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                         "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"

                             Chapter Eight


1) To note the spread of the gospel into Judea and Samaria, as foretold
   by Jesus (cf. Ac 1:8)

2) To review the conversions of the Samaritans and the Ethiopian eunuch

3) To examine the apostolic ministry of imparting the Spirit through the
   laying on of hands


Following the martyrdom of Stephen, the church in Jerusalem was severely
persecuted.  Prominent in leading the persecution was young Saul, going
so far as to enter homes and dragging men and women off to prison (1-3).

This led to the dispersion of the church throughout Judea and Samaria,
though the apostles remained in Jerusalem.  Those who were scattered
went everywhere preaching the Word, including Philip (one of the seven
men selected to help needy widows, cf. 6:5).  Preaching Christ and
performing miracles, many Samaritans believed and were baptized,
including a sorcerer named Simon.  When the apostles heard that the
Samaritans had received the Word, they sent Peter and John to impart the
Spirit through the laying on of hands.  When Simon tried to buy the
ability to impart spiritual gifts, Peter strongly rebuked him and told
him to repent and pray for forgiveness.  Peter and John eventually made
their way back to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of
the Samaritans (5-25).

Philip was then told by an angel to go along the road between Jerusalem
and Gaza where he saw a man reading in his chariot, who happened to be a
eunuch and treasurer of Queen Candace of Ethiopia.  Told by the Spirit
to overtake the chariot, Philip heard him reading from the prophet
Isaiah.  Invited to explain the passage in Isaiah (cf. Isa 53:7-8),
Philip proceeded to preach Jesus to him.  When they came to some water,
the eunuch requested to be baptized and Philip did so upon hearing his
confession of faith.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit
caught Philip away and the eunuch resumed his journey with great joy.
Philip was later found at Azotus, and continued to preach in the cities
until he came to Caesarea (26-40).



      1. Saul consents to Stephen's death
      2. A great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem
         a. Christians scattered throughout Judea and Samaria
         b. Except the apostles
      3. Stephen buried and lamented by devout men
      4. Saul makes havoc of the church, imprisoning men and women

      1. Those scattered abroad went everywhere
      2. Preaching the word


      1. Preaches Christ to them
      2. Multitudes give heed to the word, seeing the miracles he did
         a. Casting out unclean spirits
         b. Healing the paralyzed and lame
         c. Creating great joy in the city
      3. Background on Simon the sorcerer
         a. Previously practiced sorcery, astonishing the people,
            claiming to be great
         b. To whom people gave heed, calling him "the great power of
      4. Many Samaritans converted
         a. Believed Philip preaching concerning the kingdom of God and
            the name of Jesus
         b. Were baptized, both men and women
      5. Simon also believes and is baptized
         a. Continued with Philip
         b. Amazed with the signs and miracles that were done

      1. Peter and John sent to Samaria
         a. By the apostles at Jerusalem
         b. Who heard the Samaritans received the word of God
      2. Peter and John impart the Holy Spirit
         a. Praying for the Samaritans, for they had only been baptized
            in the name of Jesus
         b. Laying hands on them, whereby they received the Holy Spirit
      3. Simon tries to buy the gift of imparting the Spirit
         a. He saw that it was imparted by the laying on of the
            apostles' hands
         b. He offered Peter and John money for the same gift
         c. Peter strongly rebukes Simon
            1) For thinking the gift of God could be purchased with
            2) He had no part in this matter, for his heart was not
               right in the sight of God
         d. Peter counsels Simon
            1) To repent and pray for forgiveness
            2) For he is poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity
            3) Simon pleads with Peter to pray for him
      4. Peter and John return to Jerusalem
         a. After testifying and preaching the word of the Lord
         b. After preaching the gospel in many of the villages of the


      1. An angel of the Lord tells Philip to go south toward Gaza
      2. In a desert area he sees a man in a chariot
         a. A man of great authority
            1) A eunuch from Ethiopia
            2) In charge of the treasury of Candace, queen of Ethiopia
         b. A religious man
            1) Had traveled to Jerusalem to worship
            2) Reading from Isaiah on his return home
      3. The Spirit tells Philip to overtake the chariot

      1. Philip approaches the eunuch
         a. Hears him reading from Isaiah - Isa 53:7-8
         b. Asks him if he understands what he is reading
         c. The eunuch desires help in understanding the subject of the
      2. Philip preaches to the Eunuch
         a. Beginning with that scripture, He preached Jesus to him
         b. Coming to some water, the eunuch requests baptism
         c. Baptism requires faith in Jesus, which the eunuch confesses
         d. Both go into the water, and Philip baptizes the eunuch
      3. Following the baptism
         a. The Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away so the eunuch saw
            him no more
         b. The eunuch went on his way rejoicing
         c. Philip was later found at Azotus, and preached in all the
            cities till he came to Caesarea


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Aftermath of Stephen's death (1-4)
   - Conversion of the Samaritans (5-25)
   - Conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch (26-40)

2) Who consented to Stephen's death? (1)
   - Saul

3) What happened at that time?  What was the result? (1)
   - A great persecution against the church
   - The church was scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, except the

4) What was Saul doing? (3)
   - Making havoc of the church, dragging men and women off to prison

5) What did those who were scattered do? (4)
   - They went everywhere preaching the word

6) Who went to Samaria and preached Christ to them? (5)
   - Philip (cf. Ac 6:5)

7) How did the multitudes respond? Why? (6)
   - They heeded the things spoken by Philip
   - Because of the miracles he did

8) What kind of miracles did Philip perform? (7)
   - Casting out unclean spirits, healing the paralyzed and lame

9) Who had the Samaritans previously heeded? (9-11)
   - Simon the sorcerer

10) What things did Philip preach that the Samaritans believed? (12)
   - The kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ

11) How did the Samaritans respond to Philip's preaching? (12)
   - With faith and baptism

12) Who else believed and was baptized? (13)
   - Simon the sorcerer

13) Who was sent to Samaria by the apostles?  Why? (14-16)
   - Peter and John; that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit

14) How was the Holy Spirit imparted to the Samaritans? (17-18)
   - By the laying on of the apostles' hands

15) What did Simon try to do? (18-19)
   - Purchase the ability to impart the Spirit by the laying on of hands

16) Why did Peter refuse and then rebuke Simon for his offer? (20-23)
   - Thinking that the gift of God could be purchased with money
   - His heart was not right; he was poisoned by bitterness and bound by

17) What did Peter tell Simon to do in order to be forgiven? What did
    Simon ask? (22)
   - To repent and pray; for Peter to pray for him

18) As Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, what did they do? (25)
   - Preached the gospel in many of the villages of the Samaritans

19) Where was Philip told to go next?  Who told him? (26)
   - To go south along the road from Jerusalem to Gaza; an angel of the

20) Who did Philip see?  What was the man doing? (27-28)
   - An Ethiopian eunuch, the treasurer of Queen Candace
   - Returning from Jerusalem where he gone to worship, sitting in his
     chariot and reading from Isaiah

21) Who told Philip to overtake the chariot? (29)
   - The Spirit

22) When Philip heard him reading, what did he ask? How did the eunuch
    respond? (30-31)
   - "Do you understand what you are reading?"
   - "How can I, unless someone guides me?"

23) Where in Isaiah was the eunuch reading? (32-33)
   - Isaiah 53:7-8

24) What did the eunuch want to know? (34)
   - Was Isaiah writing of himself, or some other man

25) Beginning from that passage, what did Philip preach? (35)
   - Jesus

26) When they came to water, what did the eunuch ask?  How did Philip
    respond? (36-37)
   - "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?"
   - "If you believe with all your heart, you may."

27) How did Philip baptize the eunuch? (38-39)
   - They both went down into the water, Philip baptized him, they both
     came up out of the water

28) What happened when they came up out of the water?  What did the
    eunuch do? (39)
   - The Spirit caught Philip away, so the eunuch saw him no more
   - He went on his way rejoicing

29) Where was Philip found?  What did he then do? (40)
   - Azotus; preached in all the cities until he came to Caesarea
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