A Surprising Baptism

Sermon from CCM Ladybarn


This sermon was preached by Andy Wisdom at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 1st September 2019.


This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on Acts 8:26-40.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.


An Unlikely Convert

  • The gospel had already been taken to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Ethiopia was considered to be ‘the ends of the earth’.
  • There were many things which would have got in the way of the Ethiopian being a believer. He was wealthy, he was a foreigner and an outsider, on top of this he was a eunuch which meant he could not be circumcised.
  • These were things which kept him out of the promises of the Old Testament but Jesus had may a way for all to be included.

Finding Jesus in Isaiah

  • Philip did what God told him, not half heartedly, he ran to the chariot.
  • Philip was able to use the scripture the Eunuch was reading to introduce him to Jesus and explain that he could now be part of the story of the people of God.
  • The Eunuch asked a really important question, not ‘why should I be baptised?’ but ‘what is stopping me from being baptised?’

What is God Asking You to do?

  • What are the things God is asking you to do?
  • What might be getting in the way of you doing those things?
  • We now have access to the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to do all God asks of us.




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