Philip the Evangelist

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1 Philip the Evangelist I. Introduction. A. Series from the book of Acts. 1. Recipe for a Successful Congregation. - Acts The Second Gospel Sermon. - Acts preaching of Peter and John after the healing of the lame man. 3. A Man Full of Faith and the Holy Spirit. - Acts Stephen s arrest, sermon, and death. B. Lessons about the Basics of Christianity. 1. How do we become a Christian? 2. What does it mean to be converted? 3. How should a Christian act? 4. How should the church operate? C. This morning s lesson. 1. Acts Centered around a man named Philip. 3. Two major events. - His preaching in Samaria and the conversion of Simon the sorcerer. - The conversion of Ethiopian Eunuch. D. Both are fairly familiar stories to us. 1. If you will remember, we studied both of them during our 2004 Vacation Bible School (about a year and a half ago). 2. We re not going to read the entire chapter right now. 3. But I do want to remind you of the chapter by pointing out the high points. 4. We ll start with the story about the Samaritans and Simon the sorcerer. - then we ll consider some lessons. 5. Then we will look at the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch. II. Philip, the Samaritans, and Simon the sorcerer. A. Philip preaches in Samaria. 1. The chapter begins by a description of great persecution of the church. 2. Vs. 4, they were scattered and went everywhere preaching.

2 3. Philip was one of these who was scattered, and he went to preach in Samaria. 4. Vs. 6, And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 5. One of those who became Christians was Simon the sorcerer. 6. Simon was amazed at these true miracles which Philip had done. 7. Peter and John came to Samaria and laid hands on these new Christians, giving them the Holy Spirit. 8. Simon witnesses this and wants to buy this ability to impart the Holy Spirit. 9. Peter chastens him and tells him that he needs to repent. B. The Gospel is for all. 1. This lesson comes from the Jews perception of the Samaritans. 2. The Samaritans were half-jews. 3. And the Jews despised the Samaritans because of this. 4. Yet Philip decided to go and preach to the Samaritans. - you see, Philip understood that the gospel was not just for the Jews. - it was also for the Samaritans. 5. In Acts 1:8, before He ascended into heaven, Jesus had told the apostles. - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. 6. Our command is the same: to sow the seed to anyone and everyone. - not just to people who are like us. 7. We might be willing to teach the people who are similar to us. - same color, same class. 8. Are we willing to preach the gospel to all? C. Christians should work to be free of prejudice. 1. This point is related to the last one. 2. Prejudice should not be part of the life of a Christian. 3. It is not an attribute of God, and it should not be an attribute of His people. - Acts 10:34, In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. - 1 Peter 1:18, without partiality judges according to each one s work. 4. We need to understand that all men are created equal. - according to the wisdom of God. - Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 5. We are instructed to remove the biases that our society often has.

3 - James 2:1, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 6. I believe we sometimes getting caught up in looking down at some people. - perhaps because of their color. - perhaps because of how much money they have. - or maybe because of some sin they might have committed. 7. We need to learn to avoid these prejudices. - we need to see all people as lost souls. 8. That s what Philip did, and that s what the apostles did when they heard about the Samaritans. - Vs. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. D. The Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of the hands of the apostles. 1. This is a factual lesson, but it is a lesson that is needed today. 2. Because there is a misunderstanding about the Holy Spirit in the world today. - many believe that this power to perform miracles still exists today. 3. There is no record of the ability to perform miracles being given in any other way than the laying on of the hands of the apostles. 4. Philip obviously did not have the power to give others the ability to perform miracles. - otherwise, Peter and John would not have had to come. 5. Verse 15 tells us that this is precisely the reason they came. - who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 6. Vs. 17, then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 7. This is how the Bible describes how the power to perform miracles was given. - Acts 19:6 is another passage you could look at. 8. Can Christians perform miracles today? - can be answered by this question: Do we have apostles today? E. Our heart must be right in the sight of God. 1. In vs , Peter chastens Simon for thinking that the gift of God could be purchased with money. - you have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 2. It seems to me when Simon saw Peter and John giving this power to these new Christians, that dollar signs went off in his head. - he could make a lot of money with that kind of power. 3. It should be easy to understand that his heart was wrong.

4 - he shouldn t have thought like he did. - he had sinned. - his focus was on physical things, and not on spiritual things. 4. We must learn that God demands that our heart be right. 5. Christianity is more about the heart than the outward actions. - yes, our outward actions must be correct. - but God wants more than that. - He wants our hearts. F. Even after you obey the gospel, you can fall from grace. 1. To me, this is the greatest lesson from Simon the sorcerer. 2. Look at verse Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 3. Now consider what the Bible says that Simon did. - The Bible says that He believed. - not that he pretended to believe, or that he partially believed. - The Bible says that He was baptized. - The Bible says that he continued with Philip. - indicates a continuation of doing what was right. - his conversion was not just a spur of the moment thing. 4. Now, look at verses You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 5. Consider what Peter says. - Simon s heart was not right in the sight of God. - Simon was guilty of wickedness. - Simon needed forgiveness. 6. Now, if Simon died in that state, would he be saved or lost? - lost, obviously. 7. Was Simon saved in verse 13? - yes, the Bible says so. 8. Was Simon lost in verse 20-21? - yes, according to Peter. 9. The only conclusion then is that you can be lost after you have been saved. III. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. A. Philip teaches the Ethiopian Eunuch (vs ).

5 1. An angel of the Lord tells Philip to go to the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. 2. The Ethiopian eunuch was riding in his chariot after having gone to Jerusalem to worship. 3. He was reading from the prophet Isaiah. - specifically Isaiah 53 about the Messiah. 4. From this passage, Philip preached Jesus to him. 5. As they drove, they passed some water, and the Ethiopian Eunuch said: - See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized? 6. They went down into the water, and he was baptized. B. If God says go, we need to go. 1. In verse 26, an angel of the Lord speaks to Philip and essentially tells him to go out into the desert. 2. His reaction is simply recorded in verse So he arose and went. 3. No questions asked, no complaints. - just obedience. 4. What is God calling you to do? - I don t mean by an angel of the Lord or in a dream or even in some mystical way. - I mean through His word. 5. When you read the parable of the talents, and you see what talents you have. - What is God calling you to do? 6. We need to be ready to do whatever it is that God wants us to do. - even if it means going out into the desert. 7. We need to have the attitude of Isaiah. - Isaiah 6:8, Here am I, send me! C. We need to be diligent in reading the word of God, and sometimes we might need help to understand it. 1. One thing can be said about the eunuch. - He knew the importance of reading the Scriptures. 2. He is taking advantage of an opportunity to read God s Holy Word. - while he is traveling back to Ethiopia. - he could have been sleeping or doing other work, but he chose to read. 3. There are two lessons I want us to consider here. - the first one is the need for studying God s word. - daily Bible study. 4. But the second is also seen in the Ethiopian Eunuch. - he was reading the Scriptures, but he didn t understand it. - he needed someone to help him. 5. In verse 30, Philip asks him.

6 - Do you understand what you are reading? And he said, How can I, unless someone guides me? 6. There is no shame in needing help to understand God s word. - we all need help. - I may help you understand a certain passage, but you may help me understand a different passage. 7. Sometimes we might not want to ask for help. - people might not think we re smart. 8. The Ethiopian Eunuch was probably a very educated man, because of his position. - yet he recognized that he needed help to understand. D. When we teach, we need to start wherever the student is. 1. When Philip saw that the eunuch was reading in Isaiah, he started right where he was. - he didn t start with the book of Genesis. - he didn t start with John the Baptist. 2. When we try to teach people, we need to start where they are. 3. This will require some work. - because everybody is different. 4. But it will help us be more effective teachers. E. Jesus is not just a New Testament character. 1. In conjunction with our last point, look at verse Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 2. If we asked our children if Jesus was in the Old Testament or New Testament. - they would tell us He is in the New Testament. 3. But actually the answer is both. 4. Jesus is all throughout the Old Testament. 5. The prophets talk a lot about Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. 6. Even the book of Genesis refers to Jesus quite often. 7. David tells us a lot about Him in the Psalms. 8. We can learn much about Jesus by studying the Old Testament. F. True baptism is immersion. 1. Another factual lesson that is needed today in the religious world. 2. What is baptism? 3. The very meaning of the word indicates immersion, but I want us to look at what the Bible states about baptism in these verses. 4. Vs. 38, So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 5. They would not have needed to go down into the water if baptism was anything but immersion.

7 6. This is the Bible pattern; there is no other type of water baptism seen in the New Testament. G. Salvation is an urgent matter. 1. After hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Ethiopian eunuch realized the urgency of the matter. 2. He was convicted of his sins, and he knew that he must be forgiven. 3. He also knew that he could only be forgiven through baptism. 4. He did not want to wait to be baptized. 5. He wanted to be baptized right then, when he understood what he needed to do. 6. Doing what it takes to be saved is an urgent matter. 7. Because if you die without having done those things, then you will be lost for eternity. H. What is hindering you from being baptized? 1. This is the question that the Ethiopian Eunuch asked Philip in verse What hinders me from being baptized? 3. My question to you this evening is: What is hindering you from being baptized? 4. Or: What is stopping you from becoming a Christian? 5. Be like the Ethiopian Eunuch. - don t let anything stop you. - be baptized today.

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