I. AND THE SPIRIT SAID, GO JOIN THYSELF TO THE CHARIOT.
A. The angel of the Lord had directed Philip to leave the great revival in Samaria to go to the desert area near Gaza.
1. Looking at this from the natural perspective, it would seem like this was totally irrational.
2. He could have sat in Samaria forever and never have understood this unusual call.
3. It just does not make sense.
4. You never know the full story from the beginning chapter.
5. This is one of our problems, we always want to reduce the call of God or the ways of God to our understanding.
6. We seem to hate stepping out in faith.
7. There is a word we should never say to God, "Why?"
8. Can you remember how upset you used to get with your children when they would ask that question after you had commanded them to do something and you didn't have time to explain. "Just - because I told you, that's why."
9. Can you imagine a recruit saying that to his master sergeant?
10. Can you imagine a slave saying that to his master?
11. "Tis not mine to reason why, tis only mine to do or die."
B. Philip was being called to take a venture in faith.
1. As so often it is with God, we do not get command two until we have obeyed command one. Many people thus never get command two.
2. Philip in faith obeyed command one, thus when he arrived in the desert near Gaza, he received step two. "Go join yourself to the chariot."
C. He discovered that the man in the chariot was an Ethiopian and was reading the scriptures aloud.
1. Philip asked him, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
2. Obviously he didn't for he asked, "How can I? I need someone to guide me."
3. Then he invited Philip to join him in the chariot.
II. THE SCRIPTURE THE MAN WAS READING WAS OUT OF ISAIAH 53
A. Look at the marvelous passage that he was reading. The place in the scriptures he was reading was this,
He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb is dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
1. What a marvelous prophecy. "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter." As the lamb of God He was being taken to the cross to be offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
2. "So He opened not His mouth." First before the high priest, and later before Pilate.
And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what [is it which] these witness against thee?
And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.
3. "His judgment was taken away."
a. There were so many legal flaws in His trial.
b. It was certainly a great miscarriage of justice.
4. "His life was taken from the earth."
B. The eunuch then inquired, "I pray you tell me, of whom was the prophet speaking, himself or someone else."
1. And Philip began at that verse and preached unto him Jesus.
2. You might say, "Isn't that fortunate that He was reading Isaiah 53
which is so clearly a prophecy of Jesus." Yes, but in reality he could have been reading from anywhere in the Old Testament, and you could begin at that verse and preach Jesus.
a. Jesus said to the Jews, "You do search the scriptures for in them you think you have life, but they do testify of Me."
b. Again He said, "I come, the volume of the book is written of Me."
3. The afternoon of his resurrection, we read of Jesus joining with two of His disciples who were walking to Emmaus. We read that He said to them:
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
4. Later that same evening when He met with the disciples back in Jerusalem,
And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
5. We read of Paul coming to the synagogue in Thessalonica:
And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
6. We read concerning Appolos in Ephesus, that he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
7. The Hymn "More About Jesus." Hearing His voice in every line.
III. AS THEY WENT ON THEIR WAY THEY CAME TO A BODY OF WATER AND THE EUNUCH ASKED, "WHAT HINDERS ME FROM BEING BAPTIZED?"
A. How did he know about baptism?
1. It must have been in their discussions that Philip told him the way of salvation. That he spoke of baptism as an outward sign of the inward work of the Spirit in your life.
a. Jesus had said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
b. The Apostle Peter answered the question of the crowd as what they should do inasmuch as they had crucified the Lord of Glory and he answered, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins."
2. The simple answer, "If you believe with all your heart, you may."
a. Nothing about joining the church.
b. Nothing about instructional classes.
c. How I love the simplicity of the early church.
d. Salvation is really simple, isn't it?
e. Paul wrote, "If you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved."
f. To the question of the Philippian Jailer who asked, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and your house.
3. His confession, "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God."
B. "And he commanded his chariot to stand still and they went both of them down into the water, Philip and Eunuch, and he baptized Him. And when they had come up out of the water.
1. I do not believe that there can be any dispute but that the man was baptized by full immersion.
2. Nothing is said about sprinkling.
3. The symbolism of baptism is buried with Christ.