“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” When the church was in its infancy, God would supernaturally equip a team of workers “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Evangelist, a word interpreted bearer of good news, is one with the calling of God to announce the good news of the Gospel. Perhaps you have a mental picture of an evangelist, a fiery preacher sounding forth salvation’s message, but let’s take a moment and learn some lessons from the lone evangelist mentioned by name for us in the New Testament, Philip.
Not to be confused with the apostle Philip, our evangelist is first mentioned after Jesus returns to heaven after His resurrection. The church, comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, was growing rapidly, as were the organizational and logistical problems. Soon there arose a “murmuring” between the Hebrew converts and the Hellenistic (Gentile) Christians. The apostles’ schedules were so overwhelmed that the poor widows were being “neglected in the daily ministration.” To remedy the situation and to remove any suspicion of partiality, seven men “of honest report, and full of the Holy Ghost” were appointed to take some of the work load. Philip would be one of those men chosen to serve others.
When the work in Jerusalem became hindered by persecution following the death of Stephen, Philip would descend the mountains of Jerusalem and go “down to the city of Samaria” to carry the good news to the Samaritans. Animosity was fierce between the Jews and Samaritans, but Philip rose above centuries of prejudice and “preached Christ unto them,” bringing “great joy to that city.” But in an unexpected move, God would call his evangelist away from the throngs of people and send him to Gaza, “which is desert.” Wait, where would crowds be gathered in the desert? But Philip was so attuned to the Spirit of God that he did not question this unusual and unexpected course change, he simply submitted and went.
Unforeseen to Philip at the time was that a lone “man of Ethiopia” was traversing the desert, a man whose heart God had prepared; he was searching for God, but had no one to “guide” him to the Savior. Philip opened the Scriptures “and preached unto him Jesus.” Years later, as the final curtain is pulled back on his life, we find Philip opening his home to Paul and his company on their missionary journey, hosting this missionary team with the aid of Philip’s “four daughters…which did prophesy.”
Let’s see, an honest man, attuned to the Spirit, who didn’t allow prejudice to impede his efforts, who was willing to take on a huge crowd or a solitary soul, and a man who passed on his passion to the next generation. Could you “do the work of an evangelist” and spread the good news?
II Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
What a wonderful example we have in the evangelist, Philip. Help us, Lord, to be infused with the Spirit to excess, so that we too can accomplish great things for You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2381-632fb96f4e8d9' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2381&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2381-632fb96f4e8d9' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2381-632fb96f4e8d9' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>