Acts 8:4-8 - Philip the Evangelist; Preaching and Healing.

Acts 8:4-8 - Philip the Evangelist; Preaching and Healing.

Acts 8:4-8 (NIV) Those who had been scattered preached the word 
wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and 
proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the 
miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 
With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and 
cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.  

Acts 8:4-8 (NLT) But the believers who were scattered preached 
the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. 5 Philip, for example, 
went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the 
Messiah. 6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to 
hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. 7 Many evil 
spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many 
who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy 
in that city.  

CONTEXT: Philip in Samaria: Acts 8:4-8.

Israel had been divided into three main regions: Galilee in the 
north, Samaria in the middle, and Judea in the south. The city of 
Samaria (in the region of Samaria) had been the capital of the northern 
kingdom of Israel in the days of the divided kingdom before it was 
conquered by Assyria in 722 B.C. During that war, the Assyrian king had 
taken many captives, leaving only the poorest people in the land and 
resettling it with foreigners. These foreigners had intermarried with the 
Jews who were left, and the mixed race became known as Samaritans. 
The Samaritans were considered half-breeds by the "pure" Jews in the 
southern kingdom of Judah, and the two groups hated each other intensely. 
But Jesus himself went into Samaria (John 4), and he commanded his 
followers to spread the Good News there (1:8). [Life Application SB] 


Persecution pushed the Christians beyond Jerusalem and into 
Judea and Samaria, thus fulfilling the second part of Jesus' command 
(see 1:8). The persecution helped spread the Good News. God would 
bring great results from the believers' suffering... Persecution forced 
the believers out of their homes in Jerusalem, and along with them 
went the Good News. Sometimes we have to become uncomfortable before 
we'll move. We may not want to experience it, but discomfort may be 
best for us because God may be working through our hurts. When you 
are tempted to complain about uncomfortable or painful 
circumstances, stop and ask if God might be preparing you for a special task. 
[Life Application SB] 

Philip was a deacon who was also an evangelist; and God led him 
to witness in Samaria to people hostile to the Jews (John 4:9). The 
way to turn enemies into friends is to make them brothers and 
sisters in Christ.  [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren 
Wiersbe re Acts 8] 

Philip was one of seven "deacons" chosen to distribute food to 
the needy (6:1-7). Here we see him preaching and performing miracles 
in Samaria. Another "meals on wheels" driver had been promoted in 
God's army! What's really significant, however, is that Philip 
preached in Samaria. The Samaritan religion was a perverted form of 
Judaism, and Samaritans were viewed with hostility and contempt by the 
Jews. Philip, however, viewed them as human beings for whom Christ 
died, and preached Christ to them. How we classify people determines 
to a large extent how we relate to them. We Christians are not to 
classify others by racial or socioeconomic group, or even by such 
categories as drug addict, homosexual, or convict. We are to look at other 
believers as brothers and sisters in the Lord. And we are to look at every 
non-Christian as a candidate for salvation--as a person God loves, and for whom 
Christ died. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

  The Philip in this passage was not the apostle Philip; this is 
one of the seven men who had been chosen to help with the food 
distribution program in the church (see Acts 6:3-5, June 9). Along with that 
important duty, Philip was led by the Holy Spirit to preach, convert, and 
heal in a city in Samaria.  
  God uses all kinds of people to spread his Good News. From 
this story, you learn that you don't need to be a preacher or 
evangelist to share your faith. You just need to follow the Holy Spirit as 
he leads you to someone who needs to hear the Good News of 
salvation. You may not always feel comfortable - Philip may not have been 
comfortable venturing into Samaritan territory - but he went anyway. You may 
not feel knowledgeable enough, but Philip didn't decide that only 
the apostles could share the Good News. Instead, he followed the 
Spirit and went with the knowledge he had. God did the rest. [The One 
Year Bible for New Believers re Acts 8:4-8] 


Jesus encountered and drove out many evil spirits during his 
ministry on earth. Evil spirits, or demons, are ruled by Satan. Most 
scholars believe that demons are fallen angels who joined Satan in his 
rebellion against God. They can cause a person to be mute, deaf, blind, or 
insane and also tempt people to sin. Although they can be powerful, 
they are not able to read our minds and cannot be everywhere at once. 
Demons are real and active, but Jesus has given authority over them to 
his followers. Although Satan is allowed to work in our world, God 
is in complete control. He can drive demons out and end their 
destructive work in people's lives. Eventually Satan and his demons will be 
thrown into the lake of fire, forever ending their evil work in the 
world (Revelation 20:10). [Life Application SB] 


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