“Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’ Then 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.’ So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38).
The evangelist Philip has joined the Ethiopian traveling along the road from Jerusalem to Gaza and has preached “Jesus” to him. As a result of this teaching, the Ethiopian knows he needs “belief” in Jesus and “water” for salvation.
Philip tells him what he still lacks before he can be baptized: expression of faith. The Ethiopian shows his desire to change his life (that is, repent) as he states his faith in Jesus as God’s Son, and Philip baptizes him. This classic account from the beginning days of Christianity presents a solid illustration for actions every person must take if he or she desires salvation.
Jesus has given His life on the cross—He shed His blood—to validate this plan for all mankind. And this is the plan to which God expects us to submit if we want forgiveness and assurance of salvation—that is, an eternal home in heaven.