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The Ethiopian Eunuch

Collection:
Book of Acts

A Sermon on Acts 8:26-31

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. (ESV)

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What is so significant about the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26–31? This is an interesting story of how God, in His providence, arranges for Philip to meet this man and share the message of Jesus with him. It also shows that even the religious must repent and believe in the gospel as the only means of salvation. This Ethiopian man went to the temple in Jerusalem to worship, yet he had not received the Holy Spirit. He knew of the sacrifices in the temple, but not of the sacrifice of Christ. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that only a religion that is based on and focused on Christ can have any saving power. Only true religion gives any satisfaction in this life. Many people fill their lives with worldly wisdom and vain religion, but the gospel tells that all is for nothing if one does not have Christ. This sermon asks one the question: “what religion do I have? Am I following a dead religion that has no power to save and transform me?” All must turn to Christ Jesus as the only true center of true religion and worship.


Additional Scripture Translations

Acts 8:26-31, New American Standard Bible

26But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Get ready and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) 27So he got ready and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” 30Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Acts 8:26-31, King James Version

26And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.