Acts 8, From Verse 5

Verses 5 through 8 describe for us the results of Philips preaching in the city of Samaria.

The people were moved as he preached Christ unto them.

Large numbers believed with one accord as Philip preached Christ unto them—their faith in Christ was reinforced as they saw the miracles he performed.

In the power of the Spirit—and in the power of the name of Jesus Christ—and in the power of the blood of Christ, Philip was able to command evil spirits to come out of possessed persons.

Paralyzed persons were healed. Luke 15 Joy in heaven over sinners repenting.

Lame persons were made to walk. Acts 15 Conversion of Gentiles brought joy to the brethren.

The result of all this was that, “there was great joy in the city.” Ezra 3 Altar—foundation land—great joy.

At this point we are introduced to Simon the sorcerer.

Verses 9 thru 25 describes the profession and the unmasking of Simon.

This incident is the third of a sinister trilogy which raised its ugly head in the early church.

1. The first sin was hypocrisy.

2. The second sin was murmuring.

3. The third sin was profession.

These sins are still with us today. Simon is an example of “profession.”

Note Simon’s character Verses 9-11.

He was a sorcerer—He bewitched people.

He had a high opinion of himself—he thought himself to be some great one.

The multitude said that he was the great power of God.

Verse 12 This verse describes the effect of Philip’s preaching on the people.

First, they heard the Word.

Secondly, they believed and received Christ as Savior.

Thirdly, they were baptized—both men and women.

This is the Scriptural sequence and there is no other way.

Note the sequence in Ephesians 1:13. In whom ye also trusted—after ye “heard” the Word of truth—in whom after ye “believed,” ye were “sealed with the Holy Spirit”—then baptism.

Verse 13 In this verse we are told that Simon believed also, and was baptized.

Subsequent events show that Simon’s belief was not sincere.

Instead of believing the Gospel about Jesus Christ the Savior, he was more interested in “the miracles and signs that were done.”

Simon’s insincerity was manifested in his conduct.

This brings up an important point—a person’s life is indicative as to whether he is really saved or not. James 3:12 No fountain can yield both salt and fresh water. A fig tree cannot bear olives. An apple tree cannot bear oranges.

Simon’s downfall came when Peter and John arrived from Jerusalem.

Especially, when he saw that by the laying on of their hands, the new converts received the Holy Spirit.

There is no record that Simon ever received the Holy Spirit.

Simon coveted the power—it would serve him well in his evil profession—so he offered to buy it.

Peter urged him to repent of his sin—instead he asked Peter to be his mediator.

Many are following his example today.

Some of the reasons why we believe Simon was never saved.

1. Peter said, “Your money perish with you.” No believer will ever perish.

2. “You have no lot or part in this matter.” He was not in fellowship.

3. “Your heart is not right with God.” This is a description of an unsaved person.

4. “You are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” These words could not be said of a regenerate person.

Wondrous Cross—Precious blood—Blessed Jesus—Enough for God—Enough for justice—Enough for you.

Matthew 7 “Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Thy name?”

“In Thy name we have cast out demons.”

“In Thy name done many wonderful works.”

“I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity.”

Matthew 22 The man without the wedding garment.

“Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Philip And The Ethiopian Eunuch
Acts 8:26-40

Verse 26 Philip is called away from a very happy field of service. He is asked to leave by the angel of the Lord in the middle of a great revival.

He is called away from a harvest of souls and instructed to go south and wait on the highway, which ran from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.

This command humanly speaking was unreasonable. “But God’s ways are not our ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9.

God uses spiritual means to accomplish His will.

1. The fall of Jericho.

2. The defeat of the Assyrians by Gideon and 300 men.

Verse 27

Note the obedience of Philip

“And he arose and went.”

1 Samuel 15:22

“It is better to obey than to sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Describe this incident.

Obedience is the mark of true spirituality and it always leads to spiritual victory and blessing. Compare Luke 5 Never-the-less at Thy word, etc.

This obedience brought great blessing.

Disobedience John 21 brought disappointment.

Later when Christ came into their lives and service and as they obeyed His commands great blessing came to them.

Contrast Jonah running away from God’s will; consider the consequences.

Because Philip obeyed…an African was saved, he took the message home, and the Gospel spread throughout that great continent.

It seemed a pity for Philip to leave Samaria in the face of a harvest of souls, but God knew the end from the beginning. The African church at one time was considered to be stronger than most.

The Lord said, “You shall be witnesses…in Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria…and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”

The Ethiopian Eunuch.

This man had been a heathen…tried all kinds of religion…worshipped all kinds of Gods.

Sadly disappointed he had turned into a Jewish proselyte.

His search for satisfaction had brought him 1500 miles to Jerusalem.

Describe what may have happened there.

The religious practices and ceremonies.

The talk of a man called Jesus.

He had bought a portion of Scripture and was reading it on his way home.

Verse 29. As this chariot passed by, the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and join yourself to this chariot.”

Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” Quote Verses 32-33.

Verse 34 I pray thee, “Who is the prophet speaking about? Is he speaking of Himself or some other man?”

Verse 35 Philip preached unto him Jesus.

As Philip preached the eunuch believed Verse 37. He believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.

On the strength of this testimony Philip baptized him.

The meaning of baptism.

In the early days of Christianity both baptism and the Lord’s supper were called “sacraments” from the Latin word “sacramentum.”

This word described the oath that a person took when he joined the Roman army. In taking the sacramentum at a public ceremony he renounced his civilian status with its privileges and freedom and confessed that he belonged to Caesar, whose command he promised to obey no matter the cost or to where it lead. The same word in a slightly different form was used to describe the two ordinances of the Christian church. Baptism—Breaking of Bread.

The Christian as he partakes and obeys in baptism confesses to the world that he now belongs to Jesus Christ…spirit…soul…and that he owns Him as personal Savior, and Lord of his life.

The Spiritual significance of Christian Baptism.

1. It is a Divine command to be obeyed.

2. It is an illustration of each believer’s identification with Christ in His death…burial…resurrection.

3. Baptism is a public testimony to our faith in Christ.

The message of Baptism.

1. To the unsaved…the message of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

2. To the unbaptized believer…may it lead some to consider this step a necessity for a life of obedience and blessing.

3. To the baptized believer…may we go in spirit to the day of our baptism and as we review the solemn truths may we be more devoted to Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Conversion Of The Ethiopian Eunuch
Acts 8:26-40

Text Verse 37

“If you believe with all your heart you may.” And he answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Note the three conversions.

Chapter 9. The conversion of Paul.

Chapter 10. The conversion of Cornelius.

Chapter 8. The conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

Note the comparisons and contrasts in their conversions.

1. They were moral—upright men but needed to be saved.

2. One was a black man—one a Jew—one a gentile.

3. They represent the whole human race.

The Ethiopian was a descendant of Ham, Saul of Shem, and Cornelius of Japheth.

4. The first was a politician—second was a theologian—third was a soldier.

5. They had one thing in common—they accepted Christ as their personal Savior.

God’s program for the church.

Jerusalem—Judea—Samaria—uttermost parts.

Here is God’s program being implemented.

The persecution at Jerusalem. Saul the ringleader. The believer’s were scattered abroad and they preached the Gospel wherever they went. Verse 4.


Describe now the revival in Samaria.

The profession of Simon the sorcerer.

“Your heart is not right in the sight of God.” Verse 21.

“Repent therefore at this your wickedness.” Verse 22.

Verse 26 God’s obedient servant.

He left the thriving gospel effort in Samaria for the desert at Gaza.

He found there one of earth’s great men.

The treasurer of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians.

Consider him now.

His heathen background—his unsuccessful search amongst the heathen religions—his acceptance of Judaism.

His long journey to Jerusalem to worship God. (1500 miles)

Describe his fruitless search for peace in Jewish ritual.

He is now returning home still searching.

He is reading from Isaiah 53 at the place where it says “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so he opened not his mouth; In his humiliation his judgment was taken away, and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”

He could not come to a decision as to whether the prophet spoke of himself or someone else.

At this point Philip joined him and he assured him that it was Jesus of whom he spoke.

Philip told the story of the Savior’s humiliation—His sacrificial death—His glorious exaltation—he must have told him that the Lord desired those who accepted Him as Savior to confess him in baptism.

For he said Verse 36 “See here is water, what is there to keep me from being baptized?”

Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

The eunuch replied, “I believe” etc.

On this confession Philip then baptized him.


1. Was instituted in the Gospels. Matthew 28:19.

2. Was practiced in the Acts. Acts 8 and 10 etc.

3. Was expounded in the epistles. Romans 6:1-10.

After Pentecost there is no mention of any person being baptized except those who were believers in the Lord.

Acts 2:41 They that gladly received His word were baptized.

Am I speaking to someone who is saved but not baptized?

Am I speaking to someone who is baptized and not saved?