Summary: AS WE CONTINUE IN OUR SERIES IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, WE ARE FIRMLY ENTRENCHED IN THE LIFE OF PHILIP. AS WE HAVE NOTED PREVIOUSLY THE ONSET OF THE MINISTRY OF PHILIP WAS THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH. PERSECUTION TO THE EXTENT THAT GENTILE BELIEVERS WERE FO
OUR SPIRITUAL CHECKUP
PROPOSITION: INWARD EXAMINATION PROMOTES OUTWARD GODLY INTENTION
Acts 8:9-25 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 the divine power known as the Great Power." 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached 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. 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 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." 20 Peter answered: "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. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." 24 Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me." 25 When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
INTRODUCTION: AS WE CONTINUE IN OUR SERIES IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, WE ARE FIRMLY ENTRENCHED IN THE LIFE OF PHILIP. AS WE HAVE NOTED PREVIOUSLY THE ONSET OF THE MINISTRY OF PHILIP WAS THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH. PERSECUTION TO THE EXTENT THAT GENTILE BELIEVERS WERE FORCED FROM THE CITY DUE TO THEIR FAITH.
TRANSITION: THIS PORTION OF SCRIPTURE IS A CHALLENGE TO THE PRESENT DAY CHURCH. IT IS A CHALLENGE TO LOOK SOBERLY AT OURSELVES WITH REGARD TO THE VALIDITY OF OUR WALK, THE VERACITY OF OUR LOVE AND THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF OUR SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITY.
I. THE GENUINENESS OF OUR OWN SALVATION
a. THE MAN SIMON
i. HE IS ALREADY THERE WHEN PHILIP ARRIVES.
ii. HE IS SEEN AS A CELEBRITY.
1. AMAZES THE PEOPLE
2. RECEIVES THE ATTENTION OF THE PEOPLE
3. BOASTS OF HIMSELF TO THE PEOPLE
4. ACCEPTS THEIR PRAISE OF HIM AS “MESSIAH”
iii. HIS POWER IS MAGIC/SORCERY/DEMONIC
b. THE ENCOUNTER WITH PHILIP
i. PHILIP COMES PREACHING THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL
1. PEOPLE ARE AMAZED BY SIMON
2. PEOPLE ARE CONVERTED BY PHILIP
a. HEARD THE GOOD NEWS
b. BAPTIZED AFTER HEARING
ii. SIMON ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH PHILIP
1. SIMON BELIEVED AND WAS BAPTIZED
2. QUESTION AS TO THE VALIDITY OF HIS CONVERSION
3. REALITY OR ENTHUSIASM
iii. 7 REASON PHILIP WAS NOT CONVERTED
1. THE WORD BELIEVE DOES NOT ALWAYS REFER TO SAVING FAITH
2. A FAITH BASED ON OUTWARD SIGNS IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY (EVEN SATAN CAN APPEAR AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT).
3. NO EVIDENCE THAT SIMON RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT – IN FACT SIMON WANTS TO BUY THE ABILITY.
4. SIMON CONTINUES TO HAVE A SELF-CENTERED INTEREST AS OPPOSED TO A GOD-CENTERED INTEREST.
5. SIMON IS TOLD TO “REPENT”. A WORD NORMALLY USED OF THE LOST NOT THE SAVED.
6. THE WORD “PERISH” IS RELATED TO THE SAME WORD IN JOHN 3:16
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
7. THE DESCRIPTION OF SIMON IN 8:23 IS APPLICABLE TO SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW CHRIST AS SAVIOR AS OPPOSED TO SOMEONE WHO DOES KNOW CHRIST AS SAVIOR.
THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER:
· PROFESSION AND POSSESSION OF CHRIST ARE NOT THE SAME THING.
· GOING TO CHURCH MAKES YOU A CHRISTIAN ABOUT AS MUCH AS GOING TO MCDONALDS MAKES YOU A HAMBURGER.
· ARE YOU SURE YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR. SIMON DID NOT, YET ACTED IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT HE DID!