Summary: A sermon on corruption in the church based on the story of Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8. (Thanks to SermonCentral Contributors and Wikipedia

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Sermon for 1/22/2006

Acts 8:4-25


In February 2001, Adam Burtle, a 20 year old student at the University of Washington put his soul up for auction on eBay. The ad read: "Hardly used. I make no warranties as to the condition of my soul. As of now it is near mint condition, with only minor scratches. Due to difficulties involved with removing my soul the winning bidder will either have to settle for night of yummy Thai food and watching Indiana Jones Movies, or wait until my natural death."

The bidding started at a nickel; his ex-girlfriend bid it up to $6.66, the mark of the "Beast." In the final hour of bidding, the price rose from $56 to $400, placed by a woman in Des Moines, Iowa…

But then eBay officials learned of the auction and removed the listing before bidding closed. EBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove explained "EBay is only for pieces of merchandise that a seller can deliver to a buyer. This individual cannot deliver his soul to anyone". (EBay also forbids the selling of drugs, alcohol, guns and body parts).

People will do all kinds of things for money… some are apparently even willing to sell their souls on E-Bay


A. Start with two characters here, Simon and Philip:

1. Simon

a. Simon was a magician. Simon thought he was someone great.

c. Now I need to make it clear that this is NOT the kind of magic that we think of when we think of magic; this is the real kind of magic. Simon practiced witchcraft. The Bible does indeed teach that this sort of thing is real. The power comes from the devil.

f. Simon was full of Satan and he was full of himself.

2. Philip

a. Now Philip comes to town. Philip is an interesting contrast to Simon.

b. Philip has great power, but no one is calling him the great power.

c. There is no mentioning of Philip boasting about himself or thinking he was great. Philip did not come to town to draw attention to him; he came to preach the name of Jesus. He didn’t exalt himself but he exalted Jesus Christ.

e. Philip had the Holy Spirit. Philip had a greater power than Simon.

f. Philip was not the divine power, but a divine servant. Philip was there to bring glory to God, not to himself.

B. Simon and Philip meet

1. Simon was astonished by the great signs and miracles that Philip preformed.

2. Simon knew that what he had was nothing compared to what Philip had.

4. Simon knew that he was nothing compared to Christ.

5. Simon believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized.

6. Philip baptized SIMON—the "divine power" was baptized by the divine servant.

C. Was Simon really saved? Was he really a Christian?

1. We don’t know anyone’s heart but we see in Vs. 13 much evidence of salvation.

2. Simon believed like the rest of the Samaritans. Simon was obedient to the gospel by putting on Christ through baptism like the rest of the Samaritans. Simon left what he was doing; he left the sorcery and followed Philip. Simon was willing to set aside his desires, his way of life, to follow Philip, to follow Christ. He was willing to learn more by following Philip.

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