Summary: The belivers at Samaria recieve the gifts of the Spirit
The Dynamics of the Holy Spirit
Acts 8:14 – 8:25
Jeff Hughes – June 1, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Last week, we were introduced to a man named Simon. Simon was a Samaritan. If you remember last week, there was a great deal of tension between the Samaritans and the Jews. Simon had a really odd job though. He was a sorcerer. Now, sorcerers in that day were generally important people in their communities.
b. Simon was influential in a lot of circles in Samaria. People came to him for advice. He was similar to a palm reader or some other kind of spiritual medium. Now, as we covered last week, there is real power in these kinds of things, but the power comes from Satan, and always to deceive, and to harm people, never to build up and exhort.
c. Also we saw last week, how, since the church was mainly Jews, they tended to think that since they were God’s chosen people, that the gospel was just for them.
d. But, Jesus had told them to take the gospel to Judea and Samaria, and even the ends of the earth. As persecution came to the church, God moved Philip to Samaria to proclaim the gospel.
e. The people of Samaria embraced the gospel, and responded to the gospel message in droves. This took business and influence away from Simon. Simon saw Philip move in power by the Holy Spirit.
f. Simon embraced the gospel message, but, as we will see today, he didn’t quite get it. We will look at Simon and how the Holt Spirit moves as we continue on in our journey through Acts.
g. Let’s pray.
a. Bible teacher F.B. Meyer once had a firewood factory that employed released prisoners. Meyer would give them a job to do, good wages, a place to live, and, when possible, spiritual encouragement. In exchange, he expected them to render good employment.
b. They didn’t, and he lost money. Finally, he fired them all and purchased a circular saw powered by a gas engine. In one hour, it turned out more work than the combined efforts of all the men covered in the course of a whole day.
c. One day, Meyer had a little conversation with his saw. “How can you turn out so much work?” he asked. “Are you sharper than the saws my men were using? No? Is your blade shinier? No? What then? Better oil or lubrication against the wood?”
d. The saw’s answer, if it could speak, would have been, “I think there is a stronger driving power behind me. Something is working through me with a new force. It is not I, it is the power behind.”
e. Meyer later observed that many Christians and many ministers are working in the power of the flesh, in the power of their intellect, their energy, their enthusiastic zeal, but with poor effect. They need to become linked to the power of God through the Holy Spirit.
f. A lot of people have different ideas about the Holy Spirit and how He works. What amazes me is that people really try to define and catalogue the work of the Spirit, and how He goes about His work.
g. We will look at the dynamics of the Holy Spirit, and not try and catalogue or define Him, as we continue our study through Acts today.
h. Our study is found in Acts chapter 8, verses 14 through 25. Acts is the book just past John in the New Testament, and just before Romans. Follow along with me as we read.
i. 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." 24 Then Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me." 25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.