36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
Acts 8:36-40 demonstrates that God not only receives Jews and Samaritans but also welcomes Ethiopians.
Now as they went down the road, they came to some water.
In God’s sovereignty, they came to “some water,” which was necessary for the eunuch to be baptized.
And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
The eunuch obviously believed what Philip said and asked to be baptized immediately. Baptism is a public testimony that one has come to believe in Christ.
Then Philip said,
This verse is not found in some manuscripts.
“If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
There is a condition to becoming a Christian–a person must believe with all his or her heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
The eunuch affirmed his belief that Jesus Christ was “the Son of God.”
So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Upon the Ethiopian’s confession of faith, Philip immediately baptized him. They both went down “into the water,” indicating that the baptism was probably by immersion. However, this passage does not indicate the mode of baptism. The Ethiopian was baptized in the view of his entire entourage of servants.
Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away,
As soon as Philip and the eunuch came up from the water, the Spirit suddenly swept Philip away (similar to Elijah, 1 Kgs 18:12; 2 Kgs 2:16).
so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
Salvation does something for the soul. God transformed the eunuch, causing him to go on his way “rejoicing.” He had found his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
But Philip was found at Azotus.
Verse 40 gives the continued ministry of Philip along the Mediterranean coast. Azotus is the city of Ashdod along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 20 miles north of Gaza.
And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
Philip preached all alongside the Mediterranean coast northward until he came to Caesarea. Caesarea was over 50 miles northwest of Jerusalem on the coast. The eunuch had gone south toward Egypt.
One-on-one evangelism is a good model.
Interestingly, God used Philip the evangelist to reach a eunuch, a Gentile, a black for Christ. God used him to open the gospel doors as a pioneer evangelist to the Samaritans and a Gentile Ethiopian. Throughout his ministry, he responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. One-on-one evangelism was characteristic of New Testament evangelism. Each of us has a personal story to tell of our encounter with the Lord Jesus. God places importance on personal evangelism. Missionary expansion involves both the mass and the individual.