Summary: In all this we see that the fruit of revival is more revival, the opening of hearts for both the preaching and receiving of the gospel. That was the case at this time in Samaria. There was a great revival going on.
Tonight’s passage shows us the great need for revival both within and outside the church. Let’s get into this long passage.
READ v. 5. The preacher was Philip, a layman, one of the first deacons. As we said last week, the importance of this verse is in declaring that the first great evangelistic thrust outside Jerusalem was carried out by a layman.
Let’s dig a little deeper than usual. There are two Greek words that are used in the NT for proclaiming the gospel. I am not going to show my ignorance in trying to pronounce these Greek words but one of the words literally means to simply proclaim Christ. (ekerussen)
The other word means to announce the glad tidings, “the good news of the kingdom of God.” Philip was doing the first. He was a layman who dedicated his time and energy to proclaiming the things concerning the kingdom of God. Later on, in v. 12, he is said to do the second, that is, preach announcing the glad tidings, the good news of the kingdom of God.
So Philip was a layman of the church, a deacon, who preached Christ. He dedicated his time and energy to proclaiming the things concerning the kingdom of God.
READ v. 6. And here is where the title of tonight’s message is brought out. The essentials for revival are twofold and they are brought out in this verse. First, note the word “all.” For revival to occur, the people must be of one accord, of one mind, spirit and purpose. They must be in full cooperation. Everyone has to be willing to hear the message and see the miracles.
If people oppose and shut their ears and close their eyes to the messenger, they can’t have revival. There has to be an openness, a willingness and oneness of spirit with the preacher and his message.
Secondly, the people must “pay attention”, keep their minds and hearts upon the message. I’m not sure if we could ever have true revival. Our congregation can’t even sit through a 30 minute morning message without making two or three trips to the water fountain or restroom. True revival takes place when you are so concentrated on the messenger and his message that nothing can pull you away.
When a person is this focused on the message, there will be evidence of revival. In fact, there are 8 evidences of revival and we see all 8 of them in verses 7-25. READ v. 7.
1. Evidence 1: lives are changes—miraculously. People who cannot help themselves are healed. People possessed with evil spirits were changed. The evil spirits were cast out. People with diseased and crippled bodies were healed. The power of God was clearly witnessed.
2. Evidence 2: READ v.8. Great joy is experienced when revival takes place. A person who truly came to know Christ was filled with joy, the joy of:
- Sins forgiven, off deliverance, of power to live, of hope for eternity, of knowing God’s presence, and of security and assurance and confidence.
3. Evidence 3: READ 9-13. We see here the deliverance from great depths of sin, from false prophets and religion and sorcery. The depth of sin can reach no deeper than these people found themselves. They were gripped and enslaved by error, false teaching, and false hope.
They had been enslaved by a false prophet, a religious imposter named Simon. He used sorcery, magical arts, witchcraft, spirit mediums, astrology, charms, spells, divination or fortune telling. He bewitched people. He amazed them. He claimed that he was someone great.
The people had been enslaved by a false religion. ALL gave him all their attention. ALL followed his leadership and teaching. ALL both high and low confessed “this man is a divine power known as the Great Power.” Are people today still tricked into such things? YES!
The people were enslaved “for a long time: (v. 11) They had been held in bondage to the false prophet and false religion for a long time, but now, they had been freed by the power of Christ. You see, false prophets and false religions differ in their teachings and methods of enslaving people. But they are all false, and their followers can be delivered only by the power of Christ.
4. Evidence 4: READ 12 & 13 again. AN evidence of revival is the believing of the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ and being baptized.
Philip preached two major subjects: He preached the kingdom of God and he preached the name of Jesus Christ. When the people heard the message they believed, and they were baptized.
5. Evidence 5: READ v 14-17. The apostles were the leaders of the church. So when they heard of the revival at Samaria, they sent Peter and John to investigate because of the prejudice that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. When Peter and John arrived, they discovered that the Samaritans had believed and were baptized but the HS had not yet come on any of them. This is a puzzling passage to some because the Samaritans are said to have already believed and been baptized, yet the HS had not yet fallen upon them. They had not received the HS.