“And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip…”(Acts 8:26)
God has purposed to select certain men to be messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 15:16a; Romans 1:1) as He did with the Apostles; as He did prophets, evangelists and pastors/teachers. However, these specially selected men were never called to be saviors of sinners, but to be guides to men who have ears to hear and eyes to see the truths of God.
Their duty is defined in Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 4:12-16; Acts 8:31. They are servants of Jesus Christ; called, commanded, and ordained to proclaim Christ and Him crucified, wherever they are sent; to be His Witnesses (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4; 16:2-4; 1:21-31; Romans 10:14-15); to declare the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
Therefore, the man that God uses to be the Witness of His death, burial, and resurrection, and of the Kingdom of God must be (a) selected, (b) sanctified, and (3) sent.
Philip is the God-selected, sanctified (set apart), and sent messenger in our text. Philip has the credentials (according to Acts 6:3-5), “honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.” Luke, the human writer of the Book of Acts, adds about Philip that he not only was in the office of a deacon, but he was also in the office of an evangelist (Acts 21:8) (“euaggelistou”; “euaggelistēs”); literally “a messenger of good,” denotes “a preacher of the Gospel” (see 2 Timothy 4:5).
God is sovereign in His provision of the man to be His servant to carry His Message. In the case of Jeremiah:
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5)
It was even before Jeremiah was formed in his mother’s belly. In the case of John the Baptist, God had the prophet Malachi prophesy of the ministry of John the Baptist 400 years before John was born (Malachi 3:1).
So it is with all of God’s men. Of the Apostles, Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go…” (John 15:16). (And see Acts 9:15 for God’s choice of Saul (Paul, the Apostle).)
So it was with Philip the evangelist. Philip had been in a revival in the city of Samaria, where he had preached Christ (Acts 8:5), the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ (verse 12); and there many believed the message and were baptized.
However, in Acts 8:26, God had a new place for this selected, sanctified man of God to be sent. Verse 26 says, “And 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.” This verse reveals that God is Sovereign, even in Who goes and Where he goes.
This brings us back to the focus of this series on “The Miracle of Conversion.”
The first miracle is that God had a plan to save sinners. God’s plan is to use selected, sanctified, and sent men to carry His Message to sinners. In Acts 8:26-29, God had only one man in view, the Ethiopian Eunuch, who was seeking for truth.
To the sinner that is in this same condition, “Help is on the way.” A selected, sanctified, and sent man of God is on the way to be your guide. You can rest in it; you can stand on it; and you can believe it. God has provided a messenger for you with the wonderful story of Grace in the Person of Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross as the Sin Offering, as the sinner’s Substitute, Sacrifice, and Savior (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Also, to you selected, sanctified, and sent men of God, don’t question when God sends you to the desert place, which it appears is barren and good-for-nothing. Always be like Isaiah, “…Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8b). Question not why or where, just know God is at the helm of the ship, He has charted your course and the sinner’s course.
Man of God, Acts 8:27 reveals your response, “And he arose and went…”
In time, God did reveal to the man of his mission, “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” (Acts 8:29).