Acts 8:5

Looking down from second level of state Capitol, Austin, Texas.

Friday, 10 June 2022

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. Acts 8:5

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse said, “Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” That is now built upon by Luke, beginning with, “Then Philip.”

This is not Philip of the apostles who is recorded in the gospels, such as in Luke 6:14. Rather, this may be the same man named Philip found in Acts 6:5 who is named among the seven chosen as deacons. If it is the same Philip, he will be seen again in Acts 21:8 where he is called Philip the evangelist. As for him, it says he “went down to the city of Samaria.”

The verb is an aorist participle and should read, “having gone down.” In having gone down, then the actions continue on at some point. As far as the city, Samaria is a region, and so it is probably the principal city of the region at the time. If so, Cambridge says that it was called Sebaste at this time. Sebaste carries the same meaning as Augusta, and it was named in honor of Augustus Caesar. It was probably at this location that it next says, “and preached.”

The verb is imperfect. He didn’t just preach, but he was preaching. He continued on in his proclamation with conviction and stating it as authoritative. This can be seen in the use of the word translated as “preach.” It is a different word than the previous verse. There, it was the word euaggelizó, to evangelize or “carry the good news.” Here it is kérussó, to proclaim, herald, or preach. Luke finishes by stating that he was preaching “Christ to them.”

More correctly, the words state that he was preaching the Christ to them. The definite article sets off his proclamation as specifically being about Jesus who is the Christ. Prior to the coming of Jesus, people may have preached Christ, such as, “Messiah is coming! Scripture says He will be born in Bethlehem,” and so on. However, Philip’s words are specific about “the Christ.” One can see him standing in front of a crowd and saying, “The Messiah has come! He has accomplished all things necessary for salvation, and He has fulfilled the law and the prophets!” His words would set Jesus apart from any other preaching that had been proclaimed before.

Life application: Evangelizing is similar to the preaching noted here, and they can overlap. The main thing to remember is that anyone can evangelize. If you just take the time to remember the basics of the good news concerning Jesus, there should be no reason why you can’t convey to the people you meet that there is hope in Him. Keep it simple and let them know the good news (the only good news!) that can save them.

Having tracts to hand out is a plus because they can carry a reminder of what you spoke about. As with what you speak about, keep tracts simple. They can have longer messages about hope and the like, but the gospel presentation should be basic. There is a universal need that all have, which is deliverance from sin. Jesus is the One who can fill that need. As long as the simple gospel is conveyed, there does not need to be an overload of theology to distract the person’s attention.

Above all, what is proclaimed should be with conviction and with the assurance that Christ Jesus is the answer to man’s dilemma, and more – that He is the only answer to it. With that, you will have properly done your duty to share the good news that God has presented to the world!

Lord God, help us to be bold in our proclamation of the good news concerning the Lord Jesus. May we never water down the truth of this message. Sin is the problem, Jesus is the answer, and in Him there is freedom from the guilt that separates man from God. Thank You for Jesus. May we be faithful to proclaim what You have done through Him. Amen.