As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized? And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38)
The Holy Spirit was present with Philip and the eunuch. Finding water in the desert is yet another clue. As a Jew, Philip could have listed many reasons that could’ve stood in the eunuch’s way of being baptized: a missing body part, uncleanliness according to Old Testament Scripture, eating the wrong food, uneducated in Scripture, and not an Israelite. The religious leaders of the temple would’ve limited the eunuch to the outer courts and wouldn’t have allowed him to participate in sacraments.
The major difference between religion and belief in Jesus is the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit removes religious rules and says, “If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, nothing can stand in the way of your being baptized.” So Philip, filled with the Holy Spirit, baptized the eunuch.
Father God, I praise you for the simpleness of becoming a Christian, believing that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Thank you for filling me with the Holy Spirit who touches my heart, enabling me to love better, use my gifts, and arrange the coincidences needed to fulfill God’s will. Show me when to stop my chariot in order to care for another. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.