Acts 8:4-8, 26-40
The success or failure of parades, demonstrations, sports activities, conferences or concerts are usually measured by the number of people who attend. It seems that the larger the number, the more impressed people are by the event.
Sadly, this is also true in the spiritual realm. Big churches with large congregations, super crusades and large mission fields impress people.
Of course, there are exceptions, but quantity rather than quality seems to be what people want today. Yet there are those who are willing to do the work no matter how small or insignificant or difficult that work may be. Why? Because they know the value of a single soul!
I am sure any Christian would love and enjoy a revival such as the one in Samaria, with Philip proclaiming Christ there. We read in Acts 8:4-8, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”
But how many do you think would be willing to leave such a meeting and go to a desert road to meet a solitary man in need of spiritual help? Big evangelistic meetings are wonderful, but let’s not forget the importance of a single soul!
Philip was having a good spiritual time, the Spirit was working through him, many miracles were taking place, and the entire city was celebrating. Yet he did not let his success dull his hearing. He heard God’s call and obeyed it.
How many Christians would leave such a meeting to lead just one soul to Christ? Not too many, I fear. Philip, on the other hand—a faithful, obedient and humble follower of Christ—did. The Holy Spirit cleared the way for Philip to come to the man and opened the heart of the traveler to receive Christ.
Philip asked: “Do you understand what you are reading?” and the man responded: “How can I, unless someone explains to me?” Thus, Philip was given a wonderful opportunity to present Christ to this searching man who then believed and accepted the good news of salvation through Christ.
Philip was ready and willing to go wherever the Holy Spirit sent him and to do whatever was necessary to lead one soul to Christ.
Have you ever said: “I don’t need to study the Bible to be a Christian?” If Philip had not known the Word of God, he would not have been able to help the Ethiopian man.
We study the Bible to learn God’s will and the way of life we must live, but also to be able to help others find the way (Christ) and grow spiritually. Anyone who thinks that Bible studies are not important should remember what the Bible says about fellowship: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Studying the Bible is crucial to the spiritual life of a believer. Because Philip was able to explain the Word of God to this man and present to him Christ, this Ethiopian man was saved and baptised.
Acts 8:38-39 says, “And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.”
Note the last phrase: “He went on his way rejoicing.” Religion had not been able to bring him lasting joy in his life, but Jesus did. Joy is one of the evidences of true conversion.
Do you have the joy of your conversion? I mean real, lasting joy? If not, you can receive it by committing your life to Christ today.
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian