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So Acts is a video report of how the Apostles and disciples shared the Gospel message in every possible setting. What we get is to see how the eyewitnesses shared with the world what happened in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. As we go through all 28 chapters we find that there are 22-recorded events where a Gospel Message is presented.
The FOURTH Gospel Message comes in Acts 5:31-32 as Peter is again speaking, declaring the way of salvation:
“Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
So what is our GOSPEL MESSAGE SUMMARY after the 4th message on how to be saved? REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY, and BE SAVED by RECEIVING FORGIVENESS of SINS.
Now, as we turn to Acts 8 several things are happening. Time has passed, greater persecution has started, and others are preaching the Apostolic Message of Salvation. Philip has gone to the next level. Jesus said in Acts 1:8:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The FIFTH Gospel Message we find is no longer directed just to Jews, now Samaritans, half Jew, and half Gentile, are getting the message. Now we see for the first time a false believer. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels, and now we see it. Note Acts 8:13:
Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs, which were done.
So he believed and was baptized, but something was missing. When the Apostle Peter who has given every recorded Gospel Message on this videotape so far shows up to confirm the veracity of this evangelistic outreach he declares something was lacking from this man’s conversion. Listen and note the report in Acts 8:21-23:
“You have neither part nor portion in this matter (what matter? Salvation), for your heart is not right in the sight of God. (Wow, what makes a heart right in God’s sight Peter?) 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Simon believed and was baptized but did not receive the Holy Spirit, which was the seal of true conversion and New Birth. This means that belief and baptism without repentance was insufficient. He never repented of his sin so he was never saved! Salvation again is stated by Peter to involve a turning from sin, which is called repentance.
So what is our GOSPEL MESSAGE SUMMARY after the 5th message on how to be saved? Really REPENT and TURN AWAY FROM INIQUITY, and BE SAVED by RECEIVING FORGIVENESS of SINS.
Quickly now, here is a vital point. Philip has now experienced a lesson just like Peter had gotten repeatedly at the feet of Jesus. Philip had his gospel message inspected by Peter. Philip was shown that as Jesus warned, there would be those who believed and went through baptism, but were never saved. What does Philip do? He emphasizes something. Look now at the SIXTH Gospel Message in Acts 8:35-37:
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”