The Ethiopian’s Conversion
Text: Acts 8:26-40
I. An angel appears to Philip in Samaria.
A. He is instructed to travel south on the road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza
B. The road goes through uninhabited areas. Not a place one would usually think to go and preach the gospel.
C. On this very road, an Ethiopian eunuch was returning to his home from Jerusalem.
1. He was the treasure for the Queen of Ethiopia as well as being a convert to Judaism.
2. While traveling in his carriage, he was reading the book of Isaiah out loud.
D. The Spirit tells Philip to approach the chariot.
II. Philip begins to preach
A. He asks the man if he understood what he was reading.
B. The man admitted that he could not unless someone explained it to him.
C. He invited Philip to join him in the carriage and showed him the passage he was reading.
1. It was from Isaiah 53, a beautiful prophecy about the Messiah and his rejection.
2. The Ethiopian could not figure out if the prophecy was about Isaiah or someone else.
D. Starting with this opening, Philip began to explain Jesus to the eunuch.
1. Salvation cannot come without preaching - Romans 10:14-17
E. Somewhere along in this explanation, the subject of baptism must have come up because the eunuch saw some water and wondered what would prevent him from being baptized.
1. Philip said that he could be baptized if he believed with all his heart
2. A direct example of Paul’s statement of the necessity of confession - Romans 10:8-13
III. The carriage was ordered to stop
A. Both Philip and the Eunuch entered the water.
1. I always find it amusing the pictures of Philip and the eunuch standing chest deep in water while Philip pours a handful of water over his head.
2. For such little water, it would not require entering the water.
3. In fact, for such little water, a body of water would not be needed. I’m sure the eunuch had water in his provisions.
B. The entering of the water was obviously needed so the eunuch could be immersed, which is what the word “baptized” means.
IV. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit whisked Philip away
A. The eunuch continued his travel, rejoicing in his salvation.
B. Philip appeared in Azotus (city’s name in the Old Testament was Ashdod), about 30 miles north of Gaza
C. There Philip continued to preach, working his way up the coast until he came to Caesarea. There he settled down and lived for over 20 years (Acts 21:8)