The Spirit Works In Gaza

Meanwhile, an angel of God said to Philip, “Get ready & go south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So Philip got ready & went (250).

An important official, in charge of the treasury of the queen of Ethiopia, was on his way home from Jerusalem where he had been to worship God.  As he rode along in his carriage, he was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to that carriage.” Philip went over & heard the man reading from the inspired scriptures. He asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian official replied, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?”  And he invited Philip to climb into the carriage with him & help him understand.

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The passage of scripture which the Ethiopian official was reading was this: “He was like a sheep heading for slaughter & like a lamb that makes no sound when its wool is sheared. He didn’t say a word the whole time that he was humiliated & condemned unjustly.” The official asked Philip: “Is the prophet talking about himself?  Or is he talking about someone else?”

Then Philip, starting from that very passage of the inspired scriptures, told him the good news about Jesus!

As they traveled down the road, they came to a place where there was some water.  The Ethiopian official said, “Here is water; what is to keep me from being baptized?”

Philip replied, “If you believe with all your heart, you should definitely be baptized.”  His companion answered, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!”  Then he ordered his carriage to stop.  Both Philip and the official went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.

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When they came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit of God immediately took Philip away! Yet, even though the Ethiopian official didn’t see Philip again, he was full of joy as he continued on his way.

As for Philip, he next found himself in the town of Azotus.  He went on to the town of Caesarea, and on the way he preached the good news about Jesus in every town in that area.

 

(250) Acts 8:26-40

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