The First Principle, Obedience.
Acts 8:1,4-5 “…And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.”
Jesus had told them to be witnesses to Him in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Until the persecution, they had concentrated their activities in Jerusalem.
But now they were forced to flee; and so began the spread of the gospel throughout the world.
Philip was one of the deacons appointed to see to the daily needs of the Church. (Acts 6:3-6)
But now he goes down to Samaria, to preach of Christ.
Acts 8:6-8 “And the people with one accord gave heed unto the things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
For unclean spirits crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city. ”
Here was a real Awakening. There was great joy in that city. Surely there would be, since Jesus Christ has come into the hearts and lives of the citizens.
Acts 8:12 “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women.”
Soon after this, Peter and John came from Jerusalem, to help Philip, after they heard that Samaria received the word of God.
In the midst of this Awakening, Philip is told to leave there and go down to Gaza, which is desert.
Acts 8:26 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip saying, Arise, and go toward the south, unto the way which goeth down to Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.”
And what was his reaction to this? Did he argue and say,……”Lord, I am in a great revival here. I can’t leave now.”
Acts 8:27-29 “And he arose and went: (That is Obedience)
And behold a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had a charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,
was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet.
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.”
The Holy Spirit tells Philip, Go near, and speak to this man.
And Philip runs!
And is given the opportunity to speak of Jesus Christ.
Acts 8:30-34 “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he should come up and sit with him.
The place of the Scripture which he read was this,
He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
and like a lamb dumb before his Shearer, so opened not his mouth:
In his humiliation his judgement was taken away:
and who shall declare His generation?
For his life is taken from the earth.
And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man?”
This eunuch had been to Jerusalem, to worship. Even though he had been there at the time of Pentecost;……he was untouched by all that was going on there.
(Remember, Pentecost was when the Holy Spirit was given: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,…
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together….
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:1-2,4,6,38)
And now, this eunuch was returning home, not knowing of the invitation Peter gave to all who gathered around them. He was looking to the Scriptures, but without understanding.
He felt that this particular scripture he was reading was important…..but how it was…..he was not sure.
And Philip, using that very Scripture, spoke to him, of Jesus: Who He was, and what He had done, for the saving of the soul.
Acts 8:35 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”
Obedience is the first principle of all of God’s Principles.
It Honors God, because it is for the Lord.
His Presence is with the one doing it, in a real way.
He honors the one doing it.
He blesses the obedience, whether it is seen at the time or not.
(Obedience in the Greek means “willingly doing what you are told”.
You can do, because you have to, or to gain something.
But Obedience is the willing heart doing, to please our Lord Jesus Christ.)
Acts 8:36-38 “As they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized?
And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.”
Philip was obedient, and the eunuch was obedient, and the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 8:39 “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
(Some people say that this is how the Christian Church in Ethiopia was started.)
To know about Jesus, is good.
But to truly know Him, is joy.
There was joy in Samaria,……and with the eunuch, because of Philip’s obedience.
The first principle is Obedience.
For Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15)