Summary: Philip is led by the Holy Spirit to leave hundreds of new believers behind to minister to just one man.
Grant Avenue Baptist Church
2215 Grant Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Pastor David M. Wilson
Pastor David’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 1, 2009
Leaving the Revival Behind
Text: Acts 8:26-40
As the persecution of the church intensified the believers began to scatter out. They began to fulfill the command of Christ in Acts 1:8 to preach in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and on to the uttermost parts of the earth. In Acts chapter 8 we have the beginning of a ministry in the villages of Samaria.
The Apostle Philip went and preached in Samaria and revival broke out. A revival that was so great that demonic spirits made themselves loudly evident. Healing and miracles were occurring daily. Most importantly, people were being saved. Things were going so well that Apostles at Jerusalem sent Peter and John to assist in the work there. This is particularly ironic for John because he and his brother James had once sought permission to call fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritan villages that rejected Christ during His earthly ministry (see Luke 9:51-56).
Be careful who you denounce and reject. Those may be the very people God will call you to minister to.
Philip preached Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). Some of us tend to forget that the Samaritans, with their Israeli roots, were also waiting for the Messiah. The Woman at the well in John 4 spoke about the Samaritan understanding of what the Messiah would do when he came.
Philip is sent by Angel to the Gaza road. This may have been puzzling to Philip. After, there were hundreds of people responding to the gospel in Samaria and they would need to be taught some basic doctrines and made into true disciples. Philip is obedient and runs into one guy. We don’t know if the man was the only fellow on the road, but his mode of transportation must’ve caught Philip’s eye. It was a first century limousine. This was a man of wealth and influence.
This man’s political power is described, but more important than the political power and his wealth was that this man was a genuine seeker. He was reading from the book of Isaiah. I want to take a second to point out that you couldn’t just pick up a copy of the book of Isaiah at the local giant bookseller and it was something he could order off of Amazon.Com. A book was an expensive and precious item and it likely cost this man a pretty penny. He had spent time and resources to worship as he sought the Lord.
The Holy Spirit urged Philip to go close and when he obeyed he heard what the man was reading. Philip immediately spoke to the man, asking him if he understood what he was reading. This resulted in an invitation to come into the chariot and explain. Very quickly, Philip is asked to explain a passage from Isaiah 53 that we often call the poem of the Suffering Servant. He showed quickly that Jesus was the Messiah, but that the Messiah was not what people truly expected. He was a lamb, a sacrifice.
When was the last time the Lord led you to someone who was ready to respond to the Word in the same manner that this Eunuch was. God made it easy for Philip. This guy was already reading the Word. He was already interested. He was ready to hear and to respond.
I’ve had some wonderful experiences that God led me into. I had a man come to talk to me about his marriage. Really, he wanted to complain to me that his wife shouldn’t drive an American made vehicle, but should be riding on a broom. We had not talked very long when I asked him if anyone had ever taken the time to tell him how to be saved. He said that nobody had. I asked him if he minded if we took a minute and I showed him God’s simple plan of salvation. He agreed and in minutes he tearfully prayed and received Christ as Lord and Savior. After a few minutes of rejoicing, I started to bring the conversation back to his wife and he responded that now he knew that she wasn’t so bad, that the problem was him. What a wonderful change God began that day in that man’s life? God dropped this ripe opportunity for a spiritual harvest into my lap. I could have spent the whole evening hearing about the wicked witch of the west, but the Holy Spirit led me to a different tact. This man was ready.
Philip found this man with an open Bible and an obedient heart. In fact, as soon as they came to water the Eunuch, in his enthusiasm and desire to be obedient, asked Philip about baptism. Did you note that Philip didn’t have to sit down and plan out a new member’s class for this man? Instead, he just assisted the man in following on and baptized the man.