Summary: Philip & Simon the Sorcerer - The Pure & the Phony – Acts chapter 8 verses 9-25 - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
A wrong view of self (vs9-11)
A wrong view of salvation (vs 12-13)
A wrong view of the Spirit (vs 14-23)
A wrong view of sin (vs 22-24)
• When architect Sir Christopher Wren;
• Designed the interior of Windsor Town Hall near London in 1689,
• He built a ceiling supported by pillars.
• But he hit a problem – health & safety!
• The civic authorities inspected the building,
• And they decided the ceiling would not stay up with what Wren had constructed;
• So they ordered him to put in some extra pillars.
Now nobody likes their work to be criticized:
• So England's greatest architect knew that the ceiling did not need any more support,
• So he pulled ‘a fast one’.
• He added four pillars that looked the part;
• But actually they don't even reach the ceiling. They were just a little short!
• From the ground they looked like they were supporting the ceiling;
• But it was an optical illusion to fool the civic authorities.
• And even today;
• Those four extra sham pillars fool or amuse many a tourist.
• As a family we have enjoyed a number of holidays in Turkey,
• In a small town called Kalkan.
• Now if you go into the town center and along the sea front shops,
• You will come across a jewelers shop,
• In the window of that shop is a great big sign that says; ‘Genuine Fakes’.
• TRANSITION: Well those two stories might amuse;
• But actually there is nothing funny about being conned!
• There is on the BBC;
• A consumer rights programme called ‘Fake Britain’
• The programme covers various aspects of counterfeiting and its effects on consumers;
• Including dangerous tools, ineffective or dangerous medicines,
• Shoddy goods sold under reputable names, and documents used for identity theft.
• TRANSITION: It is a reminder that there is nothing funny about being conned!
• People get hurt and can often lose a lot of their life savings.
The focus character in today’s passage is a man called Simon.
• Simon is a fake.
• He may look like a watch that has Rolex or a Versace on the outside;
• But on the inside of you removed the cover;
• You would find cheap parts and also probably the words made in China.
Now Simon appeared to have genuine faith and was even baptized;
• Certainly the other Christians in Samaria thought that he was a true believer;
• That is why they baptised him (v 13).
• Now not everyone baptized is a genuine convert;
• I guess it is only the test of time that reveals it,
• The Parable of the Sower (sometimes called the Parable of the Soils);
• Is a parable of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark & Luke’s Gospels.
• In this story, a sower sowed seed on the path, on rocky ground and among thorns,
• And the seed was lost;
• But when the seed fell on good earth it grew, yielding thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
• To summarize the point of the Parable of the Sower:
• A man’s reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of his heart.
• A secondary lesson would be salvation is more than a superficial,
• Just because someone might joyfully respond to the gospel message;
• Does not mean that person is genuinely saved;
• In time, someone who is truly saved will go on to prove it.
• TRANSITION: Simon the magician is a good example of this parable;
• He responded to the message joyfully;
• But alas his heart was not right and he was not genuinely converted.
Note: The difference between the pure and the phony:
• The pure:
• When the Samaritans believed they responded to verse 4 the “Preached word”;
• And verse 5: The message of Jesus “Proclaimed the Messiah”
• These people heard the gospel and responded to it.
• Yes it was accompanied by signs and miracles;
• But the emphasizes in these verses is they believed the word and were saved.
• Later on when Peter & John arrived from Jerusalem what did they do:
• Verse 25: “…they further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus”
• The Phony:
• Notice what we are told about Simon (vs 13):
• “…astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw”
• Simon’s faith was not in the Word of God,
• But in the miracles he saw Phillip perform.
• And the emphasis with Simon in these verses is always miracles and never content.
• This is the third time in the book of Acts, in the history of the early Church;