Chapters 8-10 have at least one thing in common.
There is a conversion recorded in each.
Chapter 8 The Ethiopian eunuch.
Chapter 9 Saul of Tarsus.
Chapter 10 Cornelius the Roman centurion.
One was a black man—one a Jew—one a Gentile.
They represent the whole human race.
The Ethiopian was a descendant of Ham—Saul of Shem—Cornelius of Japheth.
The first was a politician (first aroused by reading the Word)—secretary of Candice’s Treasury.
The second a theologian—saw and heard the Lord from glory.
The third a militarist or soldier—by angelic vision.
They had one thing in common, they needed to be saved, and they accepted Christ as Savior.
The eunuch was a man who wanted to be saved, but didn’t know how.
Saul was blind to his need. Blinded by self-satisfied religious blindness.
Cornelius needed only to have the message brought to him to be saved.
Verse 1 Great persecution against the Church.
“They were scattered around” etc.
See Acts 1:8 The Lord instructed His followers to begin witnessing at Jerusalem (when they had received the necessary power) then branch out to Judea—Samaria—the utmost bounds of the earth. The apostles remained in Jerusalem (explain).
Verse 3 Saul continued with unbounded energy to harass the Church, dragging men from their homes and having them committed to prison.
Perhaps he is trying to drown out the memory of Stephen—such poise—such unshakable conviction—the angelic face.
The blood of the martyr’s—the seed of the Church.
Verse 4 Persecution could not silence the Church.
“Everywhere they went they preached the Word.”
The winds of affliction scattered the seed of the Gospel to distant places.
Verses 5-8 These verses describe for us the results of Philip’s preaching.
The people were move at Philip’s presentation of Christ.
They were amazed at the miracles he did.
Demons were driven out.
Paralyzed folks and lame folks were healed.
The people believed the message—great joy resulted.
Verses 9-25 describe the profession of Simon the sorcerer.
The final sin in the Church was hypocrisy.
The second sin was murmuring.
The third sin was profession.
Simon was a great man in the eyes of the people.
He was the equivalent of a witch doctor. He bewitched them.
They said, “This man is the great power of God” Verse 10.
Verse 13 Simon himself believed also, fascinated by the miracles which Philip performed.
Verses 14-17 Those whom the apostle’s, Peter and John, sent from Jerusalem had the power to impart to those who believed, the Holy Spirit. By the time they arrived, believers had been baptized but they had not received the Holy Spirit.
Verses 18-19 Simon coveted this gift and offered the disciples money to purchase it.
Verses 20-23 is Peter’s answer to this request.
Some of the reasons why we believe Simon was never saved are as follows:
1. “Your money perish with you.” No believer will ever perish.
2. “You have neither lot or part in this matter.” He was not in the fellowship.
3. Your heart is not right before God.
This is a description of an unsaved person.
4. You are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
Could these words ever be said of a regenerate person?
Peter urged Simon to repent of his great sin, and to pray that he might be forgiven.
Verse 24 Simon urged Peter to act as mediator for him, “Pray you to the Lord for me.”
He was not sorry for his sin, but only for the consequences which it might bring him. Human mediator today.
It is from this man that we get over the modern word “simony.”
Making a business out of that which is sacred.
It includes the sale of indulgences—holy water—prayer cloths, etc.
Verse 25 When Peter and John’s work was finished in Samaria they returned to Jerusalem. On the way back they preached in many Samaritan villages.
The remaining part of the chapter describes the conversion and baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch.
Verse 26 An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip.
He directed him to leave Samaria—the place of blessing and go to the desert.
Verse 27 We are introduced to the Ethiopian eunuch. Note his prestige and power. Great authority—charge of the queen’s treasure. He was also a convert to the Jewish religion.
Verse 28 After worshipping at Jerusalem (or trying to) he was returning home and was reading Isaiah.
Verse 29 The Spirit said to Philip “Go near and join yourself to the chariot.”
Verse 30 Philip asks him if he understood what he was reading.
Verse 31 The eunuch’s reply—he invites him to come on board and sit with him.
Verses 32-33 The portion of Scripture was Isaiah 53. Quote. Explain these verses.
Verse 34 The eunuch’s question.
Verse 35 Philip preached Jesus unto him.
Verses 36-37 The prerequisites for baptism. He believed this.
Verse 38 The chariot is stopped. They go into the water—he immersed him.
Verse 39 They came up out of the water.
The Spirit caught Philip away.
The eunuch went on His way rejoicing.