Philip the Evangelist - Pastor Benny

Larger Through Evangelism, 12/24/2017 12:00:00 AM

Philip the Evangelist

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:5

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

 We will study a portrait of Philip the evangelist and not the Apostle, who also bears the same name.  We will study great and practical lessons that we learn from the life of Philip. I am truly convinced that the church of Christ needs more Philips today. If the church is to grow in number, we must imitate the life of those who had a great deal of concern about the lost souls of this world; Philip, the evangelist, was one of those men.


Philip was a man who imitated the life of Christ. Through the teaching of the Apostle Peter, we are encourage to follow the example of Jesus (I Pet. 2:21). Jesus was an obedient man (Heb. 10:9; Jn. 4:34). As we consider the life of Philip, we also see a man who obeyed God. When Philip was instructed by the angel and the Holy Spirit to approach the Ethiopian eunuch, he arose and went running. If I could pick one word to describe this, it would be obedience (Acts 8:26-30).  Jesus remembered the reason why He came to the various towns where he preached( Mark 1:38) . Philip, also, remembered why he was there at Samaria, Azotus and Caesarea (Acts 8:5, 40). He preached the gospel of Christ everywhere he went and so must we! Johnny Ramsey once said, “When Christ is the point of focus we will proclaim His message, follow His example and obey His commands. Nothing short of that can save the church”. This is exactly what Philip the evangelist did. He preached His message, followed His example, and obeyed His commands!  Are we imitating the life of Christ and Philip?


Every effective evangelist will know how to begin a conversation with those with whom he intends to study the gospel. Philip approached the man and began the conversation by asking one question, do you understand what you are reading? (Acts 8:30). He knew this question would be a good one to begin sharing the good news of salvation. If you notice, Philip did not ask a question that would close the door to a possible study. We must learn how to begin a conversation with those we intend to study. We must be careful not to ask or say things that will hinder our opportunity to preach the gospel to that particular person. Jesus Christ began the conversation with the Samaritan woman of John 4 by asking her for a drink of water. This petition opened up the door for not just a conversation about salvation, but also for an opportunity to stay two days in Samaria, preaching the Word (Jn. 4:40, 41). When preparing to study with others, you must take the time to think carefully about the questions and things you will say to the people you study with. If you are not careful, you may end up closing the door for future opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with the lost. Let us emulate the ability Philip had to study with people and always be wise to know what to say as we begin Bible studies.


There is no doubt that Philip was a diligent student of the Word. When he was asked by the eunuch to explain the words from the prophet Isaiah, he did not hesitate to do it. In Acts 8:30 we learn that Philip heard the eunuch read the prophet Isaiah and then asked the Ethiopian whether he understood the things he was reading. The reason why the eunuch asked Philip to come up and sit with him was for the purpose of Philip explaining the passage to him (Acts 8:34-35). As Christians, we must be ready to answer questions during a Bible study (I Pet. 3:15). In order to accomplish this, we must be diligent students of the Word (II Tim. 2:15; ). We must take time to read the Scriptures (I Tim. 4:13). We must desire the pure milk of the Word (I Pet. 2:2). I am afraid that one of the reasons why most members of the church do not go out to preach the gospel is because they do not know how to answer Bible questions. Most members have not taken the time to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word (II Pet. 3:18). Friends, Bible ignorance will not only destroy us, but it will destroy the life of those to whom we will not preach the gospel (Hos. 4:6). We must be mighty in the Scriptures as Apollos was (Acts 18:24), since this ability will help us to show from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 18:28). I strongly believe that Philip was a successful evangelist because he knew the Scriptures by heart. Let us emulate this example in our lives!


In Acts 21:8 we read, “Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied.” The fact that Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied says a lot about his godly family. The ability for these daughters to prophesy was foretold in Joel 2:28-32. Peter spoke about this in Acts 2:17, which reads, “And in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” From the passages we have here, we can see that Philip had a godly family. From Acts 21:8-9 we can be sure of the following: 1. Philip was a good example to his family, 2. He instructed his daughters in the Word of God, 3. His whole house was devoted to the service of the Lord. There is no way on earth that a Christian can have a godly family without imitating the life of Philip.


In Acts 21:8 we are told that Philip opened the doors of his house to other evangelists. Acts 21:10 says, “After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.” These two passages show how Philip was a godly man who practiced hospitality as commanded by God in His Word (Heb. 13:2; Rom. 12:13). He was willing to allow others to stay at his house. The Greek denotes many days, that is, more than one or two. Hospitality was very necessary back in those days as we saw several evangelists traveling from one place to another preaching the Gospel of Christ. We need more Christians like Philip, who are willing to open the doors of their houses to those who labor in the Lord. Sadly, many today are not willing to do what Philip did. There are several Christians who are always looking for excuses than opportunities not to practice hospitality. When faithful Christians practice hospitality, they do the following: 1. they show brotherly love, which is expected of every child of God (John. 13:34-35, Philadelphian church and open doors), 2. They imitate the life of those who practiced hospitality in the Bible (Acts 21:8-10), 3. They show obedience to God who expects us to practice hospitality (Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2), 4. They enjoy the blessings of practicing pure New Testament Christianity! Have you enjoyed these blessings in your life by practicing hospitality?


There is no doubt in our minds that the church needs more Philips today. We need faithful men who will serve the Lord in His kingdom; men who are willing to be of good report; men who will preach Christ at every opportunity they have; men who will bring much joy to those whom he preaches; men who know very well how to preach the gospel to the masses; men who know the Scriptures by heart; men who have godly families; men who practice hospitality. May the Lord give us more men and women with the same traits as that of Philip.