by J. L. Fiorino (from UPCI Home Missions Division website)
II Timothy 4:5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of they ministry.”
To better understand what is involved in the “work of an evangelist” we will look at the life of one in the New Testament. His name is Philip.
First – Let’s look at …
I.PHILIP: THE DEACON
Acts 21:8 – “And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.”
Philip is living at Caesera. Paul and eight delegates are commissioned to take an offering from the Gentile churches to the poor saints at Jerusalem. (Acts 20:4 – Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timotheus, Tychicus, Trophimus, and Luke)
(Luke, the writer of Acts, was one of the delegates)
They stop at Caesera and enter into the house of – “Philip the Evangelist” which was one of the “seven.”
Chosen and ordained by the apostles. Traditionally, these seven men have been called “deacons,” though the word “deacon” is not found in the Book of Acts. Though we know nothing beyond the names of the other five (Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas), Stephen and Philip not only performed their ministry of mercy with the poor, but they also spearheaded aggressive evangelism.
We are able to learn a little more about Philip by nothing the Four Qualifications For Becoming A Deacon; not a preacher, but a church officer.
i.Acts 6:3 – “among you”
Christian workers should be chosen from among believers.
There is no place for non-believers on a church board or in a leadership position.
Christian workers should possess a good reputation. Persons of recognized character should be chosen to carry out the business of the church.
iii.“full of the Holy Ghost”
This does not mean abandoning earthly interests. But priority should be: What is God’s purpose, plan and will?
Dominated by sanctified common sense. It should be noted that not only did Philip have wisdom, but also mercy, as he helped to distribute resources to alleviate the burden of those early saints.
Maybe the Apostle Paul had Stephen and Philip in mind when he wrote to Timothy concerning deacons – I Timothy 3:8-13.
In should be noted that an entire chapter is devoted to the aggressive ministry of both Stephen and Philip.
1.STEPHEN: Acts 7, as well as 6:9-15 (Stephen/Sanhedrin)
2.PHILIP: Acts 8 records the evangelistic efforts, first in a city-wide crusade in Samaria, and second, a one-on-one soul winning effort in the Gaza Desert.
II.PHILIP, THE EVANGELIST:
Philip is the only one by name referred to in the New Testament as an evangelist. (Acts 21:8) The word “evangelist” is used in two other passages:
a.Ephesians 4:11 – “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”
b.II Timothy 4:5 – “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
PHILIP – Samaria:
i.Acts 8:5 – Philip (the evangelist) went down to the City of Samaria. The Samaritans were an amalgamation of northern Jews and Assyrian heathen. They despised the Jews and didn’t even want to deal with them.
It is hard to fulfill this calling by sitting in a local church. Are you trying to evangelize the local congregation by preaching twice a year? Eventually, you will have to put the “Go” in your evangelistic call.
1.Acts 8:5 – “and preached Christ unto them.”
Example: Jesus, Acts 1:1 “do” and “teach”
2.Luke 4 – 3 things preached
a.Gospel/poor – 4:18
b.Deliverance – 4:18
c.Acceptable year – 4:19
But must also “do” something – heal broken hearted, set at liberty them that are bruised.
3.Object of Philip’s Preaching:
a.Christ – Acts 8:5 – to preach Christ one must preach His birth, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, exaltation, power and return. (I Corinthians 4:5)
b.The things concerning the Kingdom of God – Acts 8:12; John 3:3 – see the Kingdom of God; John 3:5 – enter the Kingdom of God.
c.Name of Jesus Christ
d.A Demonstration of signs, wonders, miracles: Acts 4:30; Acts 8:6 – hearing and seeing the miracles which he did; Acts 8:7 – unclean spirits, palsies and lame; Acts 8:13 – miracles and signs which were done.
e.Conviction Resulting in Repentance: Acts 8:12 – but when they believed; Acts 8:14 – received the Word of God
f.Water Baptism: Acts 8:12 – they were baptized; Acts 8:16 – in the name Lord Jesus
g.The Holy Ghost: Resentment: Acts 8:14-15; Would “Philip the Evangelist” resent apostolic intrustion into his fruitful ministry at Samaria? It should be noted that Philip didn’t feel threatened but rather delighted at the visit of Peter and John, and what a beautiful spirit reflected by both Peter and John toward the Samaritans. Acts 8:17 – Laying on of the Hands – Holy Ghost; Acts 8:18 – Apostoles’ hands – Holy Ghost was given; Acts 8:25 – “They testified and preached the word of the Lord.”
III.PHILIP THE EVANGELIST – GAZA DESERT:
Acts 8:26-40 (one-on-one evangelism)
a.High Ethiopian official – 8:27
b.Treasurer for Queen Candace – 8: 27
c.A journey of over 1200 miles – 8:28
d.Reading Isaiah 53 – 8:28, 30, 32-33
e.His consistency – preached Jesus to the one eunuch – 8:35
IV.PHILIP TH EEVANGELIST – AZOTUS TO CEASEREA
V.PHILIP TH EVANGELIST – HOST:
Don’t get bitter.
Acts 21:8 (20 years after Acts 8)
Paul and eight delegates taking an offering to Jerusalem. Stay with Philip for about 2 weeks (21:10)
What moving dialogues they must have had as the reminisced. Don’t forget – Paul had approved the stoning of his dear friend, Stephen.
It seems that Philip was able to conquer any ill feeling toward Paul.
In January ’81, rebels shot Chet Bitterman, a missionary for the Wycliff Bible translators. His body was left in a hijacked bus in Colombia, South America.
In April ’82, the churches, along with some civic leaders of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Bitterman’s home), presented an ambulance to Colombia State of Meta. where he had been martyred. His mother (Mary) and his father (Chester) traveled to Colombia for the presentation. At the ceremony, his mother explained, “The reason we’re able to do this is because God has taken the hatred from our hearts.”
VI.PHILIP THE EVANGELIST – FATHER OF 4 PROPHETESSES:
You get bitter, harbor bad feelings, and you could end up losing your children, making ship wreck of your ministry.