April 04, 2023 – Tuesday
Acts 8:12-13 NIV
12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
If someone placed these verses down in front of me, I would ask what does it mean, 12 But when they believed Philip? To answer that question we have to turn to verses 9-11 to find out about this man Simon mentioned above in verse thirteen. And here is what we find, 9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.
We find Simon was a sorcerer and had some fame as a sorcerer. But his sorcery could not compare with what Philip was preaching that led men and women to be baptized, 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Remember that baptism followed believing Jesus did die for their sins leading them to repent of their sinful ways. At the same time also believing Jesus rose on the third day leading them to call upon Him as Lord. Simon the sorcerer saw something here way beyond his sorcery.
That is why in the next verse we read, 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. He knew the signs and miracles were beyond anything he could have done. Then he must have seen or been aware that, 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
That is when Simon made a terrible mistake, 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Simon somehow thought the Holy Spirit was a power that could be bought and sold. He thought he could control the working of the Spirit, and use it as he wished, instead of it being God who would rule his life. He thought he could purchase this Spirit for the laying on of hands. He was quickly disabused of such a notion when Peter answered him, 20 “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
Simon immediately sought forgiveness to avoid God’s judgment saying, 24 “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” Instead, he should have listened to what Peter had said, 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. This was not something Peter could do for him, just as no one can proclaim a faith in Jesus for any one of us.
Bottom Line: It is each person’s singular requirement to humble themselves before God and accept the wonderful gift of Grace through Jesus.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your love for us shines through in Your Word. Thank You for showing us such incredible love and Grace. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton