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Following in the footprints of Jesus

The Example of Philip the Evangelist

This morning's lesson looked at Acts 8:26-40 and the example of the evangelist Philip, called by the Holy Spirit to minister to a nobleman travelling along the desert road which lead from Jerusalem down to the Philistine city of Gaza.  The eunuch held the distinguished position of Treasurer in the government of Queen Candace of Ethiopia and was apparently a proselyte to the Jewish faith for verse 26 tells us that he "had come up to Jerusalem to worship" (International Standard Version).

Hearing him reading from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, Philip asked if he understood what he was reading, and was invited to join the eunuch in his chariot.  Luke tells us that Philip "began at the same Scripture and preached unto him Jesus."   

Their brief encounter is just one of many conversions presented in the book of Acts which demonstrate the nature of Biblical baptism.  Firstly, baptism is a full immersion in water (verses 36-39), not a sprinkling or pouring as some falsely believe.  Secondly, baptism always follows quickly upon a believer understanding and professing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (verse37).  There is no waiting or delay.

Philip's message was simply the gospel of Jesus, nothing more, nothing less.  As a result of his obedience to Philip's teaching, the eunuch went on his way rejoicing, and Philip was "caught up" by the Lord to continue preaching to the villages along the Mediterranean coast.

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