Bible Society of South Africa
Ds Hein Barnard

Forgiveness – Day 18

Philip, as well as Stephen who had been stoned to death, was one of the 7 men chosen to support the ministry of the apostles (Acts 6). Simon was a magician in Samaria and according to verse 13, believed and was baptised too. Magicians were influential people in their communities.

Bible text(s)

9A man named Simon lived there, who for some time had astounded the Samaritans with his magic. He claimed that he was someone great, 10and everyone in the city, from all classes of society, paid close attention to him. “He is that power of God known as ‘The Great Power’,” they said. 11They paid this attention to him because for such a long time he had astonished them with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip's message about the good news of the Kingdom of God and about Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Simon himself also believed; and after being baptized, he stayed close to Philip and was astounded when he saw the great wonders and miracles that were being performed.

14The apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had received the word of God, so they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for the believers that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16For the Holy Spirit had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18Simon saw that the Spirit had been given to the believers when the apostles placed their hands on them. So he offered money to Peter and John, 19and said, “Give this power to me too, so that anyone I place my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.”

20But Peter answered him, “May you and your money go to hell, for thinking that you can buy God's gift with money! 21You have no part or share in our work, because your heart is not right in God's sight. 22Repent, then, of this evil plan of yours, and pray to the Lord that he will forgive you for thinking such a thing as this. 23For I see that you are full of bitter envy and are a prisoner of sin.”

24Simon said to Peter and John, “Please pray to the Lord for me, so that none of these things you spoke of will happen to me.”

25After they had given their testimony and proclaimed the Lord's message, Peter and John went back to Jerusalem. On their way they preached the Good News in many villages of Samaria.

Acts 8:9-25GNBOpen in Bible reader

Serving God with the wrong motive

There are different views whether Simon had genuine saving faith when we read the whole reading.  His ability as a magician did not come from God and he thought that he could buy the power of the Holy Spirit to perform even greater miracles.

There is no possibility that salvation, forgiveness of sins or the power of God can be bought!  This is only possible through a contrite heart, a humbleness and willingness to confess and break with sins. 

Simon’s reaction to Peter’s words was to ask Peter to pray for him.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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