The story so far
The disciples have seen and done some amazing and terrifying things, including the powerful preaching and the awful death of Stephen.
So what’s next for the church?
Reading: Acts 8
We find the Church being persecuted and scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, but still preaching the word wherever they go.
In this chapter we find Philip in a city in Samaria. Whilst there, he saw miracles and wonders and many turning to Jesus.
So great was the change in the people that verse 8 says “there was great joy in the city.”
Enter Simon the Sorcerer!
Simon was a practising sorcerer and amazing people with the incredible things that he could do. Yet, his power didn’t come from God. He had heard the incredibly powerful message of Jesus Christ, through Philips preaching and given his life to Jesus. He sees the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit working through Philip and he wants it.
Verses 18 and 19 says
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
‘Everything has a price’ seems to be true in our world of bribes, wealth and materialism. Simon thought he could buy the Holy Spirit’s power.
Simon was wanting to go to the next level in what he could and he thought he could ‘cheat the system’, take a shortcut to the Holy Spirit buy greasing the palms of the Apostles.
Oh how wrong he was.
Philip instantly rebukes him.
In life there are no shortcuts to receiving the Holy Spirit. It comes from:
- Turning away from sin
- Asking God for forgiveness
- Being filled with the Holy Spirit
I truly believe that we can all live a life on a new level of faith, which comes from our trust in God and the power of the Holy Spirit. We just need to put the effort in to trust Him for the next level.
As James 1 says ‘believe and not doubt,’ and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.
Contributed by Ps Richard