PHILIP THE EVANGELIST



(Acts 8:4-8) 4 those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.


PHILIP, A PROMINENT HELLENISTIC (GREEK SPEAKING) JEWISH CHRISTIAN, WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO TAKE THE GOOD NEWS OF CHRIST TO THOSE OUTSIDE THE BORDERS OF JUDAISM. WELL RESPECTED AMONG THE EARLY CHRISTIANS, HE WAS ONE OF SEVEN MEN CHOSEN TO ADMINISTER THE FOOD- DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM FOR NEEDY BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM (Acts 6:1-6). PHILIP WAS A STRONG AND EFFECTIVE EVANGELIST IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT.

WHEN CHRISTIANS WERE FORCED TO FLEE JERUSALEM FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF STEPHEN (Acts 8:4), PHILIP CARRIED THE GOOD NEWS OF CHRIST NORTH TO THE ETHNICALLY-MIXED CITY OF SAMARIA. THERE HE PERFORMED MANY MIRACULOUS HEALING AND EXORCISMS, AND PEOPLE RESPONDED EAGERLY TO HIS MESSAGE. MANY MEN AND WOMEN WERE BAPTIZED, INCLUDING A NOTORIOUS SORCERER NAMED SIMON. THEN, DIRECTED BY AN ANGEL, PHILIP TRAVELED SOUTHWEST FROM JERUSALEM TOWARD GAZA. THERE, DIRECTED BY THE SPIRIT, HE MET THE TREASURER OF ETHIOPIA, WHO WAS RETURNING HOME AFTER VISITING JERUSALEM. WHEN THE ETHIOPIAN ASKED PHILIP TO HELP HIM UNDERSTAND ISAIAH 53, PHILIP TOLD HIM THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS, THEN BAPTIZED THE MAN BY THE ROADSIDE. PHILIP WAS THEN SUDDENLY TAKEN AWAY BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO THE TOWN OF AZOTUS (Acts 8:40).

MANY YEARS LATER, PAUL SPENT A NIGHT IN PHILIP'S HOME IN CAESAREA. BY THIS TIME PHILIP WAS KNOWN AS PHILIP THE EVANGELIST. HE HAD RAISED FOUR UNMARRIED DAUGHTERS, ALL OF WHOM HAD THE GIFT OF PROPHECY.

PHILIP EXEMPLIFIES EARLY CHRISTIAN EVANGELISTS, WHOM THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERED AND GUIDED TO AUTHENTICATE THEIR WITNESS. PHILIP SUBMITTED TO THE POWER AND GUIDANCE OF THE SPIRIT, AND GOD USED HIM TO TAKE THE GOOD NEWS TO THOSE BEYOND THE BORDERS OF JUDAISM.

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