THE CONVERSION OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH
1. There are nine conversions mentioned in the Book of Acts.
A. The case of the Ethiopian Eunuch is an outstanding example of coversion.
2. These examples of conversion are given for our learning and following.
3. We would do well to note the humbleness and submission to the instructions given.
4. We will study the conversion of the eunuch from an expository angle.
5. This will allow us to take things as they come in the passage and thoroughly deal with them.
I. WE NOW LOOK TO THE SUBJECT VERSE BY VERSE.
A. Vs. 26. The angel appeared, not to the man to be converted, but, to Philip the preacher.
1. Philip at this time was in Samaria where he was having a successful gospel meeting. This is borne out in vss. 4-8,12,13.
2. Samaria was northwest of Jerusalem. Gaza was southwest of Jerusalem.
a. This would make the course of Philip's journey due south. A trip of some 60 miles.
3. The desert place was a deserted place, not a place without water. This can be borne out by reading Mk. 6:35,39. "And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, The place is desert, and the day is now far spent; ... And he commanded them that all should sit down by companies upon the GREEN grass." Green grass doesn't grow where there is no water.
B. Vs. 27. Philip did not delay to do what the angel said. An important time element was involved.
1. Ethiopia was in the south of Egypt. Possibly 1000 miles from Jerusalem.
2. Candace, was a title of the queens like Caesar or Pharaoh.
3. The eunuch's position was very important to the queen and her country.
4. The eunuch, as a eunuch, would not be allowed the full privileges of mingling to the fullest extent with the Jews in the congregation. Deut. 23:1; Isa. 56:1-8.
5. He had been to Jerusalem to worship as was required of all male Jews, three times a year. Exo. 34:23.
C. Vs. 28. He was riding in a chariot, reading from the prophet Isaiah. Can't you just picture our politicians today as they go from place to place in their air-conditioned limosines reading their Bibles along the way.
1. The word for reading indicates that he was reading aloud. Vs. 30 says that Philip heard him reading.
2. The place of reading was: Isa. 53:7,8, a place that would automatically fit the occasion for preaching Jesus.
D. Vs. 29. The angel only told Philip to go south toward Gaza,now the Spirit tells him further.
1. Note that the Spirit also appeared to the preacher rather than to the man to be converted.
2. The working of the angel and the Spirit was for the purpose of bringing the preacher and the hearer together.
E. Vs. 30. Philip hastened to obey instructions.
1. Philip, as of yet, did not know about this man.
2. But the question that Philip asked would determine whether he was a believer or an unbeliever.
3. The eunuch had an open book, the right book, opened at the right place.
4. He also had an open mind and was receptive to instruction.
F. Vs. 31. Through the eyes of Jews, he was not accepting Jesus as being the Christ and that the kingdom would be heavenly.
1. But he was willing to learn.
G. Vs. 32. Christ's crucifixion is referred to as a lamb led to the slaughter without opening his mouth in defense.
H. Vs. 33. He had no fair trial. His case was continued by the apostles.
I. Vs.34. The eunuch wanted to know about this prophecy.
J. Vs. 35. Here we have the open mouth of the preacher.
1. The scripture in question made a perfect basis for preaching Jesus.
2. To preach Jesus would include preaching His life, death, resurrection, ascension and commands as well as His promises.
3. Philip could have been very confusing and preached dry bones in the valley, or the eagle stirs her nest or something else.
4. But his open mouth was opened for the right purpose.
K. Vs. 36. The preaching took place as they were riding along and the came to a certain water in due process of time.
1. This water reminded the eunuch of what he had been taught by Philip concerning being baptized for the remission of sins.
2. He desired to know if there was anything that would hinder him from obeying the command to be baptized.
a. Philip, if he had been like some preachers today, would want to bring the eunuch before the church or some council to be voted upon before allowing baptism.
3. Some people could think of a thousand excuses as how to hedge around and get out of this being baptized.
a. Such as: I don't have any dry clothes to put on. What will Mama say? What will my friends think? , etc.
4. But this eunuch was more interested in his soul salvation than he was in his own personal, fleshly desires and what people might think of him.
5. He only heard one sermon and obeyed immediately.
a. This eliminates the idea of waiting months or years, hearing the gospel preached every week.
L. Vs. 37. (KJV) All Philip wanted to know was whether the eunuch believed that Christ was God's Son or not.
1. The eunuch was not afraid to state with his mouth, what he believed in his heart.
2. He said: "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
3.That confession must be made today, if we are to be saved. Matt. 10:32,33 Rom. 10:9,10.
M. Vs. 38. There possibly might have been a chariot driver, a man of the eunuch's prominence would no doubt have had one.
1. The going down into the water and a coming up out of the water is against every ordinary thing that sprinklers or pourers would do today.
2. Yes, the eunuch had an open mouth in confessing Jesus as the Christ. So, an open body of water was next in line.
3. The conceit of some in trying to defend sprinkling for baptism, causes them to say that the eunuch learned about baptism and it was sprinkling from: Isa. 52:15, "So shall he sprinkle many nations..."
4. The word in the Septuagint, from which the eunuch was reading, is "astonish", "startle" instead of sprinkle.
5. What people won't do to get out of doing the Lord's will.
N. Vs. 39. After they came up out of the water, the Spirit had other plans for Philip and he left the eunuch.
1. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing after he had obeyed the Lord.
2. The parting of the ways by Philip and the eunuch, after such short instruction period, might not have been the best for anyone else, but he Lord knew this man, the eunuch.
3. It was God's knowledge of him that caused the Lord to take such steps in his conversion.
4. The eunuch was capable to carry the teaching to the people in his own country.
5. What do you think the eunuch would have or did relate to anyone that he met after his conversion, concerning the things that had happened?
O. Vs. 40. Azotus was almost due west of the meeting place of the eunuch and Philip. It was on the coast and was earlier known as Ashdod.
1. Caesarea, the later home of Philip, was farther north on the same coast of the Mediterranian Sea. About 50 miles north of Azotus.
II. WHAT A WONDERFUL ACCOUNT OF A MAN'S CONVERSION. BUT IT IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THE WAY OPEN TO ALL.
A. Grace of God, open to all. Titus 2:11,12.
B. The Bible, must be opened by all. 2 Tim. 2:15.
C. The mind of each and everyone must be open to the word. Isa. 1:18.
D. We must open our mouth to confess Christ before men..Rom. 10:10.
E. We must enter into the open water and be baptized. Acts 2:38.
F. Our mouths must be open in the proclamation of the word. Matt. 28:19,20.
1. What hinders you from being baptized?
by Jim Sasser
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