Summary: A sermon on the place of baptism in the ministry of Phillip the evangelist.
Baptism in the Ministry of Phillip Acts 8
INTRO.: Phillip was not one of the twelve apostles. He was one of the first deacons, selected in Acts 6. He is described as a man “full of the Spirit and wisdom.” Acts 6:3-5. He was a powerful and capable preacher of the Gospel.
There was serious persecution of the Church in Jerusalem. Stephen, another of the first Deacons, was stoned to death. Christians were scattered everywhere. Phillips went down to a city of Samaria and preached Christ there with great success.
Phillip was called away from this successful work to a desert road to meet an Ethiopian nobleman on the open road. The Ethiopian was the means of carrying the Gospel to the continent of Africa.
We want to look at these two events with particular attention to the place of baptism in Phillips preaching.
I. His work in Samaria. Acts 8:1-6
A. The content of his message:
1. He “proclaimed the Christ there.”
2. His message no doubt was very similar to Peter’s on Pentecost.
3. Spoke of the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus. This is the “Good News.” I Cor. 15:3, 4.
4. Certainly told how others can participate in Jesus’ death through baptism. Col. 2:12
B. The response of his hearers:
1. They gave careful heed to Phillip’s message.
2. They believed and were baptized. This is how we know he included baptism in his preaching. 12, 13.
3. There was great joy in the city.
C. The mistake of Simon the Sorcerer: Acts 8:13, 18ff
1. He “believed and was baptized. We have no reason to doubt his sincerity.
2. He offered the apostles money for the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan was tempting him.
3. He is told to repent and pray. His sin has separated him from God. Acts 8:22, 23
4. The blessings of the Gospel are not to be bought and sold.
D. Other lessons to be learned:
1. The preaching of Christ (v. 5) included telling the people they could share in His death and resurrection through baptism.
2. When Samaritans heard the Gospel, they responded with faith and baptism.
3. When one of them slipped into sin, he was commanded to repent and pray. 22.
II. The conversion of the Ethiopian: vv. 26-40
A. The hand of God is at work bringing these men together.
1. He called Phillip away from a successful evangelistic campaign.
2. Led him to a man on a desert road many miles away at just the time the man was reading from the clearest messianic prophecy.
3. Phillip is instructed to go to the chariot and stay near it.
4. The man is intensely curious about the prophecy.
B. The content of Phillip’s message:
1. The man was reading of the suffering of Jesus, so Phillip told him the Good News about Jesus.
2. No doubt he spoke the familiar story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
3. Judging by his response, Phillip told how we identify with the death of Jesus through baptism.
C. The response of the Ethiopian:
1. “Here is water, why shouldn’t I be baptized?”
2. The King James Version records his confession of faith.
3. They both went down into the water. No reason to do that except to immerse.
D. The joy following the Ethiopian’s baptism:
1. Similar to the great joy in the city where Phillip preached.
2. Joy which comes from forgiveness and eternal life.
3. He has new life and God’s Spirit lives in him.
CONC.: Review. What have we learned from these two incidents?
1. Every person who accepted Jesus as Savior was baptized.
2. Preaching the Good News about Jesus includes telling how we may share in the benefits of His death and resurrection through Christian baptism.
3. Those who believe in Jesus want to share in His death and resurrection through baptism.
4. Christians who sin should repent and pray to God for forgiveness.