And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.Acts 8:37(KJV)
As God's chosen people, Israel believed in the Lord their God with Whom they had made a covenant at Sinai. They also believed in the Holy Spirit of God and witnessed Him working through certain prophets, priests, kings, and other selected individuals - although, during Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit did not indwell His people permanently... He was selective and temporary.
For centuries, Israel had believed in a coming Messiah Who would save His people. However, they did not understand that salvation of their soul (in the spiritual, heavenly realm), had to precede the rescue of their nation from their bitter enemies (in the physical, earthly realm).
When God sent His only begotten Son into the world to save His people from their sin and to set up the kingdom of God on earth, many did not understand that Jesus was the promised Messiah of God. They did not comprehend that He was the Word made flesh. Many could not accept that Jesus was Immanuel, the Alpha and the Omega, the great I AM - despite His clear teaching which said, "believe on God, AND Jesus Christ Whom He has sent." Nor would they believe in Him when He told them, "I have the words of eternal life."
Not only was Israel to believe on God-the-Father and God-the-Holy Spirit, but they were also to believe on God-the-Son. However, many did not understand... and although they repented of their sins and demonstrated this through John's 'baptism-of-repentance', they were still unaware that they ALSO had to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ Whom God had sent, for the salvation of their soul.
Throughout the book of Acts, we see men and women who believed in God (Who brought their forefathers out of the land of Egypt), repenting of their sins, renouncing their apostasy, returning to the Lord, and coming to an understanding of Who Jesus was. Having repented of their sins and returned to God of their fathers, they also had to come to an understanding that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah and the Son of God! WOW, what a revelation that must have been when they finally realised that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah of Israel, the Saviour of the world, and the Son of the living God Who was also GOD THE SON.
It must have been thrilling for these men of Israel and other Jewish proselytes when they finally recognised Jesus as the Rock in the wilderness, the prophesied great Star, and the eternal Sceptre from the line of Judah - of the house of David.
David identified Jesus as, "the Good Shepherd," while Micah described Him as, "the One Whose going forth is of old - from everlasting to everlasting." He was, "the Branch," about Whom Zechariah wrote and Solomon called Him, "the Beloved." Jesus was also the One about Whom the Ethiopian eunuch was reading, when Philip came alongside his chariot on that dusty road.
What a thrill it must have been as Philip opened the prophetic Scriptures to this God-fearing man, and revealed to him that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Son of God - in Whom is the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. No wonder the eunuch believed in Jesus Christ and asked if he might be baptised in the water right away.
Not surprisingly Philip said, "Yes, if You believe what I have told you," about Jesus - that He is the promised Saviour, Who died on the Cross according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures - then you can be baptised and brought into the Body of Christ. That blessed man was born of the Spirit the moment he believed the gospel and was permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit that moment. And as we read, immediately he was baptised in water, as an outward sign of his inward salvation.
Nor is it surprising that this joyful man replied, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Praise God for our great salvation, for "... all the prophets bear testimony, that whoever believes on Him shall receive remission of sins, through His name."
Heavenly Father, what a wonderful truth that Christ died for me according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, rose again, and is seated on the right hand of the Father in heavenly glory. Thank You for the lovely book of Acts and the beautiful way that it shows how faithful men of Israel came to a deeper understanding that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that by believing on His name they might have forgiveness of sins and be made members of Christ mystic Body - where there is neither Jew nor Gentile - but One New Man, IN Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.
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