Testing the Impulse to Confession
Acts 8:36
And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water…

The eunuch knew how his own proselytism had been sealed. When he accepted the Jewish faith, he made confession of it by the rite of baptism. So now, when he had accepted a new faith, his first impulse was the desire to seal it by a renewal of the rite, and the site of the water reminded him of the possibility of making his confession of Christ there and then. Though ver. 37 is not found in the Revised Version, and may be only an editor's explanation that has crept into the text, we may be quite sure that Philip would not baptize the eunuch in response to his impulsive request without some such test as this - a test which would bring out whether his faith was whole-hearted and sincere. He must know if his belief was belief with all the heart. On this test, which needs to be still put to would-be confessors, we may dwell.

I. BELIEF OF THE HEART IS THE BELIEF OF SINCERE CONVICTION. A man becomes intellectually convinced that Jesus Christ is the Savior. That conviction may come by very different agencies adapted to individuals. Mere ideas never urge to faith, convictions do.

II. BELIEF OF THE HEART IS THE BELIEF OF DEEP FEELING. The intellectual grasp of truth is not enough. The sense of sin and the gratitude for salvation urge the outgoing of trustful affections towards the Savior.

III. BELIEF OF THE HEART FINDS EXPRESSION IN PRACTICAL RESOLVE. First all entire decision for Christ; then a full and unreserved consecration to him; then a turning round of our whole life to his obedience, and a daily devotion of our powers and talents to his service. But this belief with the heart is no mere fitting association of the first act of confession; it needs to be daily maintained, growing knowledge of Christ giving fuller apprehensions of him, and our hearts lovingly responding to all we can learn and know. Heart-belief alone can ensure the active, noble, and self-denying Christian life. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

WEB: As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?"

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