Acts 8:4-13 – Philip in Samaria

Christian MölkActs Leave a Comment

Acts 8:4

  1. Those who fled Jerusalem were not well-trained theologians, pastors, apostles or missionaries. Those who spread the message of Jesus were ordinary Christians fleeing for their lives.
    1. You don’t have to be a trained and consecrated pastor to preach. The vast majority of people who become Christians don’t become Christians because they heard a great sermon by a trained pastor. Most people become Christians because they hear about Jesus from a friend.

Acts 8:5

  1. Philip, like Stephen, was one of the deacons who served in the church in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5).
  2. The Samaritans were a mixed people who emerged after the Assyrians defeated the northern tribes of Israel in the 6th century BC. The Assyrians displaced the wealthy Israelites to other parts of the Middle East and moved other peoples into Israel instead. These new peoples mingled with the poor Israelites who remained and eventually became the Samaritans.
    1. The Jews and the Samaritans hated each other. The Jews considered the Samaritans to be a half-Hebrew mixed race who worshipped God in the wrong way.
    2. The apostles James and John seem to have had little sympathy for the Samaritans and wanted to call down fire and God’s judgment on them (Luke 9:51-56). Jesus, on the other hand, showed great love for the Samaritans when, for example, he talked to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and when he told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
  3. Despite the hatred and racism that existed between Jews and Samaritans, Philip preached Christ to the Samaritans. Because of the Holy Spirit’s loving transformation, there was no longer any place for racism in Philip’s heart.
  4. Although Philip had not experienced a direct call to Samaria, God worked miracles there. Jesus had given all Christians a general call to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the end of the world. When Philip does so, he and his work are blessed. You don’t always have to wait to hear God’s voice.
  5. What did Philip preach about? Did he preach about the Virgin Mary? Did he preach about homosexuality? Did he preach about Israel? Did he preach about being kind to one another?
    1. No, Philip was preaching about Jesus Christ. It’s very easy to wander off and talk about everything but Jesus. But Jesus must be our starting point and the center of our preaching. Everything else can be taught as we go along.
    2. If someone asks if you are a believer, it is often easier to say that you believe in “God” than to say that you believe in “Jesus”. But we should not and need not be ashamed of the name Jesus (Romans 1:16).

Acts 8:6-7

  1. The success of Philip in Samaria may be due to the fact that Jesus had been in Samaria before, sowing. Now Philip gets to reap.
    1. You shouldn’t get discouraged just because you don’t see results immediately.
    2. You should also not be too happy if you see great results quickly.
  2. What happens in Samaria follows a classic revival pattern where the gospel is preached first:
    1. Philip preached and prayed for the sick and possessed.
    2. God confirmed his word through healings and miracles.
    3. The church had unity and kept to the word of God.
    4. The demons fled.
    5. The city rejoiced.
  3. In 1904, miner Evan Roberts preached to a small group of people in Wales. He challenged them to deepen their relationship with the Lord. Two months later, 70,000 people had been saved, and more than 100,000 six months later. The whole community was transformed because of it. Alcoholism was halved, judges were made idle.
    1. In the mid-19th century, Sweden was drinking itself to death on spirits. But thanks to the temperance movement and the Free Church revival, 100,000 people were saved and sobered up.
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