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Philip: Preacher Of Christ part 2

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Introduction

How many of us have ever tried something new? A new job, new sport, new recipe, new subject at school. Was anyone perfect the first time they tried something? No! I think of working construction. I had never really put siding on before. It’s my first day on the job and the boss points me toward a spot on the house and told me to do siding. It took me quite awhile because I didn’t know what I was doing. There was a lot of pressure because of the deadline of getting the house done and there were times when it was tempting to quit. But I persevered and learned how to do siding quickly and efficiently. In this portion of our passage we encounter someone who had failed repeatedly, yet continued to faithfully serve the Lord. From Peter we learn that God values faithfulness, not perfection.
We began this passage before Christmas. We are now learning of how the Gospel spread to Judea and Samaria; first of all through the preaching ministry of Philip. In our previous Acts 8 message we saw Philip taking the gospel to a people normally hated and despised. In Samaria he encountered a sorcerer who had great influence over the people. The people and Simon the sorcerer all come to Christ. As we continue in the story, Philip temporarily fades into the background as the apostles arrive and pray for the Holy Spirit to fall on the believers. This event sparks a confrontation with Simon. Today we will focus on the coming of the Holy Spirit here in Samaria as well as this confrontation with Simon and how it teaches us that God wants your heart, not your performance.
As we see Peter and John facilitate the coming of the Holy Spirit here and as we examine this encounter with Simon what we mentioned earlier are the two things I want us to leave here with.
God wants your heart, not your performance - Simon looked good, but his heart was not right.
Now we learn of The Spread Of The Gospel In Judea And Samaria Chs. 8:4-11:18. We learn here of The “Everywhere” Preaching Ministry Of Philip Ch. 8:4-40. This is going to be part 1 because there is too much here to get it all in one message. Philip teaches us a powerful lesson in the verses we will consider today. He teaches us that…The gospel message breaks down all barriers.Therefore.We must be able and willing to share Christ with anyone. Today we will be challenged by Philip’s example.We find Philip being one of those scattered through persecution and then…
The Spread Of The Gospel In Judea And Samaria Chs. 8:4-11:18The “Everywhere” Preaching Ministry Of Philip Ch. 8:4-40
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: A Church on the Move ()Persecution does to the church what wind does to seed: it scatters it and only produces a greater harvest.
As we see Peter and John facilitate the coming of the Holy Spirit here and as we examine this encounter with Simon what we mentioned earlier are the two things I want us to leave here with.
God values faithfulness, not perfection.
and
God wants your heart, not your performance.
What takes place in is exactly what Wiersbe describes. We learn here of The “Everywhere” Preaching Ministry Of Philip Ch. 8:4-40. This is going to be part 1 because there is too much here to get it all in one message. Philip teaches us a powerful lesson in the verses we will consider today. He teaches us that…The gospel message breaks down all barriers.Therefore.We must be able and willing to share Christ with anyone. Today we will be challenged by Philip’s example.We find Philip being one of those scattered through persecution and then…
When we grasp these truths we are liberated from legalism and empowered to serve from the heart.
As we yield our lives to Christ, the gospel is lived out and proclaimed and in this Christ is glorified and His church is built.
Last time we saw Philip being one of those scattered through persecution and then…

1. Preaching Christ In Samaria vv. 4-25

1. Preaching Christ In Samaria vv. 4-25

a. The message authenticated by miracles vv. 4-13

As Philip preached we found…

a. The message authenticated by miracles vv. 4-13

i. The miracle of healed bodies vv. 4-8

1. Miracles preceded by preaching vv. 4-5a. Preaching everywhere v. 48:4 – Everywhere they went they preached the Word.Preaching – εὐαγγελίζω (euangelizō) proclaim good news. To convey the Gospel v. — to bring the good news concerning the now present instantiation of Jesus’ divine dominion and way of salvation by His death and resurrection. Verb, present, middle, instrumental participle, plural, nominative.Preaching – εὐαγγελίζω (euangelizō)They are evangelizing! Bringing the gospel to people even as they flee persecution.Preaching word. Word = logos. Message about Christ. Who He is and what He has done. This is the basis for what happens with Philip here. He is one of the ones who faces persecution. This persecution does not embitter him. He simply moves on and preaches the Word. We must not grow bitter when opposition arises. Use it as an opportunity to preach Christ. What is fascinating about Philip is the first place he goes to preach which we see in v. 5.b. Preaching in Samaria v. 5Philip, a Hellenistic Jew, goes to Samaria. This is how the gospel spreads to the Samaritans! Already we see how the gospel of Jesus Christ is breaking down societal barriers. Jews would normally have nothing to do with Samaritans. Yet this is the first place Philip goes after the persecution starts. Here we find a different word for “preach”.Preach – κηρύσσω (kēryssō) proclaim; preach. to announce (herald) v. — to make known (important news) publicly and loudly (as if a herald). Finite verb, imperfect, active, indicative, third person, singular.Preach – κηρύσσω (kēryssō)Philip walks into Samaria and proceeds to publicly and loudly proclaim the Messiah! Always bear in mind, when we say Christ, we are talking about the anointed one, the Messiah. In Jesus and His disciples go to Sychar which is a city in Samaria. This is where Jesus has the well known conversation with the woman at the well. I want to look at just two verses in this encounter. (S).

i. The miracle of healed bodies vv. 4-8

The miraculous ability to perform miracles and heal enabled the gospel Philip preached to impact the lives of these men and women.
NKJVThe woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
This then led to…
I would like to believe that this woman spread the news about who the Messiah was. The pump has already been primed so to speak. As Philip comes in proclaiming the Christ, seeds have already been planted. What helps these seeds to take root is how Philip’s preaching is promoted by miracles in vv. 6-8. The first benefit of the miracles is seen in v. 6 as they cause people to listen to the message.Notice that they listen to what Philip has to say because of the miracles he performs. They hear his message, they see the miracles, and it lends credibility to what Philip is saying. The miracles are not an end in themselves. They pave the way for the proclamation of Jesus Christ! One of the problems with modern “miracle” movements is that the miracle is the end, it is the goal. The goal is never to be impressing people with signs and wonders. The goal is for those people to hear about Jesus Christ! If the miracles are not a vehicle for the gospel then they are worthless.The second benefit of the miracles is that people are healed in v. 7. The “unclean spirits” here are demons. They have possessed people and cry out as they leave. People paralyzed and lame are also healed. Verse 7 has something very interesting here by way of comparison and contrast. Go back to . :16The Apostles heal everyone. Philip is not an Apostle. He’s one of the 7 from 6:5. So his power is different. He cannot heal everyone. Notice the repeated use of “many” here versus the “all” of 5:16. This is one of those testaments to the purpose of the sign gifts. They were to authenticate the ministry of the Apostles through whom God would give His written Word. The result of these miracles and healings are found in v. 8. There is great joy in the city. I love this! When Christ comes into our lives bringing healing and transformation, there is joy! This is meant to be a defining characteristic of the Christian life! We have joy! We have peace in our trials, we have comfort in affliction, we have the ever-present Spirit of God dwelling inside of us! What do we have to be unhappy about? We even have the assurance that the difficulties and trials we face are for our good! We have absolutely every reason to be joyful!What we are going to be informed of next is the scope of the transformation that has taken place. Luke, the author of Acts, wants us to know exactly what these people have been set free from. We have seen them experience the miracle of transformed bodies. Now we will learn of…
I would like to believe that this woman spread the news about who the Messiah was. The pump has already been primed so to speak. So when Philip comes in proclaiming the Christ, seeds have already been planted. What helps these seeds to take root is how Philip’s2. Preaching promoted by miracles vv. 6-8a. Hearing through miracles v. 6Notice that they listen to what Philip has to say because of the miracles he performs. They hear his message, they see the miracles, and it lends credibility to what Philip is saying. The miracles are not an end in themselves. They pave the way for the proclamation of Jesus Christ! One of the problems with modern “miracle” movements is that the miracle is the end, it is the goal. The goal is never to be impressing people with signs and wonders. The goal is for those people to hear about Jesus Christ! If the miracles are not a vehicle for the gospel then they are worthless.b. Healing through miracles v. 7The “unclean spirits” here are demons. They have possessed people and cry out as they leave. People paralyzed and lame are also healed. Verse 7 has something very interesting here by way of comparison and contrast. Go back to . :16The Apostles heal everyone. Philip is not an Apostle. He’s one of the 7 from 6:5. So his power is different. He cannot heal everyone. Notice the repeated use of “many” here versus the “all” of 5:16. This is one of those testaments to the purpose of the sign gifts. They were to authenticate the ministry of the Apostles through whom God would give His written Word. The result of these miracles and healings are found in v. 8.c. Rejoicing through miracles v. 8There is great joy in the city. I love this! When Christ comes into our lives bringing healing and transformation, there is joy! This is meant to be a defining characteristic of the Christian life! We have joy! We have peace in our trials, we have comfort in affliction, we have the ever-present Spirit of God dwelling inside of us! What do we have to be unhappy about? We even have the assurance that the difficulties and trials we face are for our good! We have absolutely every reason to be joyful!What we are going to be informed of next is the scope of the transformation that has taken place. Luke, the author of Acts, wants us to know exactly what these people have been set free from. We have seen them experience the miracle of transformed bodies. Now we will learn of…

ii. The miracle of transformed lives vv. 9-13

ii. The miracle of transformed lives vv. 9-13

These people were trapped and imprisoned by sin. When they believe in Jesus Christ they are set free! This freedom brings transformation. From fear of men to fear of God. From worship of the creature to worship of the creator.

What Luke describes here is something that we all experience when we come to Christ. 1. Transformation is necessary vv. 9-11Revealed in these verses are three reasons why it is necessary for those in Samaria. First, it is necessarya. Because of deception v. 9Here we are introduced to Simon. Simon was a sorcerer. Practiced sorcery – μαγεύω (mageuō) practice magic. To practice sorcery v. — to perform magical spells that harness occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural effects in the world. Verb, present, active, circumstantial participle, singular, nominative. Practiced sorcery – μαγεύω (mageuō)Simon does magic through the power of Satan and demons. He amazes and astonishes the people setting himself up as someone great. The idea is that this is his own opinion of himself. This is deception! He has deceived these people into thinking he is great. When we come to Christ, all of us have lies we have believed that must be changed through the truth of Scripture. Let me give you a common lie that people believe. There is a mean God in the OT and a nice God in the NT. Scripture reveals that there is only one God! He deals with different people differently at different times, but He never changes. Another common lie is that good people go to heaven. Scripture reveals that only sinners go to heaven. How? Through the blood of Jesus Christ! Let me explain. All have sinned. The penalty for sin is death. God’s gift is eternal life. This life is only given to those who believe. Believe what? That Jesus paid the penalty for their sin. That He was buried. And that He rose again. If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we are saved! Only sinners redeemed, forgiven, and justified by the blood of Christ go to heaven!These people needed to be transformed and set free from the deception that Simon was someone great. He wasn’t.That is the first reason transformation is necessary. Because of deception. The second reason isb. Because of delusion v. 10Simon has so thoroughly deceived them that they believe his power comes from God! They are delusional! This delusion has reached the point that they all pay careful attention to anything he says. Notice how specific Luke is here. The all heed him, from the least to the greatest. Everyone in Samaria was under this man’s power! Everyone is saying that Simon is the great power of God. Not has, is. He is the physical manifestation of the power of God. That is what they believe. There is only one way to account for this level of deception and delusion. Turn to -6.2 Corinthians 4:2-6What these people need, what we all need, is for the light of the gospel; of the glory of Christ to shine on us! That is the only cure for the blindness imposed by Satan. These people are deceived and deluded. But there is a third reason they need transformation. It is neededc. Because of detainment v. 11They are in bondage to Simon, and ultimately to Satan, but they don’t even realize it! They listen to him because of his sorceries. They have listened to him for a long time. So what does Philip do? He doesn’t come in and tell them how wrong they are! He doesn't come in and say they have been deceived, deluded, and detained by Simon! He doesn’t start screaming at them about how wrong magic and sorcery are! He preaches Christ to them! People who are ensnared by sin and blinded by Satan do not need information! They need transformation! Transformation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What people need is to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that they might be set free from sin and death! Philip understands this! He sees their need, and so he preaches Christ to them.When they trust in Christ they discover that transformation is not only necessary, 2. Transformation brings freedom vv. 12-13The people of Samaria area. Freed from bondage to Simon v. 12This verse starts with the word “but” which introduces a contrast. A change has taken place! They were in bondage through Simon’s deception, their delusion and subsequent detainment. But now! Now they have believed! Philip is preaching about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. People believe and are baptized. Remember, name is a euphemism used to encompass all that a person is. Philip is preaching about who Jesus is and what He has done and they believe! They are set free. And they are not alone. Simon is b. Freed from bondage to Satan v. 13Simon also believes and is baptised. We need to stress something here before we get into the rest of the story. The same words used to describe what takes place with the Samaritans are used to describe what takes place with Simon. Simon believes. Same Greek word that is used for the Samaritans believing. This is not a profession; this is a conversion. This is important because what happens later in the story has caused some people to say Simon was not a true believer. If he isn’t, then no one else in Samaria was either.Simon believes and is baptized and continues with Philip. This word “continued” is interesting. Continued – προσκαρτερέω (proskartereō) be devoted to. To persevere devotedly v. — to persevere in some activity or cause to the point of devotion. Verb, present, active, periphrastic participle, singular, nominative, masculine. Continued – προσκαρτερέω (proskartereō)Simon has been set free from the bondage of Satan! The result is that he sticks to Philip like glue. As he is with Philip he sees what the real power of God looks like. This man who had amazed others is now amazed himself as he sees what God can do.The miracles of healed bodies and transformed lives authenticates the message that Philip has been preaching. They know that Jesus is the Messiah because they have seen His power displayed through the miracles of Philip. Just as the message is authenticated by the miracles…
Revealed in these verses are three reasons why it is necessary for those in Samaria. First, it is necessary Because of deception in v. 9. Here we are introduced to Simon. Simon was a sorcerer. “Practiced sorcery” is the Greek word μαγεύω (mageuō) meaning to practice magic. To practice sorcery. To perform magical spells that harness occult forces or evil spirits to produce unnatural effects in the world.Practiced sorcery – μαγεύω (mageuō)Simon does magic through the power of Satan and demons. He amazes and astonishes the people setting himself up as someone great. The idea is that this is his own opinion of himself. This is deception! He has deceived these people into thinking he is great. When we come to Christ, all of us have lies we have believed that must be changed through the truth of Scripture. Let me give you a common lie that people believe. There is a mean God in the OT and a nice God in the NT. Scripture reveals that there is only one God! He deals with different people differently at different times, but He never changes. Another common lie is that good people go to heaven. Scripture reveals that only sinners go to heaven. How? Through the blood of Jesus Christ! Let me explain. All have sinned (). The penalty for sin is death. God’s gift is eternal life (). This life is only given to those who believe. Believe what? That Jesus paid the penalty for their sin. That He was buried. And that He rose again (). If we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we are saved ()! Only sinners redeemed, forgiven, and justified by the blood of Christ go to heaven!These people needed to be transformed and set free from the deception that Simon was someone great. He wasn’t. That is the first reason transformation is necessary. Because of deception. The second reason is Because of delusion in v. 10.Simon has so thoroughly deceived them that they believe his power comes from God! They are delusional! This delusion has reached the point that they all pay careful attention to anything he says. Notice how specific Luke is here. They all heed him, from the least to the greatest. Everyone in Samaria was under this man’s power! Everyone is saying that Simon is the great power of God. Not has, is. He is the physical manifestation of the power of God. That is what they believe. There is only one way to account for this level of deception and delusion. Turn to -6.2 Corinthians 4:2-6What these people need, what we all need, is for the light of the gospel; of the glory of Christ to shine on us! That is the only cure for the blindness imposed by Satan. These people are deceived and deluded. But there is a third reason they need transformation. It is needed Because of detainment in v. 11.They are in bondage to Simon, and ultimately to Satan, but they don’t even realize it! They listen to him because of his sorceries. They have listened to him for a long time. So what does Philip do? He doesn’t come in and tell them how wrong they are! He doesn't come in and say they have been deceived, deluded, and detained by Simon! He doesn’t start screaming at them about how wrong magic and sorcery are! He preaches Christ to them! People who are ensnared by sin and blinded by Satan do not need information, they need transformation! Transformation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (). What people need is to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that they might be set free from sin and death! Philip understands this! He sees their need, and so he preaches Christ to them.When they trust in Christ they discover that transformation is not only necessary,

2. Transformation brings freedom vv. 12-13

b. The conversion authenticated by the Holy Spirit vv. 14-25

The message was authenticated by miracles. Once they trusted Christ we find…
The people of Samaria experience freedom in two ways. First they are Freed from bondage to Simon in v. 12.This verse starts with the word “but” which introduces a contrast. A change has taken place! They were in bondage through Simon’s deception, their delusion and subsequent detainment. But now! Now they have believed! Philip is preaching about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. People believe and are baptized. Remember, “name” is a euphemism used to encompass all that a person is. Philip is preaching about who Jesus is and what He has done and they believe! They are set free. And they are not alone. Simon is Freed from bondage to Satan in v. 13.Simon also believes and is baptised. We need to stress something here before we get into the rest of the story. The same words used to describe what takes place with the Samaritans are used to describe what takes place with Simon. Simon believes. Same Greek word that is used for the Samaritans believing. I believe that this is not a profession; this is a conversion. This is important because what happens later in the story has caused some people to say Simon was not a true believer. If he isn’t, then I believe we would have to argue that no one else in Samaria was either based on the words used. John Calvin put it this way.
According to Scripture one of the evidences of salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If someone does not have the Spirit, they are not saved. The book of Acts is transitional in nature and therefore we have the Holy Spirit coming differently than He does today. What Luke records for us here is how…
Acts: Crossway Classic Commentaries Verses 5–13The man who had infatuated the whole city with his tricks received the truth together with others. He had boasted of being God’s Great Power, but now he submitted himself to Christ. He was brought to the knowledge of the Gospel not just for his own sake, but to remove a stumbling-block that might otherwise have hindered the ignorant.
Simon believes and is baptized and continues with Philip. This word “continued” is interesting. It is the Greek word προσκαρτερέω (proskartereō)meaning be devoted to. To persevere in some activity or cause to the point of devotion.Continued – προσκαρτερέω (proskartereō)Simon has been set free from the bondage of Satan! The result is that he sticks to Philip like glue. As he is with Philip he sees what the real power of God looks like. This man who had amazed others is now amazed himself as he sees what God can do. This is the power of the gospel! Simon was the last person anyone would expect to come to Christ! And yet, he does. The conviction of the Holy Spirit reaches even the hardest of hearts!God is fully capable of softening that hardened heart you have been praying for. Don’t give up! The miracles of healed bodies and transformed lives authenticate the message that Philip has been preaching. They know that Jesus is the Messiah because they have seen His power displayed through the miracles of Philip. Just as the message is authenticated by the miracles we have…

i. The Holy Spirit comes to Samaritans vv. 14-17

b. The conversion authenticated by the Holy Spirit vv. 14-25

Again, this highlights the transitional nature of Acts. We are seeing the establishment of the Apostles who would later establish the Word. Also being stressed here is that the Samaritans were saved just as the Jews were. This is necessary because of the hostility between Jews and Samaritans. For us today, the Holy Spirit comes at moment of belief. According to Luke’s account, there are two things necessary in this transitional time for the Holy Spirit to come. First we learn that He comes1. Through prayer vv. 14-15We are introduced to the ones praying in v. 14. The apostles hear what is taking place and they send Peter and John. This is not some sort of an inspection mission. At this point it seems like the only way the Holy Spirit came was through the apostles. This is evidenced by what they do immediately after their arrival in v. 15. They pray for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit! This word for “pray” is a petition. They are asking God to to send the Holy Spirit to the Samaritan believers. This is a pretty big step for Jews to take! Again we see prejudice laid aside for the sake of the gospel.After they are done praying, we see that the Holy Spirit comes2. Through the laying on of hands vv. 16-17Verse v. 16 explains why this was necessary. The Holy Spirit hadn’t come upon them. They had not yet been baptized by the Spirit (spiritual baptism) they had been baptized on the name of the Lord Jesus (physical baptism). And so in v. 17 they lay hands of them and the Holy Spirit comes. This raises the question of why? Why is this so important? For two reasons. First, to authenticate and establish the authority of the apostles. Why? So that when they pen the Word of God it is understood to come with God’s authorization and authority! Second, because of . Let me explain. How many of you have heard about Peter being given the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Please turn to where this takes place.
According to Scripture one of the evidences of salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If someone does not have the Spirit, they are not saved. The book of Acts is transitional in nature and therefore we have the Holy Spirit coming differently than He does today. What Luke records for us here is how…

i. The Holy Spirit comes to Samaritans vv. 14-17

NKJVAnd I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Again, this highlights the transitional nature of Acts. We are seeing the establishment of the Apostles who would later establish the Word. Also being stressed here is that the Samaritans were saved just as the Jews were. This is necessary because of the hostility between Jews and Samaritans. For us today, the Holy Spirit comes at moment of belief. According to Luke’s account, there are two things necessary in this transitional time for the Holy Spirit to come. First we learn that He comes Through prayer in vv. 14-15.
We are introduced to the ones praying in v. 14. The apostles hear what is taking place and they send Peter and John. This is not some sort of an inspection mission. At this point it seems like the only way the Holy Spirit came was through the apostles. This is evidenced by what they do immediately after their arrival in v. 15. They pray for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit! Before we talk about that, let’s think about who these men are for a moment.
Peter. Definitely not a perfect man. The one who denied Christ after His arrest. The one who always had his foot in his mouth. What I love about Peter is that he always gets back on the horse. He falls. He gets bucked off. He crashes and burns! But he continually gets back up and tries again. Peter is a faithful man. Therefore, he is used by God to do incredible things.
John. Most often we think of John as the one who leaned against Jesus at the last supper. He is sometimes pictured as a little effeminate and wimpy. We forget that he and his brother were nicknamed “Sons of thunder”. Remember that these guys thought they were worthy to sit next to Jesus in the kingdom! John had his share of faults just like Peter. John is traveling to Samaria here. He has an interesting history with Samaria. Turn to .
Luke 9:51–56 NKJV
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.
Wow! This is the kind of rebuke we normally see Peter receive! Yet, from our passage today, it is apparent that John learned his lesson. He repented, he changed his thinking and his activity and now here he is in Samaria again. John is faithful man. Therefore, John was used by God to have the longest impact on the shaping of the early church.
Here is our first lesson for today. God values faithfulness, not perfection. There has been a heart change! A transformation. These are not perfect men, they are faithful men. That is what we are called to be. Not perfect, but faithful. Get back up when you fall. Keep moving forward.
There has been a heart change! A transformation. These are not perfect men, they are faithful men. So they arrive in Samaria and they pray for the Holy Spirit to come. This word for “pray” is a petition. They are asking God to to send the Holy Spirit to the Samaritan believers. This is a pretty big step for Jews to take! Again we see prejudice laid aside for the sake of the gospel.
There has been a heart change! A transformation. These are not perfect men, they are faithful men.
This word for “pray” is a petition. They are asking God to to send the Holy Spirit to the Samaritan believers. This is a pretty big step for Jews to take! Again we see prejudice laid aside for the sake of the gospel.
Peter and John arrive in Samaria and they pray for the Holy Spirit to come. This word for “pray” is a petition. They are asking God to to send the Holy Spirit to the Samaritan believers. This is a pretty big step for Jews to take! Again we see prejudice laid aside for the sake of the gospel.
After they are done praying, we see that the Holy Spirit comes Through the laying on of hands in vv. 16-17.Verse v. 16 explains why this was necessary. The Holy Spirit hadn’t come upon them. They had not yet been baptized by the Spirit (spiritual baptism) they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (physical baptism). And so in v. 17 they lay hands on them and the Holy Spirit comes. Interestingly enough, there are no sign miracles that accompany the coming of the Spirit here. They do not speak in tongues. Why not? Probably because they all spoke the same language, therefore tongues were not needed. The way the Holy Spirit comes in this passage raises the question of why? Why is this so important? For three reasons. First, to authenticate and establish the authority of the apostles. Why? So that when they pen the Word of God it is understood to come with God’s authorization and authority! Second, to demonstrate that Samaritans and Jews were both included in this newly revealed program of God. There was a danger of this turning into sects of Christianity. This danger is avoided by having the apostles come. Third, because of . Let me explain. How many of you have heard about Peter being given the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Please turn to where this takes place.
Matthew 16:18–19 NKJV
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:18–19 NKJV
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
There are two false doctrines that have arisen from this passage. The first is that Peter is the pope or “father” of the church. That is not true because Jesus was talking about himself. Peter is a stone. Jesus is the Rock. The second false doctrine is that Peter will be sitting at the gate of heaven with the “keys” allowing or barring people from entrance to heaven. This is false because according to Revelation the gates of heaven are never closed! Also, I believe that Scripture makes it very clear what the keys given to Peter really are.
The keys given to Peter are used as he is present when the three people groups of the world receive the Holy Sprit. We see this take place for the Jews in . For the Samaritans here. And for the Gentiles in . Peter comes down with John to be Jesus’ instrument in opening this door. Samaritans are brought into the body of Christ through the coming of the Holy Spirit by the agency of Peter and John.
The Holy Spirit comes to the Samaritans. He comes to those hated by the Jews! He comes to the social outcasts, the ones rejected by everyone else. God is calling us to lay aside our prejudice. To cast off our ideas of who is and who is not worthy of the gospel!
He is calling all men everywhere to repent, and you and I are to be His mouthpiece.
Philip has preached the gospel to these people. Peter and John have arrived and the Holy Spirit has come. Everything seems great! However, there is some clarification needed. It needs to be made clear that…

ii. The Holy Spirit comes through faith vv. 18-25

There are two false doctrines that have arisen from this passage. The first is that Peter is the pope or “father” of the church. That is not true because Jesus was talking about himself. Peter is a stone. Jesus is the Rock. The second false doctrine is that Peter will be sitting at the gate of heaven with the “keys” allowing or barring people from entrance to heaven. This is false because according to Revelation the gates of heaven are never closed! Also, I believe that Scripture makes it very clear what the keys given to Peter really are. The keys given to Peter are used as he is present when the three people groups present in the world receive the Holy Sprit. We see this take place for the Jews in . For the Samaritans here. And for the Gentiles in .Peter comes down with John to be Jesus’ instrument in opening this door. Samaritans are brought into the body of Christ through the coming of the Holy Spirit by the agency of Peter and John.The Holy Spirit comes to the Samaritans. He comes to those hated by the Jews! He comes to the social outcasts, the ones rejected by everyone else. God is calling us to lay aside our prejudice. To cast off our ideas of who is and who is not worthy of the gospel! He is calling all men everywhere to repent and you and I are to be His mouthpiece. Philip has preached the gospel to these people. Peter and John have arrived and the Holy Spirit has come. Everything seems great! However, there is some clarification needed. It needs to be made clear that…
We arrive now at a difficult and sometimes abused passage of Scripture. It is one of those passages where what you see is very much colored by the theological lens you are looking through. If that statement is confusing to you, we are going to give clarity as we go here. There are four lessons about faith in these verses. The holy Spirit comes through faith and Faith avoids misuse in vv. 18-19.
In v. 18 we find Simon misusing money. By way of reminder, Simon was a sorcerer. He had enjoyed great influence in this city and had done amazing things through the power of Satan. He has trusted in Christ, He has been baptized, and I believe v. 17 makes it clear that he has received the Holy Spirit. The apostles laid hands on “them” and “they” received the Holy Spirit. Who? The believers in Samaria. According to v. 13 this includes Simon. I want to recognize that there is disagreement about whether or not Simon is a believer. Some look at these verses and see his behavior and conclude that he is either pretending, or self-deceived, but is not an actual believer. As I have thought about Simon and whether or not he is a believer I have hit on something that I think may help us. I believe that sometimes the disagreement that arises over Simon and others like him in Scripture is a result of the fact that we classify sin. You can be a gossip and be saved, but you can’t offer money for the ability to give the Holy Spirit. You can be a habitual liar, but you can’t be a practicing homosexual. You can be proud, selfish, and arrogant, but you can’t be … pick the taboo. We classify sin and assume that if someone is guilty of something that is “really bad” then they must not be a believer! That idea is not found in Scripture. Rather, what we see in Scripture is people who are clearly identified as believers sometimes engaged in heinous sin! This is presented as abnormal, unhealthy, and damaging. Those believers who are so engaged always face the discipline of God. That is what I believe we see here.

ii. The Holy Spirit comes through faith vv. 18-25

Based on the grammar, the words used, and the description of Simon. I am forced to a conclusion. This is a blood bought believer. This is a child of God through faith. You may disagree with me. That’s okay! Regardless of what you believe about Simon, the principles presented in this passage have direct application for us today. I believe Simon is a Christian. But this Christian is confused. He has some sin in his life that needs to be dealt with and the evidence of that comes out here. Simon demonstrates the error we open ourselves up to as believers when there is unconfessed sin in our lives.
He sees that the apostles give the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands and he wants this ability. So he offers them money. This is revealed to be a misuse of the Spirit. Look at v. 19. Simon wants to be able to give the Holy Spirit through laying on hands. Not understanding how these things work, he offers the apostles money. “Power” could also be translated “authority”. It is possible that he is seeking to regain the influence lost. Just a note here. Simon is not the first nor last to abused the things of God for power.
I believe this request comes from a sincere desire to see people have the Holy Spirit. However, his methods are what Peter calls into question here. The sin he has harbored in his heart has altered his perception and made him unable to properly understand both grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit. This brings us to the second lesson about faith. Faith assures proper motivation in vv. 20-23.
Though he may not have been aware of it, Simon’s motivation is wrong. This is revealed in vv. 20-21. Simon has a money problem and a heart problem. The gift of God cannot be purchased! Money doesn’t give someone a particular spiritual gift. God’s gifts are just that, gifts. Peter declares that this request demonstrates that Simon’s heart is not right. It is important to note that Peter says Simon doesn’t have part or portion in this matter, not salvation, but ability to give the Holy Spirit. Salvation is not even the topic of discussion, therefore it doesn’t fit the context.
The heart is the issue here. The actions may be right, the words may be right, everything may seem perfect externally; but if the heart is not right, nothing is right.
God doesn’t want outward conformity! He wants your heart!
Not some of it, not most of it, all of it! here is our second lesson. God wants your heart, not your performance. Have you ever done something with a bad attitude? You can perform the task perfectly, but when your heart is not in it, there is no joy and usually the task suffers as a result. Music is a prime example. You can sing a song, hitting all the notes perfectly, but if your heart is not in it, the song suffers. God wants our hearts! Simon looked good, but his heart was not right.
Simon looked good, but his heart was not right.
Though Simon is a new believer and is misunderstanding, his request reveals a desire for self elevation. From the phrasing of his request in v. 19 it almost seems as though he wanted to give the Spirit to anyone, believer or not. Simon’s heart is not right. This is a situation in which any of us can easily find ourselves. Our hearts must be right! We cannot serve the Lord with full devotion if we are simultaneously seeking to promote ourselves!
Having exposed the improper motive, Peter explains how to regain proper motivation in vv. 22-23. The first step is necessary repentance in v. 22. It is important to notice that Peter tells Simon to repent and be forgiven. Not believe and be saved! This is misunderstood when we view repentance as synonymous with salvation. While repentance is part of salvation it is also something that can take place after salvation when a believer sins ().
To be fair, argument can be made for Simon not being a believer. When Peter says he has no part in this matter, the word used is “logos”. Often this refers to the gospel. So that is a possibility. I believe the preponderance of evidence points to Simon being a believer. Regardless, Peter says that what he needs to do is repent. In doing so there will be a necessary removal of the things described in v. 23.
Bitterness and iniquity have bound Simon’s heart! Peter looks with eyes tuned by the Holy Spirit to see beyond the physical and he sees the condition of Simon’s heart. He is poisoned and imprisoned by bitterness and unrighteousness! These sins have left him blind to some important Spiritual realities. He needs to repent! To change his mind and his direction and be released from bitterness and iniquity. When we are ensnared by sin, repentance is what we need. How do we have our mind and direction changed? Is it through will power and determination? No. has the answer for us (S).
Psalm 119:9–11 NKJV
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
The solution to sin is not greater determination or effort. The solution to sin lies in greater time spent with Jesus. If we want to be free from the bondage of sin in our daily lives, we must spend time in the Word and in prayer.
The solution to sin is not greater determination or effort. The solution to sin lies in greater time spent with Jesus. If we want to be free from the bondage of sin in our daily lives, we must spend time in the Word and in prayer.We have seen that faith avoids misuse and assures proper motivation. The third lesson about faith here is that Faith alters wrong motion in v. 24.Simon indicates a change of direction here. Pray to the Lord for me. This is an interesting word for prayer. “Pray” is the Greek word δέομαι (deomai) meaning ask; request; beg; pray. To pray to God, conceived of as begging Him for something indispensable or necessary.Pray – δέομαι (deomai)“Lord” is the idea of master. You don’t make demands of a master. You beg and plead. That is what Simon acknowledges here. Jesus is the master! He is Lord! As such we do not command Him, we entreat Him.Simon asks Peter to plead on his behalf that he would escape these sins. The indication is that this situation and rebuke is enough for Simon. I believe he was transformed and sought Christ after this point. When sin enters our lives, we need a change of direction. We need to alter the wrong motion and get back on track. This is accomplished through confession. (S).
We have seen that faith avoids misuse and assures proper motivation. The third lesson about faith here is that Faith alters wrong motion in v. 24.
We arrive now at a difficult and sometimes abused passage of Scripture. It is one of those passages where what you see is very much colored by the theological lens you are looking through. If that statement is confusing to you, we are going to give clarity as we go here. There are four lessons about faith in these verses. The holy Spirit comes through faith and1. Faith avoids misuse vv. 18-19In v. 18 we find Simon misusing money. By way of reminder, Simon was a sorcerer. He had enjoyed great influence in this city and had done amazing things through the power of Satan. He has trusted in Christ, He has been baptized, and v. 17 makes it clear that he has received the Holy Spirit. This is a blood bought believer. This is a child of God through faith. You may disagree with me. But please reserve judgment until we’re done. I believe Simon is a Christian. But this Christian is confused. He has some sin in his life that needs to be dealt with and the evidence of that comes out here.He sees that the apostles give the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands and he wants this ability. So he offers them money. This is revealed to be a misuse of the Spirit. Look at v. 19.Simon wants to be able to give the Holy Spirit through laying on hands. Not understanding how these things work, he offers the apostles money.Power could also be translated authority. It is possible that he is seeking to regain the influence lost. I believe this request comes from a sincere desire to see people have the Holy Spirit. However, his methods are what Peter calls into question here. The sin he has harbored in his heart has altered his perception and made him unable to properly understand about the power of the Holy Spirit. This brings us to the second lesson about faith.2. Faith assures proper motivation vv. 20-23Though he may not have been aware of it, Simon’s motivation is wrong. This is revealed in vv. 20-21. Simon has a money problem and a heart problem. The gift of God cannot be purchased! Money doesn’t give someone a particular spiritual gift. God’s gifts are just that, gifts. Peter declares that this request demonstrates that Simon’s heart is not right. It is important to note that Peter says Simon doesn’t have part or portion in this matter, not salvation, but ability to give the Holy Spirit. Salvation is not even the topic of discussion, therefore it doesn’t fit the context.The heart is the issue here. The actions may be right, the words may be right, everything may seem perfect externally; but if the heart is not right, nothing is right. God doesn’t want outward conformity! He wants your heart! Not some of it, not most of it, all of it! Though Simon is a new believer and is misunderstanding, his request reveals a desire for self elevation. From the phrasing of his request in v. 19 it almost seems as though he wanted to give the Spirit to anyone, believer or not. Simon’s heart is not right. This is a situation in which any of us can easily find ourselves. Our hearts must be right! We cannot serve the Lord with full devotion if we are simultaneously seeking to promote ourselves! Having exposed the improper motive, Peter explains how to regain proper motivation in vv. 22-23. The first step is necessary repentance in v. 22. It is important to notice that Peter tells Simon to repent and be forgiven. Not believe and be saved! This is misunderstood when we view repentance as synonymous with salvation. While repentance is part of salvation it is also something that can take place after salvation when a believer sins. To be fair, argument can be made for Simon not being a believer. When Peter says he has no part in this matter, the word used is logos. Often this refers to the gospel. So that is a possibility. I believe the preponderance of evidence points to Simon being a believer. Regardless, Peter says that what he needs to do is repent. In doing so there will be a necessary removal of the things described in v. 23.Bitterness and iniquity have bound Simon’s heart! Peter looks with eyes tuned by the Holy Spirit to see beyond the physical and he sees the condition of Simon’s heart. He is poisoned and imprisoned by bitterness and unrighteousness! These sins have left him blind to some important Spiritual realities. He needs to repent! To change his mind and his direction and be released from bitterness and iniquity. When we are ensnared by sin, this is what we need. How do we have our mind and direction changed? Is it through will power and determination? No. has the answer for us (S).
Simon indicates a change of direction here. Pray to the Lord for me. This is an interesting word for prayer. “Pray” is the Greek word δέομαι (deomai) meaning ask; request; beg; pray. To pray to God, conceived of as begging Him for something indispensable or necessary.
Pray – δέομαι (deomai)
“Lord” is the idea of master. You don’t make demands of a master. You beg and plead. That is what Simon acknowledges here. Jesus is the master! He is Lord! As such we do not command Him, we entreat Him.
Simon asks Peter to plead on his behalf that he would escape these sins. The indication is that this situation and rebuke is enough for Simon. I believe he was transformed and sought Christ after this point. When sin enters our lives, we need a change of direction. We need to alter the wrong motion and get back on track. This is accomplished through confession. (S).
1 John 1:9 NKJV
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 NKJV
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Confession is agreeing with God about the nature of our sin. We agree that it is what He calls it, sin, and then we live differently. As we do we learn the final lesson about faith. Faith accelerates momentum in v. 25.
NKJVHow can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
They testify and preach the Word. The idea here is that they are bearing witness to the truth of what Philip has declared. They proclaim the message of the Gospel. Then, as the travel back to Jerusalem, they preach in many smaller cities of Samaria. Again we have evidence of them laying aside prejudice for the sake of the gospel. This is what we are to do. Lay aside prejudice and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ! Additionally, we have them preaching the gospel anywhere and everywhere they happen to be. The gospel message is gaining momentum through the faithful proclamation of the early church!
Confession is agreeing with God about the nature of our sin. We agree that it is what He calls it, sin, and then we live differently. As we do we learn the final lesson about faith. Faith accelerates momentum in v. 25.They testify and preach the Word. The idea here is that they are bearing witness to the truth of what Philip has declared. They proclaim the message of the Gospel. Then, as the travel back to Jerusalem, they preach in many smaller cities of Samaria. Again we have evidence of them laying aside prejudice for the sake of the gospel. This is what we are to do. Lay aside prejudice and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ! Additionally, we have them preaching the gospel anywhere and everywhere they happen to be. The gospel message is gaining momentum through the faithful proclamation of the early church!Despite persecution and suffering, and sometimes because of it, the gospel is moving forward! The believers are preaching and teaching everywhere they go. They are laying aside prejudice in recognition that all need to hear the good news of who Jesus is and what He came to do.
Despite persecution and suffering, and sometimes because of it, the gospel is moving forward! The believers are preaching and teaching everywhere they go. They are laying aside prejudice in recognition that all need to hear the good news of who Jesus is and what He came to do.

Conclusion

The solution to sin is not greater determination or effort. The solution to sin lies in greater time spent with Jesus. If we want to be free from the bondage of sin in our daily lives, we must spend time in the Word and in prayer.We have seen that faith avoids misuse and assures proper motivation. The third lesson about faith here is that3. Faith alters wrong motion v. 24Simon indicates a change of direction here. Pray to the Lord for me. This is an interesting word for prayer. Pray – δέομαι (deomai) ask; request; beg; pray. To pray ⇔ beg v. — to pray to God, conceived of as begging Him for something indispensable or necessary. Finite verb, aorist, passive, imperative, second person, plural.Pray – δέομαι (deomai)“Lord” is the idea of master. You don’t make demands of a master. You beg and plead. That is what Simon acknowledges here. Jesus is the master! He is Lord! As such we do not command Him, we entreat Him.Simon asks Peter to plead on his behalf that he would escape these sins. The indication is that this situation and rebuke is enough for Simon. I believe he was transformed and sought Christ after this point. When sin enters our lives, we need a change of direction. We need to alter the wrong motion and get back on track. 4. Faith accelerates momentum v. 258:25 – Many places in Samaria.
After persecution, suffering, imprisonment, and death; we find the early church faithfully preaching Christ in a hostile culture.
Philip arrives in a town full of people normally hated and shunned. He doesn’t see through the eyes of prejudice. Looking through eyes enlightened by the Holy Spirit, Philip sees sinners in need of a Savior.
Peter and John arrive, both men who have made mistakes. Men who have fallen down in their pursuit of Christlikeness. Men who have gotten back up and continued to run after Christ. Faithful men.
You and I are going to make mistakes. We are going to fall. There are going to be times that we crash and burn. That is not permission.
Failure is not the test of faith. It is what we do after failure that matters.
Will we get back up? If you are here and you are on your face; you have been put down by this past week, month, year or even further back; get up! Get up! It is not too late! God is not done with you! Pursue Him yet again and you will find Him giving strength and grace to persevere.
Maybe you are here and you’re a Simon. You have put on a great front, but your heart is not right. Now is the time to confess. We must agree with God about the sin in our lives and turn away from it! Come back to the Master! Pray to Him for forgiveness.
Are you here and realized this morning that you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation? Now is the time! I beg you not to put it off! You have no guarantee of reaching home today. You may be ushered into eternity before today is over. Will you be ready? If you were to stand before God right now, if He were to ask why you should be allowed into heaven, what would you say? “I’ve been a good person” is the wrong answer. The only thing sinners can cling to before a righteous and holy God is the blood of Jesus Christ! If your faith has not yet been placed in Him, do it now.
For all of us as believers today; we need to be like the apostles who preached Christ all the way back to Jerusalem.
May we surrender our lives to Christ.
May our surrendered lives bring opportunities to speak of Him.
When we speak of Christ, may speak the good news of death, burial, and resurrection to transform believing sinners into saints.
We want to close with the song “Knowing You”. Because I want us to remember what this life we have been given is all about. We want to know Him and make Him know and thereby, bring Him glory. Stand and sing with me.
Will we see through the eyes of prejudice?
Or.
Will we see with eyes enlightened by the Holy Spirit?
Outside these walls lies a world bound and trapped by sin. What is needed is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are His mouthpiece, will we speak? Sinners who are lost and dying cannot afford Christians who don’t live like Christ and don’t speak of Him! A drowning man needs a life preserver. A sinner bound in sin needs a Savior.
Who will you tell about Jesus this week?
May we proclaim Christ as we practice what He preached.

2. Preaching Christ In A Chariot vv. 26-39

a. The sensitivity of a heart to Christ vv. 26-29

8:26-29 – May we all develop this kind of sensitivity to the HS and His prompting.
i. Sensitive to the Spirit’s call v. 26-27a
ii. Sensitive to the Spirit’s knowledge vv. 27b-28
iii. Sensitive to the Spirit’s command v. 29

b. The preparation of a heart for Christ vv. 30-35

i. Prepared through seeking vv. 30-31
8:30-31 – Lord sets this up!
1. Seeking God v. 30
2. Seeking guidance v. 31
ii. Prepared through scripture vv. 32-33
1. Scripture and the Lamb v. 32
2. Scripture and the death v. 33
iii. Prepared through speaking vv. 34-35
1. Speaking of confusion v. 34
2. Speaking of Christ v. 35

c. The dedication of a heart to Christ vv. 36-39

8:36-37 – VARIANT – NASB footnotes, ESV & NIV – remove v. 37. At this point spend time discussing this? Text and translation?
i. Displayed through desire v. 36
ii. Displayed through declaration v. 37
8:38-40 – Baptism involves immersion. It is for believers (v. 37). HS teleports Philip. Not normative! V. 40 – Preached where he was.
iii. Displayed through decision v. 38
iv. Displayed through delight v. 39

3. Preaching Christ In Azotus v. 40

a. The work of the Spirit v. 40a

b. The work of Philip v. 40b

Conclusion

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