Key Bible Verses
Acts 8:4-8, 26-40, 21:8-9
Who Was He?
Like Stephen, Philip was one of the seven deacons chosen by the early church to oversee the distribution of food to widows. He is described as a man of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom. As persecution came upon the church in Jerusalem, Philip left the city and planted a church in Samaria, before eventually settling in Caesarea with his family.
How Did the Spirit Work In Him?
When Christians were forced to scatter from Jerusalem due to persecution, Philip moved to Samaria, preached the gospel and started a new church there. This was the recorded first step in the gospel spreading out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Seeing new churches started in new towns and communities is the Spirit-empowered fulfilment of the mission that Christ gave to the church.
As well as Philip’s proclamation of Christ in Samaria, we have a particularly dramatic encounter recorded where he shared the gospel with an Ethiopian man. Philip listened to an internal prompting of the Spirit to approach the man’s chariot, and when he arrived he found the man had been reading Isaiah and had questions! This opportunity to lead the man to Christ and baptise him came about entirely through Philip’s willingness to be led by the Spirit.
3. Home Life
A Spirit-filled life isn’t only about the external acts of ministry, but it transforms life at home as well. Though Philip is only mentioned briefly in Acts 21, these verses reveal a couple of important things about how God was at work through him. Firstly there was a willingness to open his home and show hospitality, and we are told that Paul and his ministry team stayed with Philip. Secondly we are told about his four daughters who all prophesied. Philip had led his children into the things of the Spirit, and now they are grown up they are stepping out themselves and using their gifts.