Summary: If you want to get right with God, you had better humble yourself!

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Simon Says

(Acts 8:9-25)

1. Listen to this true story: "My father began teaching business classes at the local prison through a community college. On his first night of class, he started a chapter on banking. During the course of his lecture, the subject of ATMs came up, and he mentioned that, on average, most machines contain only about $1,500 at a given time.

"Just then a man in the back raised his hand. ’I’m not trying to be disrespectful,’ he told my father, ’but the machine I robbed had about $5,000 in it.’" Reader’s Digest

2. Sometimes we learn best by experience. And that’s how it is with humility. Sometimes we have to humbled the hard way, by experience; this reduces our tendency to overestimate our importance.

3. A magician by the name of Simon had a problem with a lust for greatness and recognition. He learned -- through error -- that God’s way is the way of humility.

Main Idea: If you want to get right with God, you had better humble yourself!

I. Simon and the Samaritans HUMBLE Themselves (9-25)

A. Simon the Sorcerer BELIEVES (9-13)

1. His "pre-existing condition" -- an influential magician and manipulator; lots of baggage

2. Believes despite his sinful lifestyle: he tricked others, perhaps claiming Messiah

3. His conversion took great humbling of himself

4. Simon had to give up being in the spotlight

B. The Holy Spirit is Given to the SAMARITANS (14-17)

1. I wonder what the discussion would have been like among the Apostles when they heard that many Samaritans believed?


3. Note the bad track record the apostles had before Pentecost! Luke 9:51-56, "As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village."

4. Why this ordeal? The reason the apostles had to lay their hands on this group was to unite the Samaritan believers with the church in Jerusalem

5. no regular pattern in Acts. Paul received the Holy Spirit not by the laying on of Apostolic hands, but by a laymen’s hands, Ananias. In other instances in Acts, crowds received the Holy Spirit automatically after baptism and before baptism. There is no regular pattern in Acts, because Acts is a book of transition. It is description, not prescription.

6. Note that John and Peter were sent by the Apostles. Peter was not the head of the church; the apostles, as a group, made decisions based upon how their head, Jesus Christ, led. Later, in Acts 15, it was the apostle and elders who sought to discern God’s will.

7. Jesus originally told His disciples to only preach to the Jewish people. Note Matthew 10:5-7, "These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ’Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: "The kingdom of heaven is near.’""

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