VERSES: Acts 8:26-40
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 8:37 "...And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Acts. Write "Acts" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students as they leave class. The purpose is to memorize all of the New Testament books, one book at a time at home.
PRAYER: Thank God for His simple plan of salvation.
SPECIAL SONG: How Do Christians Worship God? (see May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 for words to the song on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Bible map that shows Jerusalem, Ethiopia, Gaza, Azotus, and Caesarea; a large activity either drawn on the white or black board or enlarged activity (see below).
- The book of Acts is also known as the Book of Conversions. "Conversion" means to change. There are many examples in this book that tell us what others did to become a member of Christ's church. This lesson is only one example.
- The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go toward the south to the place from Jerusalem to Gaza which was desert. Philip did what the angel told him to do and Philip came across a man from Ethiopia who was a man who had great authority under Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. We do not know this man's name, but we do know that he was in charge of the queen's treasury--he was a very important man. He had been to Jerusalem to worship, and when Philip met him, he was returning to Ethiopia. He was sitting in a chariot, reading from Isaiah, the prophet.
- The Spirit of the Lord told Philip to get closer to the chariot, so as he ran up to the chariot, he heard the Queen's treasurer reading from Isaiah. Philip asked the treasurer if he understood what he was reading. The treasurer said to Philip, "How can I understand unless someone guides me?" Then he invited Philip to sit in his chariot with him. The queen's treasurer asked Philip who was the prophet referring to in the passage that he had been reading. Philip began there at the same scripture and preached to him all about Jesus.
- As they traveled on in the chariot and Philip taught this very important man, he must have taught him about baptism as well because as soon as they came to a certain water, the queen's treasurer asked Philip, "See, right here is water. What prevents me from being baptized?" Philip replied, "If you believe with all of your heart, then you may." The man in the chariot answered Philip, "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God." Then the chariot was commanded to stop and the queen's treasurer and Philip both went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip and the queen's treasurer did not see him anymore, but he went on his way, rejoicing.
- Philip continued preaching and teaching through all the cities from Azotus to Caesarea.
- What a simple plan of salvation! This example of conversion reinforces what we need to do to be saved. We need to hear about Jesus (Romans 10:17), believe that Jesus is the God's only begotten Son (Acts 4:4, 5:14), repent of our sins as those believers did on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38, confess that Jesus is the Son of God as the Ethiopian did in Acts 8:37, and be baptized in much water (Acts 8:38, 39). There is no need for a special trip to a certain place for baptism other than a place where there is much water, for example the Ethiopian and Philip "both went down into the water."
- It is interesting to notice that the Queen's treasurer must have had some water in some kind of a container since he was traveling through a desert place like Gaza. But, as Philip talks with him, he does not sprinkle or pour water on the Ethiopian; Philip goes down into water with him to baptize him. Certainly, the water at which the chariot stops must have had enough water for both men to walk "down into the water" and "come up out of." No, neither sprinkling nor pouring was the method for the Ethiopian's baptism. It was immersion or a burial in water.
- What did the queen's treasurer do AFTER he was baptized and after Philip had been taken away? "He went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:39). Joy is a byproduct of obedience.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" yellow construction paper, 5" x 12" blue construction paper, 5" x 12" light brown construction paper, 4" x 9" dark brown construction paper, two 2" x 4" light orange construction paper, .3" x 4" green construction paper, 3" x 4" any color construction paper, scraps of tan, light green and purple construction paper, crayons, glue.
- Hand out yellow paper. This is the background.
- Hand out 5" x 12" light brown paper.
- Tear outside edges of light brown paper.
- Tear down the middle of the light brown paper, length-wise.
- Glue one torn light brown piece of paper in the middle of the yellow paper. This is the desert. Save the other paper for a minute.
- Hand out blue paper.
- Fold up 2" of blue paper.
- Tear edges of blue paper. Keep folded. This is the water; folded to form a small pocket to place Philip as he baptizes the queen's treasurer.
- Glue the back of the largest edge of the blue paper and place on the bottom edge of the light brown paper.
- Glue sides of blue paper. Press sides to secure.
- Glue saved light brown paper to the bottom edge of the yellow paper. This, also, is the desert.
- Write "CERTAIN WATER" on light brown paper and draw an arrow to water.
- Hand out dark brown paper.
- Tear a chariot and a tree trunk out of the dark brown paper.
- Glue tree trunk just under the tallest blue edge of paper, hiding the bottom of the tree. Tear to fit.
- Glue the chariot on the right side of the yellow paper, out of the water.
- Hand out green paper.
- Tear out three or four leaves.
- Glue leaves to top of tree trunk.
- Hand out light orange papers.
- Tear two large circles out of orange paper. These are the chariots wheels.
- Glue wheels on to chariot.
- Write "CHARIOT" close by the chariot.
- Out of light orange or brown scraps, tear a small circle. This is the Ethiopian's head.
- Out of tan scraps, tear a small circle. This is Philip's head.
- Hand out light green and purple scraps. These are the men's clothes.
- Tear a 2" triangle out of the purple scrap. This is the queen's treasurer's clothes.
- Glue head on purple clothing.
- Tear a 2" triangle out of the light green scrap. This is Philip's clothing.
- Tear two 1" strips of light green paper. These are Philip's arms.
- Glue arms on light green clothing.
- Glue tan head on Philip's clothing.
- Color Philip and the treasurer. Set aside.
- Tear a 1" square out of tan scrap. Write two or three wiggly lines on it. This is the scripture from Isaiah.
- Glue ONLY one side of scripture to the chariot. By only gluing one side, then Philip and the treasurer can 'read'.
- Glue bottom and side edges of any color construction paper to the back of the yellow paper. Make sure the top of the pocket is open, so the two men can rest inside when not in use. Write "POCKET".
- The purpose of this project is to 'tell' the story to others which will reinforce the story in the student's mind every time it is told.