We end off this week with Acts 8:1-13
v1: ‘At that time’ – from the day that Stephen died. The Apostles remained in Jerusalem but all the believers (who had been concentrated in Jerusalem) were now forced to move out.
v3: In the last days there is going to be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32) However… It will also be a great time of persecution for believers (James 1:2-4)
v4:Persecution led to a great spread of the gospel (the good news of redemption – see Matt 24:14) – the gospel reveals the plans and purposes of G-d.
v5: This is Philip the deacon(Acts 6:5) and not Philip the Apostle.
· Samaria was a place known for idolatry (linked to occultic and demonic influence)
· ‘Preached’ – proclaimed- to announce with authority and power
v6: Throughout Acts there is a unity between the preaching of the Word and miracles. The primary purpose of these miracles was to confirm the truth of what was being proclaimed.
v7: The Word of G-d is first and foremost against demonic influence in our lives (the Word brings order from chaos)
· Paralyzed and lame (crippled) – people who can’t walk properly. In the Bible walking is associated with lifestyle or the way we live (Col 2:6). The Word of G-d helps us to walk properly before G-d.
v8: What started off as a great persecution turned into a time of great joy! Sin will not thwart the program of G-d.
v9: Simon earned money from this (either he was into the occult, or he was an illusionist) but more important than money to him was to be considered great in the eyes of the people. This has its roots in pride and rebellion – when people see our good works they should praise G-d and not us (Matt 5:16).
v10: Simon pretended to have the power of G-d.
v11: They were shocked by what Simon could do. And Simon exalted in it. This is satanic in origin – satan did not want to worship G-d but he wanted to exalt himself above G-d (very similar to what Simon is doing)
v12: The Kingdom of G-d brings a change to our lives.
· Baptism signifies a desire to change/to be transformed to submit to G-d’s authority.
v13: Simon followed Philip in a very devoted and committed way – outwardly seeming to have changed….