ACTS 8 - PHILIP THE EVANGELIST

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


Stephen has just been martyred and the church is entering into a time of persecution.

The Persecution of the Church

A. The introduction of Saul - Acts 8:1 and Acts 7:58

And Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. (Acts 8:1)

And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. (Acts 7:58)

B. The departure of Stephen - Acts 8:2

And some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. (Acts 8:2)

C. The scattering of the church - Acts 8:3-4 and Acts 26:9-11

But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. (Acts 8:3-4)

"So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. "And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. "And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities. (Acts 26:9-11)

The Propagation of the Church

A. The revival in Samaria

1. the revival message - Acts 8:5

And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. (Acts 8:5)

2. the evangelist - Philip one of the seven deacons - Acts 21:8-9

And on the next day we departed and came to Caesarea; and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. (Acts 21:8-9)

3. the miracles - Acts 8:6-7

And the multitudes with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. (Acts 8:6-7)

4. the result - Acts 8:8

And there was much rejoicing in that city. (Acts 8:8)

B. The confusion of a sorcerer

1. deception by sorcery - Acts 8:9-11

Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, "This man is what is called the Great Power of God." And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. (Acts 8:9-11)

2. Salvation through the Word - Acts 8:12-13

But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. (Acts 8:12-13)

3. deception by desire - Acts 8:14-24

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity." But Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me." (Acts 8:14-24)

The Presentation of the Word

A. God's direction - Acts 8:25-26

And so, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans. But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, "Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a desert road.) (Acts 8:25-26)

B. God's opportunity - Acts 8:27

And he arose and went; and behold, there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship. (Acts 8:27)

1. a single individual rather than a multitude

2. a man of another race

3. a Gentile proselyte to the Jewish faith

4. a man deprived of his sex (a eunuch) - perhaps a captured slave.

5. a man in a high position

C. God’s message - Acts 8:32-35

Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: "HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH. "IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO SHALL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH." And the eunuch answered Philip and said, "Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself, or of someone else?" And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:32-35)

D. God’s results - Acts 8:36-40

And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said^, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And 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." And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus; and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:36-40)

1. he was baptized (other references to baptism can be found in Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12-13, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:47-48, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:5, and Acts 22:16)

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)

But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. (Acts 8:12-13)

And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized; (Acts 9:18)

"Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. (Acts 10:47-48)

And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us. (Acts 16:15)

And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. (Acts 16:33)

And Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized. (Acts 18:8)

And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:5)

'And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' (Acts 22:16)

2. he rejoiced

3. Philip went into retirement at Caesarea - Acts 21:8-9

And on the next day we departed and came to Caesarea; and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. (Acts 21:8-9)

Study Questions

1. What did the Christians do when they were persecuted? - Acts 8:4

Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. (Acts 8:4)

2. What kind of a message did Philip preach in the city of Samaria? - Acts 8:5

And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. (Acts 8:5)

3. Was sorcery and witchcraft common in those days? - Acts 8:9

Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; (Acts 8:9)

4. What was wrong with Simon the sorcerer? - Acts 8:18-24

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity." But Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me." (Acts 8:18-24)

5. What is a "eunuch?" - Acts 8:27

And he arose and went; and behold, there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship. (Acts 8:27)

6. What Scripture was the Eunuch reading? - Acts 8:32-33

Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: "HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH. "IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO SHALL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH." (Acts 8:32-33)

7. What message did Philip have for this men? - Acts 8:35

And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35)

8. What were the conditions for baptism? - Acts 8:37 and Romans 10:9-10

And 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." (Acts 8:37)

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

9. How was the eunuch baptized? - Acts 8:38-39

And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:38-39)

10. What lessons are there in personal witnessing in this chapter that can help us today in testifying of Christ?


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