Bible Reading – Acts 8

Saul Begins to Persecute the Church (8:1-3). Saul agreed completely with killing Stephen (see 7:54-60), which subsequently led to his chief role in violently persecuting the church.

Philip Preaches in Samaria (8:4-25). Philip, one of the men selected to serve the church (see 6:5), went down to Samaria (see 1:8) and proclaimed Christ to them. Some believed and were baptized. Even Simon, who had been practicing magic, believed and was baptized. However, Simon seeing that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands offered them money desiring the same power as the apostles. Peter quickly rebuked him and Simon sought the Lord’s forgiveness. Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news in many Samaritan villages on the way.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (8:26-40). Philip was led by the Spirit from Samaria to a desert road, where he encountered an Ethiopian eunuch (a court official of Candace, a queen of the Ethiopians) sitting in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. When Philip explained the good news of Jesus from the passage of scripture (see Isaiah 53:7-8) the man was reading, he believed and was baptized.

Practical Lessons: (1) Persecution is inextricably linked to Christianity (see 2 Timothy 3:12). (2) The message of Jesus is good news. (3) Those seeking to understand the message need help.