Philip—Getting the Job done!

Philip—Getting the Job done!

(Acts 6; 8; 21:8-11)

The Lord’s church has an abiding relationship with the Seven Servant-leaders of Acts Six. Elders and Deacons in our churches are selected by the members in like manner as they were. The evangelists Philip and Stephen were chosen with the other five brothers.Tragically, Stephen’s life was cut short in martyrdom in Acts seven. Philip, after ‘serving the tables’ of the neglected Grecian widows (Acts 6), went down to Samaria to preach (Acts 8). It was Christian persecution in Jerusalem that forced Philip out. The Samaritans were highly receptive to the gospel being preached and seeing the miraculous signs done by Philip. The apostles Peter and John were dispatched from the church in Jerusalem when hearing of Philip’s successful work. Being the only ones able to impart the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the new brethren necessitated the presence of at least one apostle. Their miraculous work impressed Philip’s most infamous convert, Simon the Sorcerer, to the point that he offered money to buy this most extraordinary ‘trick.’ His condemnation was just!Philip’s most famous convert to Christ is a man who has gone by the unfortunate name ‘The Ethiopian Eunuch’ for 2000 years. But he has been rightly pointed to by saints as the man who said to Philip, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). This being the result of Philip having “opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him” (Acts 8:35). This is categorical proof that the gospel message isn’t the gospel message if it doesn’t invite the sinner to choose salvation through the waters of baptism. Philip, on the ‘Desert Road’ could have easily asked for a bottle of water to ‘sprinkle’ or ‘pour’ water on the head of the penitent believer. But Biblical history records the actual way that the Ethiopian Eunuch put on Christ: “They both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:28).The Holy Spirit ‘beamed him over’ to Azotus and he preached his way the Caesarea (Acts 8:40).The last we hear of Philip is when Luke wrote that he and Paul “came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses” (Acts 21:8-9).Philip was a truly impressive Servant-leader who fulfilled his role as an Evangelist in a manner worthy of high praise.


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