannot deserve grace through good deeds because Grace has already been given to you and me as a present through the blood of Jesus Christ. They read the Word in all the different translations available these days, but they still do not fully understand and they cry out in the same voice as the Ethiopian eunuch:
“How can I unless someone guides me?” (Verse 31)
Church, we need to hear the cry of God’s people as well as the cry from the lost and attend to it immediately! The leaders in the church should come back to the position of the apostles where they spend their time in prayer and ministry of the word in Spirit and Truth. Then and then only will the miracles and signs follow the works of the church. The deacons should perform their duties and each and every born again child of God should be an active disciple in the same manner as Stephan and Philip. They must be full of the Holy Ghost and listen to each command from God. The leadership structure of the 5-fold ministry need to be restored and each and every one should submit to the authority of God that He has implemented in the church.
The Church has made the Gospel of Jesus Christ too difficult and incomprehensible through all the different doctrines of each denomination. Paul declares in 1 Kor 15: 1 – 4 the Gospel of Jesus Christ as quite straightforward and simple:
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Philip met up with this man exactly where he was in the scriptures and lead him through it up to the point where he could make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour or not. (verse 35 – he preached Jesus Christ to him). You don’t need a degree to either understand or preach the Gospel. The only requirement is that it should come from the heart, from true experiences and lessons learned.
As I mentioned before, it is especially on these deserted roads and when we are in full obedience to God’s calling, then we see amazing miracles happen. Philip preached Jesus Christ to this man and at a certain point the man said: ” See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”
- Water in the desert? The Bible describes this road as a desert (dry) road as well.
- In God’s perfect timing and place, He will always provide in the need to completely fulfill His commands.
- Baptism in water is a command from God and it is part of salvation, therefore the Lord has provided enough water for Philip in the desert to be able to baptize (fully immerse) this man in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- In this specific verse the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is not mentioned directly, but one can suppose that it was done in the same manner as when he baptized the people in Samaria. (Acts 8: 12 – 16)
- All converts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the preaching of the apostles, were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins and not in the titles of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38; 8; 10; etc)
The Lord Jesus wants to use you and me to reach the lost, the confused, the one’s who are seeking and reading but they do not understand. The command has already been given, we must be obedient in every aspect. We need to be more sensitive to the voice of God through His spirit.
Ask yourself – or ask someone else:
Do you understand what you are reading?
- And be ready for a new door that God is going to open up for you to minister to people the Gospel of Jesus Christ.