Acts 8:26-40 gives us an overview of the gospel, though it is described very briefly as ‘the good news about Jesus.’ (Acts 8:35) Philip starts with explaining the verses the eunuch was reading from Isaiah 53, showing us the importance of Scripture in explaining the gospel. Scripture is the foundation on which we build and makes us wise for salvation (see 2 Tim 3:15). He obviously covers a great deal in his conversation, because when the eunuch sees water, he stops the chariot and asks to be baptised. (Acts 8:36) This is another record of water baptism in the early church, and in this instance, the fact that he went down into the water and then came up out of the water (Acts 8:38-39) gives us more details about what form baptism took.

In our church, we baptise those who believe in Jesus Christ by full immersion. Going down into the water represents Christ’s death for us and thus the removal of our sins and rising up from the water represents Christ’s resurrection and victory over sin and death (see Rom 6:3-14). We long to see more people baptised, because this is part of the fulfilment of the Great Commission. It’s telling that even in this relatively short encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, so much theological ground is covered. May we be as effective in communicating the good news as Philip was!