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Philip & the Ethiopian


Sermon shared by Jeff Hughes

May 2003
Summary: Philip is sent on a mission - for 1 man.
Audience: General adults
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all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
ii. Philip opens a mouth. It is significant here because in classical Greek writing, what it means is that this is the central point, the most important part, the climax of Philipís conversation with the Ethiopian.
iii. Philip takes this opportunity to digress from the passage and explain the fulfillment of the passage itself through Jesus Christ. No doubt that Philip talked about Jesusí life, His ministry, and His death, continuing to describe the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early church.
iv. Philip most likely relayed his own experiences and testimony to the eunuch as well. But the most important thing for us to take out of this conversation is this Ė Philip used the Scriptures to describe the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
v. Romans 10:17 tells us this - So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This man heard the scriptures that day. He was ready to accept Jesus as his savior. Philip no doubt shared the whole gospel with this man, and the man wanted that saving faith, that hope that was only found in Jesus.
vi. They come to a small stream of water, and the Ethiopian wants to get baptized. He says to Philip, ďWhatís stopping me?Ē Talk about a leading question. I look at this question like the question the Phillipan jailer that asked Paul and Silas, ďSirs, what must I do to be saved?
vii. More evidence of Godís sovereign work is evident here. Philip and the Ethiopian are going along in the desert, and here is some water, God is providing for them again.
viii. Philip was there, he was available and he was ready. God used him that day. Philip didnít preach baptism, Philip didnít preach religion, he taught Jesus and salvation through the Word of God.
ix. Philip replies to the Ethiopian, ďIf you believe with all your heart, you can.Ē Now, if you have a modern translation, like the NIV, this verse isnít there, or itís in brackets. Some scholars donít think it should be there, but personally, I do.
x. My reasoning is this. Philip had just preached salvation to Simon the sorcerer, and baptized him. He didnít get saved, and as we covered last week, the reason why was that Simon never made the decision in his heart to really believe.
xi. Philip didnít want to see that happen again. He wanted to make sure, as best he could, that the Ethiopian was really saved.
xii. The Ethiopianís answer is a very profound one. He says that he believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Romans 10:9 and 10 tells us this - if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
xiii. The Ethiopian made a confession with his mouth that he did indeed believe. He was a new man, born again, he was saved.
xiv. At this point, he commands the chariot to stop, and He and Philip get out, and go down to the water. We know from earlier chapters that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. It is a public confession of our faith in Jesus Christ.
xv. Not only did the Ethiopian make a confession Philip that he
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