Why Stop The Chariot?
Acts 8:26-39 is the record of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. This man was the treasurer of Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, and a man of great authority. He was returning from Jerusalem where he had gone to worship, and he was riding in his chariot, reading from the prophet Isaiah, specifically from chapter 53. Philip the evangelist came in contact with him and asked him if he understood what he was reading. He invited Philip to ride along with him and explain if Isaiah was talking about himself or some other man. Verse 35 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth and beginning at the same Scripture, preached Jesus to him.” In preaching Jesus, the subject of baptism was broached, and as they came to some water, the eunuch asked Philip, “See, here is water, what hinders me from being baptized?” (v. 36). Upon the Eunuch’s confession of his faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God “he commanded the chariot to stand still” (v. 38), and he and Philip went down into the water and Philip baptized him. After the eunuch was baptized, he and Philip parted ways, with the eunuch going “on his way rejoicing” (v. 39), and Philip continuing his preaching tour.
Has it occurred to you, that if what many today say about baptism not being essential to salvation is true, it would have been entirely unnecessary for the eunuch to even stop the chariot? But since the Bible teaches that baptism is essential to one being saved, it is understandable why the eunuch saw the urgency of being baptized as soon as he understood that baptism was essential to his sins being washed away. “(Acts 22:16). Think on these things.