Summary: We should examine the reality of faith.
HERE’S A REAL BARGAIN
S: Holy Spirit
C: True faith
Th: A People with Purpose
Pr: WE SHOULD EXAMINE THE REALITY OF FAITH.
Type: Inductive, Narrative
I. SIMON (9-11)
II. SAVIOR (12-13)
III. SALVATION (14-17)
IV. SIMONY (18-19)
V. SENTENCE (20-24)
VI. SUCCESS (25)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Come before the Lord and evaluate the genuineness of faith.
• If faith is centered on something else beside the person of Jesus, make the necessary change.
RMBC 02 April 06 AM
Have you ever tried to make a deal that didn’t work out?
A teenager asked his father for a car. "Not until you start studying your Bible and get your hair cut," his father said.
A month later the boy approached his father again. "Well," the father said, "I have seen you reading the Bible quite diligently, but your hair is still long."
"You know, Dad," the boy replied, "I’ve been thinking about that. All the characters in the Bible had long hair."
"That’s true," the boy’s father said. “And everywhere they went, they walked."
Well, I am sure that boy had hoped for a different ending.
The deal didn’t quite work out.
In today’s study, we are going to see a deal fail to come to fruition in the text we are studying.
First, let’s gather the context from last week’s study.
After the death of Stephen…
1. The gathered church in Jerusalem is now scattered.
Up to this point, the church had stayed put in Jerusalem.
But now, it was growing so much, it had gotten to be a controversy that the Jewish leadership sought to control.
And they had showed their power with Stephen.
No one was going to challenge them and get away with it.
Those days were over.
The Christians were getting out of “Dodge” (so to speak), because this was now a new day, with a new man leading the charge against the Christians.
His name was Saul, and…
2. Saul leads the persecution.
He had been the official overseer of the death of Stephen.
Now he was taking that violence to Christians wherever he could find them.
And it has not been pretty.
But when many of the Christians moved out of Jerusalem, one of them that went was Philip.
He had been one of those, along with Stephen, that had been appointed by the apostles to serve in what would later be known as the role of deacon.
Philip, though, shows us that while the Christians are no longer in Jerusalem, they are not being quiet.
He is out declaring the good news about Jesus.
And when that happens…
3. Philip leads the revival.
He leads a revival, in an unexpected place, Samaria!
This would have been unexpected, because the animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans would have certainly carried over to the church, even if it was just in a small way.
As he speaks the message about Jesus, people are responding.
But this is not the whole story, because it is not all good news.
4. In our study today, we will be exposed to the dangers of a faulty faith.
First, we are introduced to…
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
5. Simon was an arrogant man (cf. Galatians 6.3)
He was a magical man, literally.
The word used to describe him is the same word to describe the magi in Matthew 2, but it is not quite the same use.
It seems he was more of a sorcerer, for he had a tremendous hold on the people of Samaria.
We don’t know if it was trickery or demonic.
We just know that people were held under his sway.
One thing is for sure, he accepted his own account of himself.
He considered himself the “Grand Vizier of the supreme God.”
These were prideful and extravagant claims that create a deathly grip on one’s own soul.
But there is hope for Simon.
It is in the Savior.
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
6. The message about Jesus is heard and received.