The First Principle we Learn, Obedience.
John 14:15 “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”
As babes in Christ, we are given great joy in knowing our sins are forgiven, and we are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6-7).
Then we are told to grow in grace, and the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord.(2 Peter 3:18)
We are to grow up into Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15), and that is by Obedience.
Acts 8:1, 4 “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.”
Persecution for the believers, results in sending the gospel far and wide! (The Lord can always change what bad people determine to do…..into good.)
Acts 8:5-6, 8 “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
And the people with one accord gave heed unto the things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
And there was great joy in that city.”
Wow! The Lord has blessed His Word, and many believed, and were baptized in the name of Christ Jesus, in obedience.
This obedience to the word preached, continued;…..and word got back to the apostles at Jerusalem.
Acts 8:14, 25 “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.”
This word preached by Peter and John, (as they were witnesses of Jesus’ earthly ministry…..His words and actions, crucifixion, and resurrection)…..would have been to establish these beginning believers in Christ Jesus.
For this is what is next after being born again….growing in the grace and knowledge of God.
But in the middle of this revival, Philip is called of the Lord to go somewhere else!
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 from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.”
Philip could have said: To the desert? Really, Lord? I’m have a revival here; shouldn’t I stay here?
But if you love the Lord, you obey Him.
Acts 8:27-28 “And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet.”
And Philip arose and went.
God had sent him to Samaria; and God was sending him away from it, to a desert place.
When he got there, he saw a man in a chariot (we know who he was now, but Philip didn’t, then).
Acts 8:29-30 “Then said the Spirit unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest what thou readest?”
Again, the Lord gives him direction as what to do in this situation.
The Lord always honors those who obey Him, with more: more of His Presence, more of His guidance, and certainly, more of His peace and protection.
Philip does not know who this man is, but the Lord does. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, so he believed in God.
But with all the things going on there (there had been multitudes saved, and still being saved, even under persecution), yet he had been untouched by any of them.
This man was reading Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter,
and like a lamb before his shearer, so he 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” (Acts 8:32-33)
God knows his heart, and sees his hunger for knowledge of the truth, and fills it.
Philip runs! How wonderful when the joy of the Spirit fills us.
And asks, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The answer is, “No, how can I? I need help.”
So Philip asked if he could come up and sit with him.
Acts 8:34-35 “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man?
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”
Philip began with Isaiah, and showed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ who was prophesied to come as the Lamb of God, and take away the sins of His people.
Acts 8:36, 38-39. “And 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 he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
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.”
Baptism is to show that you believe that Jesus Christ went down into the grave in death for us, and was raised the third day; and you are identifying yourself with Jesus, as belonging to Him.
This eunuch was empty at Jerusalem, going home empty. But Christ Jesus knew his need, and would not let that happen.
Philip’s obedience was the way this man was saved. And he went on his way rejoicing!
And what of Philip? He went on to the next calling: preaching Christ.
Acts 8:40 “But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, til he came to Caesarea.”
Obedience is the way to show Jesus Christ that we believe and trust Him.
Obedience is the way to show Jesus Christ that we love Him.