The Conversion Story Of The Eunuch, Mike Riley

My favorite recorded conversion story in the New Testament is that of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. The following are seven observations regarding this text:

1) Through the providence of God, the angel spoke to Philip at just the right time for Philip to go and meet the eunuch at just the right place (Acts 8:26-29). This tells me that if an individual is truly seeking to know the gospel, God will provide the circumstances and the means for that to happen.

2) The eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship, so we know he was a devout religious man. He was returning to his homeland, and had stopped to read out of the scroll which contained Isaiah’s prophecy (Acts 8:28).

3) We need to note that the Holy Spirit sent a “man” [Philip] to teach the eunuch (Acts 8:31). This account clearly shows that the teaching regarding man receiving direct miraculous “illumination” of the Scriptures from the Holy Spirit is false (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11).

4) The eunuch had a cursory knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, but did not understand “Who” the prophet Isaiah was referring to in Isaiah 53:7-8.

5) It’s interesting to note that in Philip’s teaching, “he began at the same Scripture” (Acts 8:35) – he didn’t go off into left field on some other subject or tangent. He stayed with the gospel pattern of teaching (1 Corinthians 2:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; cf. Acts 4:1-2; Acts 17:18).

6) Philip “preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35) because that was “Who” the prophet Isaiah was referring to. Preaching Jesus would have necessarily included the core of the gospel – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Philip obviously told the eunuch about being baptized “into Christ’s death” (to effectively appropriate the blood that was shed at Christ’s “death” – John 19:34), necessitating a “burial” in water (Romans 6:3-4), and being raised or “resurrected” [out of the water – Acts 8:39] to walk in newness of life – the act of baptism required for the remission and washing away of sins, and “the answer of a good conscience toward God” (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:1-8; Gal. 3:26-29; 1 Peter 3:21).

7) After the eunuch was taught all of the above, they came to a body of water and the eunuch asked Philip, “what hinders me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36). Philip responded by telling the eunuch that if he truly believed the inspired words that Philip taught him, he could be baptized for the remission of sins. The eunuch responded by confessing Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and thus Philip baptized him. After coming up out of the water, the eunuch went on his way “rejoicing” (Acts 8:38-39) because he was a saved man “in Christ Jesus,” no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1; cf. John 5:24).

Conclusion:

In Philip’s teaching, he totally adhered to God’s pattern or plan of salvation. This conversion story illustrates the fact that as we teach others, we must adhere to the same gospel pattern [formRomans 6:17] or plan, not deviating from it (1 Corinthians 2:1-2; cf. Gal. 6:14; Philippians 3:7-15).

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