Philip Baptized An Ethiopian Official Without Delay, In Private

Philip Baptized An Ethiopian Official Without Delay, In Private

Based on Acts 8: 26-40

POY! SKIT GUIDELINES:

  • In a small group, participants might simply read their lines, or glance at their lines to get the idea so they can speak in their own words.
  • Most POY! skits require no practice in advance.
  • Have any small children play a brief part. Most scripts have an optional part for children, listed last under Participants.
  • Most scripts have a Narrator who should read the script beforehand to see how to keep moving the story along.
  • It is not necessary to employ costumes and objects, unless the skit recommends such.
  • It is not required to have an audience watch the skit. All present may participate.
  • Scripture and paraphrases, if any, usually appear in bold.

PARTICIPANTS:

Narrator
Philip, who also serves as Narrator
Ethiopian
Leftout
Pettyrules

Prompter (Optional). Prompter shouts a brief line and Companions repeat it.

Companions (Optional): children and all adults who want to take part. Make sure Companions know who the Prompter is, and that they are to repeat Prompter’s words.

SCRIPT:

Narrator

Philip was one of the first deacons in the Jerusalem church. He was a wise, godly man. He wondered why God had brought him so far out in the wilderness.

Philip

Oh! That Ethiopian riding in a chariot must be an important official. I shall go join him. Sir, I heard you reading Isaiah, about the Messiah who would suffer for us and bear our sins.

Ethiopian

Come join me and explain what Isaiah meant.

Philip

I shall be happy to explain how Isaiah’s prophecy foretold how Jesus of Nazareth bore our sins.

Narrator

The official slowed his horse so they could talk easily, and Philip explained that Jesus was the Messiah that Isaiah had foretold so vividly, who would bear people’s sins and bring healing.

Ethiopian

There is water ahead. Can you baptize me in it? Or does baptism have to be a public ceremony?

Philip

Your baptism will not be done in public, unless we count your horse.

Narrator

Philip was right. Christ and His apostles never taught that baptism had to be a public testimony. The apostles sometimes baptized in private.

Ethiopian

Do I have to study a catechism first, attend a newcomer’s class or wait during a probation time?

Philip

Oh, no! Where have you been hearing such things?

Narrator

Jesus and His apostles baptized without delay. Where authorities are hostile, people can wait to be baptized secretly wherever it is safe to do so. The apostles also tried to get entire families to come to Christ, rather than isolated individuals.

Philip

Sir, there is nothing impeding your baptism, as long as you believe in Jesus with a repentant heart.

Ethiopian

Then let’s do it. Here’s the water. Whoa, horse! Whoa!

Prompter & Companions

Whoa, horse! Whoa!

Philip

I baptized the Ethiopian, and he went on his way rejoicing.

Narrator

Now let us put this event into today’s world.

Philip

Sir, Ethiopian, you have a drinking problem. But you have received Christ, and He will help you overcome your vice. If you want to obey Jesus, then I will baptize you, so you can become a part of our church body where you will receive prayer and loving care, and I’ll meet with you to coach you in your new life.

Ethiopian

Oh, I need all that! Please baptize me, and my family, too. They tootrust in Jesus now. Baptize us!

Prompter & Companions

Baptize us! Baptize us!

Ethiopian

We really need help your church’s help. I have been really bad.

Philip

Jesus and His apostles taught that baptism is for bad people.

Ethiopian

I qualify! Oh, this is all too good to be true! There’s hope for my family and me!

Philip

Our church will baptize you this Sunday; come sober. In the meantime, we shall talk with your family. God’s grace is flowing!

Prompter & Companions

Grace is flowing! Grace is flowing!

Philip

Well, we baptizedthe Ethiopian and welcomes him into the Body of Christ.Like a newborn baby that needs and receives urgent care, he is overwhelmed with loving acceptance.

Narrator

Meanwhile in another town, a friend of the Ethiopian, Mr. Leftout, has also received Christ and wants to be baptized.

Leftout

I am Mr. Leftout. I have had a drinking problem, and other sins. I need help. Please baptize me! Jesus is my only hope.

Pettyrules

What? Baptize you! Ha!This brash newcomeris clamoring to be baptized!Let me introduce myself. I am Mr. Pettyrules.You are too new in the faith to be baptized, Mr. Leftout. Baptism is a sacred rite, only for those who merit it.

Leftout

But, Mr. Pettyrules, my Ethiopian friend was baptized, and he was as bad as I have been. He told me that baptism, according to the apostles, is for bad people who repent. No one merits God’s grace! The apostles baptized sinners and let God’s grace slop over on the unworthy!

Pettyrules

You dare to teach me about the sacred rite of baptism?I have doubts about yourEthiopian friend. How can you be sure he’s saved?Mr. Leftout, you cannot be baptized until you’ve stopped drinking for at least a year.You must walk on the water before being baptized in it!

Leftout

That’s not very encouraging.

Pettyrules

So come to church, Mr. Leftout, sit behind the others and, if you donot fall into any sin for anentire year, then we shall baptize you. You see, we keep God’s grace in a tiny bottle, and must dole it out very sparingly.

Narrator

Mr. Pettyrules overlook baptism’s purpose. Baptism is for babes in Christ, not for the mature. You donot wait for a baby to stop soiling its diapers before bringing it into your home. Now is the time Mr. Leftout desperately needs a church’s loving acceptance.But weeks go by and he does not receive it.

Pettyrules

Oh ho! Aha! I was right! That Ethiopian was celebrating Mr. Leftout’s birthday, and… Yes, they both got drunk! I certainly am glad we did not baptize Mr. Leftout! Well, he has left the church for good. We shall never see him again! Good riddance!

Philip

Mr. Pettyrules, had you baptized Mr. Leftout, he would not have left the church. He would have done what the Ethiopian did, whom we received without delay by baptism. The Ethiopian knew he belonged to the church family, so after stumbling he came back with a penitent heart, seeking prayer and restoration. Yes, they both got drunk, but the Ethiopian at least was a drunken disciple!

Ethiopian

I knew that God had forgiven me when the church forgave me, and helped me overcome my vice. God used their love for me and my family, to confirm our place in the Body of Christ. Hurrah!

Philip

Hurrah!

Prompter & Companions

Hurrah! Hurrah!

DISCUSS:

What is the best way for a church to deal with a weak or new believer’s vices?

(Good answer: Bring them into the congregation where they are receiving loving pastoral care, the Word, and where the Holy Spirit is active.)

Why did the apostles never delay baptism of repentant believers, except to go to their families?

(Good answer: The apostles did not use baptism as the graduation ceremony following a newcomer’s class; for them, baptism was a repentant sinner’s first step of obedience and identification with Jesus. The apostles taught beginners’ doctrine after baptism; for them, it was more important at first to meet Jesus and obey Him, than to merely learn truths about Him.)

 

Trackbacks

  1. […] Philip baptized an Ethiopian without delay, in private […]

Speak Your Mind

*