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Philip: Preacher Of Christ part 4

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Introduction

Here we are, message number four dealing with Philip. We now finally arrive at his interaction with the Ethiopian Eunuch.
Let’s take a minute to review what Philip has taught us so far. In the first half of the chapter we learned that we cannot discriminate in our sharing of the Gospel. Philip preached Christ to a nation of people who had always been at odds with his own. He recognized the need to see with eyes of faith and not of prejudice. Faith sees sinners in need of a Savior and preaches Christ to them no matter what. Philip has taught us that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace! To demonstrate this we saw Peter and John be God’s agents to bring the Holy Spirit to Samaria. We have witnessed the apostles preaching Christ to anyone and everyone. We must follow their example. Last week we saw Philip being sensitive to the Holy Spirit as he is called to leave the thriving ministry in Samaria and go to the desert where he was commanded to overtake a chariot.
Philip’s example challenges us to seize every opportunity to preach the gospel.
However, oftentimes our attitude will determine the openness of our audience.
Therefore, we must approach people with love and gentleness.
As we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He will direct us where to plant and water the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Recently Jessica and I started a side job to help us earn some extra income. With that job we have been learning a lot about marketing. In marketing, your goal is to approach someone in such a way that they see their need for what you are offering. This means you don’t insult them or their business! The other part of marketing is that you have to believe in your product. You cannot be an effective marketer if you think people can live without what you provide! As believers we are God’s marketing program for the gospel. We need to approach people in such a way that they are open to the gospel. More importantly, we must believe in our product. The bottom line is that we have an exclusive product that every person needs! What does say? “For all have… sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”. That is the need! What’s our product? For the wages of sin is… death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.We are offering the most important product in history! And the best news of all is that there is no ten easy payments, there is no financing, it is free! Do we believe in the gospel? Do we believe in its power to transform lives? Then we cannot and must not be silent!
I share this for two reasons. 1 - I want you all to know that I am not perfect. I am not up here sharing these things because I already have it all worked out. 2 - I want to go on public record with my failure to help motivate me to never let that happen again!
We are going to be challenged to preach the gospel with love and gentleness and to preach it at every opportunity. We have something that everyone needs and it is free. Let’s tell the world. That’s what Philip does. We left him running to catch a chariot and we catch up to him there…

2. Preaching Christ In A Chariot vv. 26-39

Let me recap last week really quickly…

a. The sensitivity of a heart to Christ vv. 26-29

What we are going to see in this passage is an incredible commitment to obedience. Philip’s heart is tuned to God’s and when he is called to go, he does so without hesitation. Philip is…

i. Sensitive to the Angel’s call vv. 26-27a

An angel calls Philip to go to the desert. He goes.
Preaching the Word: Acts—The Church Afire In Touch with the Spirit (Vv. 26–29)Humble submission to the Spirit of God is essential for joyful living and effective service.
I love the beginning of v. 27. “So he arose and went.For Philip, it was just that simple. God calls, he says yes, and he goes! This is what a sensitive heart looks like! This is what obedience looks like! After being sensitive to the angel’s call we find Philip…

ii. Sensitive to the Father’s knowledge vv. 27b-28

God knows everything about this man that Philip is going to meet. Philip doesn’t yet he is…

iii. Sensitive to the Spirit’s command v. 29

Philip is coming alongside the chariot and now we learn of…
Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible 2. Philip’s ministry to the Ethiopian eunuch 8:26–40Philip felt compelled by the Holy Spirit’s leading to approach the wagon (cf. v. 26). The Spirit’s leading is essential in evangelism; He sometimes directs us to people whom He has prepared to trust in Jesus Christ.
Philip hears the still small voice! Joseph got walkies-talkies for Christmas and one of the first lessons they had to learn was that you couldn’t hear them unless they pressed the button. Someone had to be listening. We tested them out by me taking one with me to the store. We could hear each other, but it was pretty fuzzy. The Christian life is similar. Here is an earth-shattering revelation. Ready? You can only hear when you are listening. Astounding right? But here’s the larger point. We have to be listening to the Holy Spirit, we have to be tuned in without the static of sin if we are going to hear when the Holy Spirit speaks! For us today He will speak through His Word, or through promptings in our spirits that coincide with His Word. It is my prayer that we will all develop this kind of sensitivity to the HS and His prompting. That we would hear when He speaks because we are listening, desiring for Him to communicate with us. A big part of that is being in the Word of God! We have a plan for that on the insert in your bulletin!We need to have hearts that are tuned to Christ. We need to be sensitive to His call, recognizing that He is all knowing and we are not, therefore, we go where He leads and do what He says. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He leads us and commands us. As we are sensitive to the heart of Christ, we enjoy the wonderful experience of seeing and being a part of…

b. The preparation of a heart for Christ vv. 30-35

When you are preaching the gospel to someone, you don’t know where they are at! You don’t know what work the HS has already done in drawing them and preparing them to hear the gospel message. This is why we are simply to be faithful messengers. It is not up to us to determine who is and is not ready for the gospel.
What we are going to see here is not a cookie cutter template for how people get saved. This is simply the story of how an Ethiopian eunuch came to Christ! But from this story we see a general method of how God prepares, draws, and works in people’s lives to bring them to Himself. We first find the Ethiopian eunuch…

i. Prepared through seeking vv. 30-31

In v. 30, after having been told to join the chariot, Philip runs to obey. This is how we are to obey. We run to do what God has commanded! Philip doesn’t offer excuses about how hot and dry it is in the desert. He doesn’t complain that he has already been walking today. Philip hears what God has said, and he runs! There are three actions words present in v. 30. I mentioned them last week. Philip runs to obey God’s command. As he does so his ears are open and he hears the Ethiopian reading. Then Philip opens his mouth and said, “do you understand?”
As we go through life, God initiates something in our lives. He begins to draw us and we begin to seek. For those seeking, God provides. What we see in these verses is a divine set up. The Ethiopian is reading Isaiah, as Philip runs up to the chariot, he hears him reading from . This man is seeking. Seeking the Lord through His Word and seeking to understand. I love Philips question, “Do you understand?” Have you ever wondered what the Ethiopian thought of a random stranger running up to his chariot and asking if he understand the book he is reading? I sure have! All we are told is the Ethiopian’s reaction as he seeks guidance in v. 31. The reaction of the Ethiopian tells us how Philip approached him. Philip didn’t come up and make him feel stupid for not understanding! Philip speaks to him with love and care! He speaks in such a way that this man is open to direction! This is how I want to approach people with the gospel. In love, care, and concern.
Notice the humility of this man. How can I understand? I need guidance! We need to be this humble. When we don’t understand, ask. Seek guidance and direction. reveals why this guidance is necessary (S).
1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
This man cannot understand on his own. If you want a rationale for sharing the gospel, here it is.
This man cannot understand on his own. If you want a rationale for sharing the gospel, here it is. Unbelievers need someone to share the gospel with them in order to understand and be saved. reminds us that God has chosen to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message we preach (S).
Unbelievers need someone to share the gospel with them in order to understand and be saved.
reminds us that God has chosen to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message we preach (S).
1 Corinthians 1:21 NKJV
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
It is through the foolishness of preaching that people believe and are saved! And so we must share the gospel. What this man expresses to Philip? That is our role! We are the guides. We are ambassadors, representing Jesus Christ! We are to bring the Gospel to people, leading and guiding them to truth! Along with the expression of his need, the Ethiopian invites Philip into his chariot. God has awakened this man’s awareness of need, he has begun seeking the Lord. As he is seeking he reads the Word and so we have him…
It is through the foolishness of preaching that people believe and are saved! And so we must share the gospel. Along with the expression of his need, the Ethiopian invites Philip into his chariot. God has awakened this man’s awareness of need, he has begun seeking the Lord. As he is seeking he reads the Word and so we have him…

ii. Prepared through scripture vv. 32-33

The fact that the Ethiopian eunuch is reading is an incredible testimony to the sovereignty and omniscience of God! I mean really, what are the odds of Philip showing up right as the man is reading this part? What are the odds of the Ethiopian choosing this section to read as he is bumping down the road? This is no mere coincidence! This is a sovereign set up, orchestrated by an omniscient and omnipotent God who works all things according to the good pleasure of His will! Never doubt His activity in your life!
These verses are so clearly Messianic that Jewish synagogues and schools avoid reading them to this day! Here is a man seeking to understand who is being spoken of! God is preparing him through His word with the picture of the sinless lamb, slain for sins not His own. The gospels record that just as Isaiah said, Jesus was silent before His accusers. He went to the Cross in humility and meekness. He was stripped of His clothing and humiliated. His trial was a sham of foolish accusation and false witnesses. There was no justice. He gave His life that we might have life. Kent Hughes writes
Preaching the Word: Acts—The Church Afire In Touch with the Gospel (Vv. 30–38)

There is perhaps no better place in the Old Testament from which to preach Jesus.

This is what the Ethiopian is reading as Philip joins him.
As the seeker seeks they encounter God through His Word.
As says (S).
Romans 10:17 NKJV
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God! Here we have a man seeking the Lord through His Word and God directs Him to a passage that is explicitly about the Messiah! His heart is prepared through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, it is prepared through the Word. Finally, it is…
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God! Here we have a man seeking the Lord through His Word and God directs Him to a passage that is explicitly about the Messiah! His heart is prepared through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, it is prepared through the Word. Finally, it is…

iii. Prepared through speaking vv. 34-35

The Ethiopian eunuch asks Philip a question. The word “ask” here is the idea of begging for something necessary. This man is desperate to know! This question is a wide open door to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is one of those moments where what we have read and studied in the Bible comes into play. Philip is asked who Isaiah is writing about. He doesn’t say “talk to my pastor”. Would you and I know the answer to this question? Unless we are in the Word for ourselves, coming to church to sit under sound teaching, and being discipled by another believer, the chances are we will miss these kinds of opportunities! Please turn with me to .
Romans 10:8–17 NKJV
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that 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. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
What I love about this reference in Romans is the emphasis it places on the believer opening their mouths to share the gospel. A person must hear the gospel and believe it to be saved. They cannot hear if we never speak! Let me be very clear.
What I love about this reference in Romans is the emphasis it places on the believer opening their mouths to share the gospel. A person must hear the gospel and believe it to be saved. They cannot hear if we never speak! Let me be very clear. There comes a moment when we must open our mouths and proclaim Christ! This word “preach” is not talking about what I am doing right now. This word here in is the Greek word κηρύσσω (kēryssō) meaning to proclaim or herald. It is the responsibility of every believer to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Ethiopian doesn’t understand what Isaiah is talking about and so he speaks his confusion providing Philip the opportunity to speak of Christ!Here in v. 35 Philip opens his mouth! When he opens his mouth, he preaches Jesus. “Preached” is the Greek word εὐαγγελίζω (euangelizō) meaning proclaim good news. To convey the Gospel v. — to bring the good news concerning the now present reality of Jesus’ divine dominion and way of salvation by His death and resurrection. Finite verb, aorist, middle indicative, third person, singular.Preached – εὐαγγελίζω (euangelizō)This is where we get the word evangelize. Philip evangelizes this man. He proclaims Christ to him! Philip doesn’t get into the chariot and hope the Ethiopian notices his godly life and asks him about it! No! He gets in and he opens his mouth and he tells this lost man about the Savior! Warren Wiersbe writes
There comes a moment when we must open our mouths and proclaim Christ!
This word “preach” is not talking about what I am doing right now. This word here in is the Greek word κηρύσσω (kēryssō) meaning to proclaim or herald. It is the responsibility of every believer to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Ethiopian doesn’t understand what Isaiah is talking about and so he speaks his confusion providing Philip the opportunity to speak of Christ!
Here in v. 35 Philip opens his mouth! When he opens his mouth, he preaches Jesus. “Preached” is the Greek word εὐαγγελίζω (euangelizō) meaning proclaim good news. To convey the Gospel v. — to bring the good news concerning the now present reality of Jesus’ divine dominion and way of salvation by His death and resurrection.
Preached – εὐαγγελίζω (euangelizō)
This is where we get the word evangelize. Philip evangelizes this man. He proclaims Christ to him! Philip doesn’t get into the chariot and hope the Ethiopian notices his godly life and asks him about it! No! He gets in and he opens his mouth and he tells this lost man about the Savior! Warren Wiersbe writes
It is every Christian’s business to share the Gospel with others, and to do it without fear or apology.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: A Church on the Move (Acts 8)

It is every Christian’s business to share the Gospel with others, and to do it without fear or apology.

Beloved, hear me please. While Scripture teaches that living godly lives is an essential part of being a Christian, it also teaches that a godly lifestyle in no way replaces our verbal witness for Christ. If you and I do not open our mouths to speak of Jesus Christ, we are being disobedient. We are sinning. We need to repent of this sin and begin to proclaim Christ as we ought. When we meet people and have opportunity to share the gospel, we don’t know where they are in this process. We don’t know in what ways God has been at work in their hearts and lives. And we don’t need to know. All we do is preach Christ!
Beloved, hear me please. While Scripture teaches that living godly lives is an essential part of being a Christian, it also teaches that a godly lifestyle in no way replaces our verbal witness for Christ. If you and I do not open our mouths to speak of Jesus Christ, we are being disobedient. We are sinning. We need to repent of this sin and begin to proclaim Christ as we ought. When we meet people and have opportunity to share the gospel, we don’t know where they are in this process. We don’t know in what ways God has been at work in their hearts and lives. And we don’t need to know. All we do is preach Christ!
As we plant the seeds of the gospel, as those seeds are watered by ourselves and others, God will bring the increase. It is such an incredible blessing to be present when God causes those planted and watered seeds to sprout! If you have never experienced that joy, let me give you a comparison. We often use the expression “baby Christian” for someone who just comes to Christ, for those who have had children you know the incredible joy that their birth brings. Seeing someone saved is very similar. If you do not have children then maybe you have felt the sheer euphoric joy of teaching someone something and seeing them get it! If you have never felt any of these things, then it is my desire to pray you into an opportunity to lead someone to Christ.
Faith comes by hearing. No one will ever hear if we never speak.
When someone hears they have the opportunity to believe. Once that person believes we get to see the Holy Spirit work to bring about…

c. The dedication of a heart to Christ vv. 36-39

Before we begin a detailed examination of these verses I want to speak a little bit about the transmission and translation of the Bible. Why? Because it is very relevant in this text. If you are looking at an NIV or ESV bible you might notice that there is no v. 37. It will probably be in your margin. However, KJV, NKJV, NASB and others include the verse. So what’s going on here? We do not have any complete copies of the NT. What we have are manuscripts (S). We have bits and pieces of texts from a wide range of years and sources. At different points in history these manuscripts were used to create what is refereed to as a text base. Erasmus (S) was one of the first to create one of these and it became known as the textus receptus and is the basis of the KJV and NKJV. However, in the years since he put his text together there have been many manuscript discoveries that enhanced our understanding of the Biblical languages. And so other texts have been formed. Most modern translations are derived from either the Westcott and Hort text, the Unite Bible Society text or the Nestle and Alan text. One of the primary differences between Bible translations depends on what text they base the translation on. The differences in the texts boil down to how much weight is placed on either the majority of manuscripts, or a few older manuscripts. I am personally of the opinion that the majority is typically better. However, here we have a situation where v. 37 does not appear in the majority text, nor does it appear in the older manuscripts. It is in a few newer manuscripts as well as the Latin translation. For this reason many modern versions exclude it. I believe they do so in error. My primary reason for this is that removing v. 37 greatly disrupts the flow of the text. vv. 36 & 38 don’t make as much sense without v. 37. If you are interested in hearing more, come talk to me.
Before we begin a detailed examination of these verses I want to speak a little bit about the transmission and translation of the Bible. Why? Because it is very relevant in this text. If you are looking at an NIV or ESV bible you might notice that there is no v. 37. It will probably be in your margin. However, KJV, NKJV, NASB and others include the verse. So what’s going on here? We do not have any complete copies of the NT. What we have are manuscripts (S). We have bits and pieces of texts from a wide range of years and sources. At different points in history these manuscripts were used to create what is refereed to as a text base. Erasmus (S) was one of the first to create one of these and it became known as the textus receptus and is the basis of the KJV and NKJV. However, in the years since he put his text together there have been many manuscript discoveries that enhanced our understanding of the Biblical languages. And so other texts have been formed. Most modern translations are derived from either the Westcott and Hort text or the Unite Bible Society text or the Nestle and Alan text. One of the primary differences between Bible translations depends on what text they base the translation on. The differences in the texts boil down to how much weight is placed on either the majority of manuscripts, or a few older manuscripts. I am personally of the opinion that the majority is typically better. However, here we have a situation where v. 37 does not appear in the majority text, nor does it appear in the older manuscripts. It is in a few newer manuscripts as well as the Latin translation. For this reason many modern versions exclude it. I believe they do so in error. My primary reason for this is that removing v. 37 greatly disrupts the flow of the text. vv. 36 & 38 don’t make as much sense without v. 37. If you are interested in hearing more, come talk to me.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t really alter the story either way. Regardless of the presence of v. 37 we find the Ethiopian desiring to be baptized and then we have Philip baptizing him and the man rejoicing in it. All of this reflects the Ethiopian eunuch’s devotion to Christ. This devotion is first…

i. Displayed through desire v. 36

Baptism is not an exclusively Christian ideal. It was often used in ancient cultures to signify a change of identification. This man has trusted Christ and now desires to be identified with Him! Though the text does not tell us the entire substance of Philip’s message it must have included something about baptism. This man has the desire to follow Christ in baptism. He wants to be identified as a believer in and follower of Christ. That is what baptism is all about. Not salvation, but identification.
Here is a question. Do you think this man was alone? I don’t! You wouldn’t send a top ranking member of your staff out unprotected and without an escort. This is a public event that will probably lead to some explaining when he gets home. But that doesn’t stop him. He has trusted Christ and he wants to be identified with Him! John Calvin put it well when he writes

Christ was preached to him in such a way that he knew that baptism was a sign of his new life; he would not neglect it, because it was an inseparable addition to the Word. He did not think it sufficient to believe inwardly, before God, but had to testify publicly that he was a Christian.

We must be willing to make a public statement of faith while identifying ourselves with Jesus Christ!
That is what baptism is.
Focus with me for a moment on what is said. “Here is water”. Where are they? The desert! Consider the sovereignty of God in providing this water at the perfect time! This is not a coincidence! As you share the gospel, be aware of what is around you. There may be something that will aid in sharing the gospel. The question asked is “what hinders me?” “Hinders” is the Greek word κωλύω (kōlyō) meaning hinder; prevent; forbid. To stop (someone or something) from doing something or being in a certain state.
Sovereignty of God in providing this water at the perfect time!
Hinders – κωλύω (kōlyō)
This is a vital question because it sets up the next few verses. What would hinder Philip from baptizing this man? Unbelief. Unbelief is the only hindrance to baptism. We can work with anything else. The Ethiopian eunuch has been so convicted by the preaching of Philip that he has believed and He desires to be baptized. This desire displays the dedication of his heart. His dedication is further…

ii. Displayed through declaration v. 37

This is the contested verse. I believe it is evident that the Ethiopian’s question had to be answered before v. 38 takes place. He has asked what prevents him from being baptized. The only thing that could is unbelief. So Philip ensures that this man has become a believer. Thus making this verse essential. Philip makes a specific statement and the Ethiopian makes a strong declaration. First, Philip’s statement.
In response to the Ethiopian’s question about what hinders him from baptism, Philip says he must believe to be baptized. He uses the word “exestin” meaning be authorized or permitted. This is a direct response to what was said in v. 36. This is really important.
Baptism is for believers.
Baptism is not something we do to join a certain denomination or church. Baptism is for all believers. At the same time, baptism is only for believers. My understanding of this verse leaves the baptism of infants without any Biblical support. While it is not forbidden in Scripture, it is also never condoned and verses like this one seem to directly contradict it. Infant baptism arises out of a failure to distinguish between Israel and the church and a misunderstanding of the relationship between baptism and circumcision. Philip’s question clearly reveals that the only basis of baptism is belief and also that the only thing that would hinder baptism is unbelief. Now we consider the Ethiopian’s answer.
How does the Ethiopian’s statement answer Philip’s question. I believe in the importance of words. Every single word of Scripture is inspired by God and therefore every single word is important. The Ethiopian eunuch affirms the humanity of God the Son by calling Him Jesus. Through Philip’s preaching the Ethiopian has become convinced that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ! Remember, Christ is not Jesus’ last name, it is a title. Jesus is the Messiah! He is the Savior who died to pay the penalty for sin! However, that is not all the Ethiopian affirms. He says that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus is more than just a man! Jesus is God! We need to be reminded again that “son” is always a term of equality. Jesus is Jehovah God! He is Yaweh! He is co-equal, co-essential, and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit! The Ethiopian’s affirmation is a powerful testimony to the deity and humanity of Jesus as well as His role as Savior and Redeemer. This is salvation belief and it is salvation belief that is required for baptism. This declaration of the Ethiopian displays his dedication to Christ. His dedication is further…

iii. Displayed through decision v. 38

Having stated his desire and made his declaration the time has come for decision. Philip and the Eunuch leave the chariot and enter the water. There Philip baptizes him. Both this verse and v. 39 suggest that baptism involves immersion. That was the normal practice with both Jewish and Gentile baptism.
There really isn’t much to say about this verse. However, I do want to mention that this begins the evangelization of the Gentiles. What I love about this story though is how we go from meeting to baptism in such a short amount of time. This is what takes place when God prepares hearts! This man has been prepared for Philip to come without ever realizing it. Philip is a faithful messenger and so God brings them together and the man is saved, baptized and sent on his way! His decision to be baptized has been honored and now his dedication is…

iv. Displayed through delight v. 39

When they come out of the water, the Holy Spirit takes Philip away. We will talk about that a little more in a minute. What I want to focus on here is the eunuch’s reaction. Philip vanishes. The eunuch doesn’t see him anymore and his response is to rejoice! tells us that when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and we begin to live in submission to Him, He produces fruit. One fruit produced by the Holy Spirit is joy. Here we have evidence of the eunuch’s genuine conversion. There is joy! When we trust in Christ there is joy! When we obey Christ and follow Him in baptism, there is joy! One evidence of God the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is joy!
Do we have joy? Whenever I think of joy, what comes to my mind is the delight of a child. Our youngest child, Lizzy, loves to eat. Whenever it is mealtime and we tell her it’s time to eat she gets so excited! She laughs and claps her hands and bounces up and down. The joy that radiates from her is infectious! She is joyful because her need of food is going to be met. The Holy Spirit’s entrance in to our lives fills the deepest need that we have. The result should be an infectious joy!
Joy is most often stifled by disobedience.
Think about it. The joy of the Lord is our strength. No strength? No joy. No joy? Then the Holy Spirit is being quenched and grieved! The natural state of the believer ought to be joy! This displays our dedication to Christ! The Ethiopian has come to Christ and there is joy. Meanwhile Philip has been caught away. In the final verse of this chapter we find him…

3. Preaching Christ In Azotus v. 40

One of the things I believe it is important to state at this point is that it is not normative for the HS to teleport you somewhere. Philip is instantaneously moved from one location to another. Luke says he was “caught away” in v. 39. This is the Greek word ἁρπάζω (harpazō) meaning take away; seize; snatch away. To grasp hastily or eagerly; often in order to take away.
Caught – ἁρπάζω (harpazō)
One moment Philip is with the Ethiopian, the next he is in Azotus. Philip’s arrival there is…
V. 40 – Preached where he was.

a. The work of the Spirit v. 40a

Philip had no control over where he was taken. The wording here is interesting. “Found” is the Greek word εὑρίσκω (heuriskō) meaning find. To be discovered (found). To be or become encountered in a specific state or condition (as if being discovering as such).
Found – εὑρίσκω (heuriskō)
The idea is that Philip discovers himself to be in Azotus (S). His work with the eunuch is finished, so the Holy Spirit has moved him to another place. Why? For the same reason he was taken from Samaria to the Gaza road! There are people who have been prepared to hear the gospel!
Here’s the point. God the Holy Spirit knows where you need to be and when you need to be there for the gospel to go forth. For us to be His instruments used to proclaim Christ, we must be yielded to Him! We must be sensitive to Him as we go where He leads and preach to whom He directs. God is at work in the lives of people and He will use us to reach them!
The Spirit works to prepare people and put us in contact with them.
When He does, we must be ready to speak of Christ. Philip was. After the Spirit has done His work, we find…

b. The work of Philip v. 40b

I love the attitude of Philip. He preached wherever he was. Seriously put yourself in his position. You have just led a man to Christ and baptized him. You come out of the water and suddenly you are in a totally different place! I don’t know about you, but I might be a little freaked out! I might have about 10,000 questions! Philip is like, “Cool! A new place to preach Christ!” So he does! Not only that, he travels and preaches all the way to Caesarea (S)! Apparently, this is where he stayed because we will meet him again in 21:8 about 20yrs later.
What I love about this verse is that we see so clearly the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of Philip. The Holy Spirit orchestrates the people and place, that is not Philip’s concern. All Philip needs to do is be ready to preach Christ when the opportunity arises! Can you guess why this man is called Philip the evangelist? It’s like John the baptist. Why was he called that? Because he baptized people! Why is Philip called the evangelist? Because that is what He did! Everywhere he went, He preached Christ. A city full of people that hate him? That’s okay, preach Christ! Meet a man going down the road in a chariot? Preach Christ! Teleported to a strange city? Preach Christ! In every situation, in every circumstance, Philip preached Christ!

Conclusion

records our commission. Would you turn there please as we close?
2 Corinthians 5:18–21 NKJV
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Preach Christ everywhere, at every opportunity. Approach people with love and tenderness. We have been commissioned by God to preach the Word of reconciliation! We are His ambassadors! He is pleading through us for sinners to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ! Christ became sin for us!
Right now the Holy Spirit is at work in the hearts, minds, and lives, of people preparing them for the gospel! As He draws them, they are seeking Him. He is using His Word in their lives to plant and water the seeds of the gospel. When the time comes, you and I must open our mouths and proclaim Jesus Christ!
Be sensitive to the Spirit.
Be obedient to the Spirit.
Speak when the Spirit leads.
Christ became sin for us! We have something that everyone needs and it is free. Let’s tell the world.
We have something that everyone needs and it is free!
Let’s tell the world.
Let’s tell the world.
“Here Am I Lord”
Acts 8:30–40 NKJV
So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
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