Acts 8 Outline
– Saul gave approval to Stephen’s death and persecution broke out on the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1)
– Stephen was mourned and buried by a number of godly men (Acts 8:2)
– Saul destroyed the church and dragged Christians from house to house into prison (Acts 8:3)
– Philip preached the gospel and performed many miracles in a city in Samaria (Acts 8:4-8)
– Simon, the sorcerer, deceived many through his magic (Acts 8:9-11)
– Simon and the people believed in Jesus after Philip preached the gospel (Acts 8:12-13)
– The apostles sent Peter and John to lay hands on the new believers (Acts 8:14-17)
– Simon was rebuked for bribing Peter with money in exchange for the gift of the Holy Spirit through the laying of hands (Acts 8:18-23)
– Simon asked Peter to pray that nothing he said befall on him (Acts 8:24)
– Peter and John preached the gospel in the Samaritan villages (Acts 8:25)
– An angel instructed Philip to travel on the desert road (Acts 8:26)
– Philip met with an Ethiopian eunuch on the way (Acts 8:27-28)
– The Holy Spirit told Philip to go near the eunuch’s chariot (Acts 8:29-30)
– The eunuch invited Philip into his chariot (Acts 8:31)
– Philip explained the passage in the book of Isaiah and preached the gospel to the eunuch (Acts 8:32-35)
– Philip baptized the eunuch in a pool of water on the way (Acts 8:36-38)
– The Holy Spirit carried Philip away to Azotus after he baptized the eunuch (Acts 8:39)
– Philip preached the gospel in all the towns until he reached Ceasarea (Acts 8:40)
Acts 8 Summary
Saul was there to give approval to the death of Stephen. Some godly men buried Stephen. Saul started to destroy the church in Jerusalem at this time. He dragged Christians out of their houses and imprisoned them. After Stephen was stoned to death, the Christians dispersed throughout Judea and Samaria but the apostles remained in Jerusalem. Wherever the Christians went, they spread the gospel. Philip traveled to Samaria and proclaimed the good news of the gospel there. He performed many miracles at Samaria. He cast out many demons from those who are demon possessed and healed many paralytics and cripples.
There was a sorcerer named Simon, who had captivated the people through his magic. But when Philip preached the gospel, the people came to the faith of Jesus Christ including Simon and were baptized. Because the new believers haven’t receive the Holy Spirit, the apostles sent Peter and John to lay hands on them. After Peter and John laid hands on them, they received the Holy Spirit.
When Simon saw this, he offered them money in exchange for the gift. Peter rebuked him and instructed him to repent so that God may forgive him. Peter informed Simon that he saw him as someone full of bitterness and captive to sin. Then, Simon asked Peter to pray for him that none of the things he said will happen to him.
An angel instructed Philip to go south into the desert road that connects Jerusalem to Gaza. When Philip was on his way, he met with an Ethiopian eunuch. The Ethiopian eunuch was in charge of the treasure of the queen of Ethiopia called Candace.
The Holy Spirit instructed Philip to go near the chariot so Philip went near it. When Philip go near it, he heard the Ethiopian eunuch happened to be reading Isaiah 53:7 KJV, ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ and he asked him whether he understand what he read.
The Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip who is the prophet Isaiah referring to in the passage. Then, Philip started from there to explain the gospel to him. When the carriage passed by a pool of water, the Ethiopian eunuch told Philip he want to be baptized there and so they got down the carriage and Philip baptized him there.
After Philip had baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, the spirit of God carried him away to Azotus and Philip preached the gospel in all the towns until he arrived at Caesarea.
Acts 8 Bible Study
1. God can use trouble circumstance to lead us to do his will
In Acts 1:8, Jesus commanded his disciples to bring the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. Up to this point, the apostles still haven’t bring the gospel to Judea, Samaria and other parts of the earth. The persecution of Stephen and his death prompted this to take place. After Stephen died, the Christians were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. The Christians preached the gospel wherever they went. Sometimes, God can use a terrible circumstance to lead us to his will so we must always be alert to observe and take the necessary action. In this way, we will be able to walk in his plan.
2. Everyone has the responsibility to preach the gospel
After the disciples dispersed into Judea and Samaria, they preached the gospel to the non believers there. Everyone has the responsibility to preach the gospel to the people around them. You can tell the good news of the gospel to your friends, relatives, family members, co-workers, classmates and etc. In 1 Corinthians 9:16, Paul said he cannot boast when he preach the gospel. He is compelled to preach the gospel. He said woe to him if he don’t preach the gospel. In Romans 1:14, Paul said he is obligated to preach the gospel to the Greeks and non Greeks, both to the wise and foolish. In Acts 4:20, Peter and John said they couldn’t help speaking what they have seen and heard even after the officials instructed them to stop preaching the name of Jesus. In Mark 16:15, Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
3. Simon tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit
Simon, the sorcerer, tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit with money from the apostles but Peter rebuked him. Simon did not really submit himself to God. He thought he could use money to buy the Holy Spirit and dispose it to anyone at his will. Instead, he should submit to the Holy Spirit and let him be in charge of his life. In Romans 8:14, those who are led by the Holy Spirit are God’s children. When you submit to the Holy Spirit, you will have peace for the mind of a sinful man is death (Romans 8:6).
4. Humble ourselves and get right with God
After Peter rebuked Simon, the sorcerer, he asked Peter to pray for him so that none of the things he said will happen to him. It is not known whether Simon truly repent afterwards. When someone rebuke you for sinning, you should humble yourself and acknowledge that you are wrong and repent and confess your sins to get right with God. In James 2:10, breaking a single commandment is equal to breaking the whole commandments.
5. Submit to God’s plan
Philip listened to the angel and submitted to God’s plan and went to travel on the desert road that connects Jerusalem and Gaza. We must listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can speak to us and prompt us from time to time as he guide us to do God’s will. We must not ignore the voice of the Holy Spirit and grieve him. The Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
6. Read the bible every day
The Ethiopian eunuch was eager to study and understand the word of God. Christians should spend time to read and study the bible every day. When you don’t understand something you read in the bible, you can reference the commentaries. There are lots of free commentaries you can find on bible websites on the internet. Reading God’s words can inform you about God’s promises for your life and it can teach you how to live a righteous life for God. In 2 Timothy 3:16, all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. In Romans 15:4, everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that we can have hope through endurance and encouragement. In Deuteronomy 29:29, the secret things belong to God but the things revealed belong to us and our children so that we may follow God’s commandments.