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Summary: My brothers and my sisters it is not by accident that we find nestled in the middle of this chapter a person with the makeup of Simon. I’m not surprise because opposites do attract. The good attracts the bad, the beautiful attracts the ugly, the rich attr

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THE ANATOMY OF A COUNTERFEIT BELIEVER

Acts 8:9-20

My brothers and my sisters it is not by accident that we find nestled in the middle of this chapter a person with the makeup of Simon. I’m not surprise because opposites do attract. The good attracts the bad, the beautiful attracts the ugly, the rich attracts the poor, Sister Hart attracts Pastor Hart, and in the last two chapters real men of God attracts a counterfeit. Stephen and Philip are considered as the real deal of the faith. While on the other hand Simon will be seen as an imposter. You see we will see a man that looks like a Christian, possibly goes through the motions of a Christian, but as time goes on, what is in his heart will surface and reveal to us who he truly is. It reminds me of a guy I played football with in school. To see him, he looked as if he could be an all world football player, especially as a linebacker or a tailback. He was built for the position. But when it came to producing on the field, he couldn’t catch a pass and couldn’t run very well, and if you put him on defense, he was not able to cover nor tackle anyone. It was this young man that Coach Bull Johnson said to him before he was cut from the team, “Son there are people out there that you could probably tackle, but you can’t catch. And as for the ones you can catch, you probably couldn’t tackle.” I tell you he looked the part, but he just couldn’t play.

On last week we talked about Philip, the Powerful Missionary of Jesus Christ. We saw what could happen when a man is filled with the Holy Ghost and power. He preached so until the people were all on one accord and taking heed to the words that he spoke. They observed his miracles, and unclean spirits came out of many that was possessed, also many that had palsies and was lame were healed. I tell you that Philip was just what Samaria needed because verse 8 said that “there was great joy in that city.” The makeup of Samaria was that it was a place of idol worshipers and sorcerers. They had a dire need to experience a move of God.

In this lesson we’ll go deeper into Samaria’s religious heart. We will find a certain man named Simon who practiced sorcery and as verse 9 said bewitched the people of Samaria. He even told the people that he was some great one. But The Bible Knowledge Commentary said that many traditions revolve around Simon the sorcerer. It is alleged: (1) that he was the founder of the Gnostic heresies, (2) that he went to Rome and perverted the Christian doctrine there, and (3) that he became involved in a miracle contest with Peter and lost. At any rate, this Simon of Samaria did practice sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. Because of his “sorcery,” he had the ability to exercise control over nature and the people by means of demonic power. And because of this the people viewed him as a Great Power of God. At any rate Simon boast also that he was someone great, and the people of Samaria believed him. He graciously accepted their praise.

So let’s take a look at this self acclaimed great man and see THE ANATOMY OF A COUNTERFEIT BELIEVER.

First of all verse 13 let’s us see...

1. THAT HE WAS MOVED BY THEIR MIRACLES AND NOT THEIR WORDS. (v.13)

“Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.”

One way that we can tell if a counterfeit is among us is by noting what really impresses them. Simon saw the masses being converted by the words Philip spoke concerning the kingdom of God and the power that is associated with the name of Jesus who is the Christ. Because of this he to believed and was baptized. But the things that the text allowed us to see is that what really influenced him was not the gospel message that Philip spoke, but he was impressed with the signs and miracles that Philip had done. Verse 13 said about Simon, “he continued with Philip, and wondered ,beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” Simon was not interested in the words of salvation that Philip spoke as much as he was impressed with the power that he exhibited. The N.I.V. said that he [Simon] was astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. So he was not excited about the Word of God, but he was astounded by the signs and miracles that Philip did.

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